Search found 575 matches

by anonenigma
Tue Nov 13, 2018 1:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can you suggest where to live if work at UCLA
Replies: 40
Views: 2965

Re: Can you suggest where to live if work at UCLA

I have had other friends and family go to UCLA. They all learned by experience not to live much east of campus. One started in the Fairfax area, commuting, and the area was so gritty, he finally moved to rent a room at the beach in Santa Monica, paid a lot more but loved it and felt safer. Say what...
by anonenigma
Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can you suggest where to live if work at UCLA
Replies: 40
Views: 2965

Re: Can you suggest where to live if work at UCLA

I have had other friends and family go to UCLA. They all learned by experience not to live much east of campus. One started in the Fairfax area, commuting, and the area was so gritty, he finally moved to rent a room at the beach in Santa Monica, paid a lot more but loved it and felt safer. Say what...
by anonenigma
Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help! How do I get rid of an old excess contribution in my 403(b)/401(k)?
Replies: 9
Views: 532

Re: Help! How do I get rid of an old excess contribution in my 403(b)/401(k)?

I doubt that the 2016 posting date matters if the deferral was for a 2015 payroll.
by anonenigma
Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Europe Trip
Replies: 38
Views: 2298

Re: Europe Trip

We’re in the Cotswolds now after six nights in Paris and four in London. Weather was very mild but bring layers. With one minor exception, everyone we encountered (especially Uber drivers on the few occasions we used them) was nice and helpful.
by anonenigma
Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Planning first international trip - London/Paris
Replies: 67
Views: 3324

Re: Planning first international trip - London/Paris

Consider the Tavistock Hotel in Bloomsbury two blocks from Russell Square tube which goes to Heathrow. Cheap, clean and brilliantly located. As long as you don’t need fancy.

Can recommend dinner options nearby.
by anonenigma
Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Planning first international trip - London/Paris
Replies: 67
Views: 3324

Re: Planning first international trip - London/Paris

- Get an Oyster card Not necessary if you have a Visa card which supports contactless payments. Costco Visa is one such card. - look for the Wifi symbol on the back of whatever card you have. Alas, the Costco contactless VISA does not work on the London Underground. We used Apple Pay this morning i...
by anonenigma
Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is the growing national debt a reason to diversify with international?
Replies: 33
Views: 3393

Re: Is the growing national debt a reason to diversify with international?

Search “National Debt by Country.” U.S. national debt to GDP ratio is less than half that of Japan and lower than several other countries.
by anonenigma
Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) question
Replies: 6
Views: 607

Re: Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) question

Be very careful. I think that being eligible is sufficient to have the WEP kick in. Get the actual numbers (go to a Social Securty Office if necessary) before you do anything you'll regret. As I understand it, the impact of the WEP begins to lessen after 20 years of work that pays into Social Securi...
by anonenigma
Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement options?
Replies: 10
Views: 2521

Re: Retirement options?

SEP IRAs are only for the self-employed.
by anonenigma
Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relocation to California
Replies: 49
Views: 4244

Re: Relocation to California

There's a strange mixture of disappointment and ideology in this thread. I was born and raised in the Fairfax area (between Hollywood and Beverly Hills) to a middle class family. I left for eight years to go to university in the Bay Area and then see some of the world outside California. I retired 1...
by anonenigma
Sun Oct 14, 2018 6:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Maui - Ka'anapali Beach Hotel
Replies: 15
Views: 2045

Re: Maui - Ka'anapali Beach Hotel

Check Costco package deals.
by anonenigma
Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I'm an employer looking to get the best 401k deal for my employees!
Replies: 17
Views: 1267

Re: I'm an employer looking to get the best 401k deal for my employees!

Consider Vanguard. My wife's organization just went with them and decided to pay the annual fee for employees.
by anonenigma
Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on Three-Night English Road Trip
Replies: 30
Views: 2088

Re: Advice on Three-Night English Road Trip

I just reserved the rental car and am shocked by the low price. For an "intermediate car" - a Skoda Octavia or similar from Alamo, the cost for three days (pick up and return at Heathrow, including taxes) will be about $73 plus gas via Costco. A compact car would have been just under $57, but I'm to...
by anonenigma
Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best headphones under 500 bucks
Replies: 48
Views: 3374

Re: Best headphones under 500 bucks

That's the point I was trying to make, you just said it better. People who are used to listening to portable devices with earbuds, no matter how good, will be floored by a decent source into a decent set of headphones, and absolutely staggered by a decent source into a decent set of speakers. I lik...
by anonenigma
Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best headphones under 500 bucks
Replies: 48
Views: 3374

Re: Best headphones under 500 bucks

I have Grado SR60s, which are about $100 these days, but I rarely use them - prefer the soundstage of speakers in a room. Maybe take a look at the Class B and C headphones in Stereophile's Recommended Component List. There are a few under $500 and a bunch that are in crazy money land: https://www.st...
by anonenigma
Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Options for Medical Care for aging parents in US on green card
Replies: 6
Views: 555

Re: Options for Medical Care for aging parents in US on green card

Discussing politics or proposed legislation is not allowed on these boards but you might want to Google "Green card public assistance" to see what has been in the news. Hiring a good immigration lawyer that is up to date on the latest changes and knows the options that are available in your state w...
by anonenigma
Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:38 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Options for Medical Care for aging parents in US on green card
Replies: 6
Views: 555

Re: Options for Medical Care for aging parents in US on green card

Does this mean they will not be eligible for MediCAL (which is Medicare program on California, where I live)? What are the options for the first 5 years then? MediCal is not Medicare. It's California's Medicaid program for people with low income. If they're not eligible for that, then insurance for...
by anonenigma
Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:08 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Options for Medical Care for aging parents in US on green card
Replies: 6
Views: 555

Re: Options for Medical Care for aging parents in US on green card

There's a five-year residency requirement, after which time they can buy into Medicare.

See https://www.insubuy.com/medicare-for-ne ... d-holders/
by anonenigma
Mon Oct 08, 2018 11:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on Three-Night English Road Trip
Replies: 30
Views: 2088

Re: Advice on Three-Night English Road Trip

Have fun and be flexible. I would plan to get to the airport early enough to drop off the car and be inside by 9:00 unless you are blasé about missing flights. Saturday mid morning is a pretty busy time at Heathrow. Car drop off and immigration can get backed up randomly. I have cut it closer than ...
by anonenigma
Mon Oct 08, 2018 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on Three-Night English Road Trip
Replies: 30
Views: 2088

Re: Advice on Three-Night English Road Trip

Thanks for the guidance. Here's what I've arranged so far. Day 1: Pick up car (details not yet settled). Drive to Glastonbury Abbey/Tor and have booked really inexpensive accommodations in the center of Wells. Will drive by Stonehenge but likely not stop. May divert briefly to take a look at the Sal...
by anonenigma
Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on Three-Night English Road Trip
Replies: 30
Views: 2088

Re: Advice on Three-Night English Road Trip

Thanks for the feedback - I'm aware that the itinerary is a bit packed. We initially decided to split our time between Paris and London and have our hotels and Eurostar booked. My wife is both a museum hound (our time in both cities should satisfy her) and a devotee of murder mysteries. This latter ...
by anonenigma
Fri Oct 05, 2018 1:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on Three-Night English Road Trip
Replies: 30
Views: 2088

Advice on Three-Night English Road Trip

My wife has never been to the UK or France, and it has been 40 years since I was last there. After six nights in Paris and four in London, we're planning to rent a car, possibly at Heathrow, as that is where we will need to end up. Here's what I'm thinking: Day 1 (10/31): Heathrow to Stonehenge for ...
by anonenigma
Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Apartment, city noise
Replies: 43
Views: 3334

Re: New Apartment, city noise

We live 3 blocks from a fire station, and the street 50 yards to the south is a primary path to a Level 1 trauma center two miles away. We hear sirens in the distance all the time, but it's reassuring in a way to hear emergency vehicles in the distance. We're also close to museums, cinemas, restaura...
by anonenigma
Mon Oct 01, 2018 12:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Suggestions on startng a 457b plan
Replies: 4
Views: 397

Re: Suggestions on startng a 457b plan

Why a 457(b)? Only governmental 457(b) plans are deemed secure by many folks. I believe that small nonprofits usually set up a 403(b).
by anonenigma
Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another Wifi extender thread
Replies: 39
Views: 2917

Re: Another Wifi extender thread

For a dead spot in our house, I got this one last year on Amazon: NETGEAR AC1200 WiFi Range Extender - Essentials Edition (EX6120-100NAS) Works fine. Set up painless, as I recall. There are tons of reviews and a lot of chatter about setting it up but it was pretty simple. This one solved my problem...
by anonenigma
Fri Sep 28, 2018 1:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric Shaver/Beard Trimmer
Replies: 21
Views: 1847

Re: Electric Shaver/Beard Trimmer

Thanks for the advice. Decided to buy the Norelco trimmer (see link) which has a $15 off coupon at Costco through this Sunday - net cost $34.95 plus tax - far less than what a similar package goes for on Amazon. I just tried it out and it has a great feel and much finer control than the popup trimme...
by anonenigma
Tue Sep 25, 2018 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: One ear weak, one good: Get hearing aid? 91-year old
Replies: 8
Views: 686

Re: One ear weak, one good: Get hearing aid? 91-year old

My mother appeared to have lost significant hearing in her early 90s. I made an appointment with the ENT, and it turned out to be wax. See the ENT first.
by anonenigma
Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric Shaver/Beard Trimmer
Replies: 21
Views: 1847

Re: Electric Shaver/Beard Trimmer

livesoft wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:00 pm
Did you price the $10 to $20 ones? No way would I pay $45 to repair a $15 electric trimmer. Walmart, Target, drugstores sell these things.

The razor I have is not a trimmer. Comparable new Brauns are $150-300.
by anonenigma
Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric Shaver/Beard Trimmer
Replies: 21
Views: 1847

Electric Shaver/Beard Trimmer

I'm a blade guy, but I have an old Braun 7526 that I've used occasionally if the hot water is out. I've recently begun to use it, quite happily, to trim my goatee and mustache. The problem is that it's not holding a charge very well, and the shop I called wants $45 to repair it. Is it worth repairin...
by anonenigma
Fri Sep 21, 2018 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need iPhone case recommendations
Replies: 19
Views: 1146

Re: Need iPhone case recommendations

Otterbox really stands behind its product. Two years ago the fingerprint reader wasn't working well when in the case but was fine without the case. They replaced the case for $5.
by anonenigma
Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 403b contribution timing
Replies: 6
Views: 395

Re: 403b contribution timing

If it came out of your December, 2017 check, it should be a 2017 contribution. Check your W2.
by anonenigma
Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Questions regarding Govt Pension Offset and Windfall Elimination
Replies: 5
Views: 492

Re: Questions regarding Govt Pension Offset and Windfall Elimination

Were you paying into SS for your CalPERS employment? If so, the WEP/GPO would not apply.
by anonenigma
Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CalSTRS Pension - Does refund of contributions make sense?
Replies: 7
Views: 725

Re: CalSTRS Pension - Does refund of contributions make sense?

There's no health coverage through CalSTRS. See https://www.calstrs.com/health-insurance

Check if her school district offers retiree benefits. Most don't, and she probably wouldn't qualify with only 16 years of service.
by anonenigma
Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA near-retiree begins to consider retirement now
Replies: 22
Views: 1345

Re: TIAA near-retiree begins to consider retirement now

Wil you have a defined benefit pension in addition to your investments with TIAA? Will you receive Social Security?
by anonenigma
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Withholding from RMD'S
Replies: 10
Views: 911

Re: Withholding from RMD'S

Looks like TIAA's policy is similar: https://www.tiaa.org/public/pdf/forms/RMD.pdf
by anonenigma
Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ready to buy iPhone 8 now, but..
Replies: 39
Views: 3445

Re: Ready to buy iPhone 8 now, but..

Check T-Mobile if it works where you need it, especially if there are two of you on the plan and one is at least 55. Their price is amazing for unlimited (including use outside the country when you travel), and we got our 8 Pluses on a buy one get one almost free ($700 rebate) deal.
by anonenigma
Sat Sep 08, 2018 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a new Toyota Camry. What extra options if any?
Replies: 70
Views: 4834

Re: Buying a new Toyota Camry. What extra options if any?

If it makes a difference to you, be aware that the 2019 Camry will have Apple Carplay.
by anonenigma
Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions
Replies: 50
Views: 3859

Re: Go to Istanbul next week. Any suggestions

Either before your trip or after you return, watch Fatih Akin’s films, particularly The Edge of Heaven and Head On. Also, the documentary, Kedi, about cats in Istanbul, is terrific.
by anonenigma
Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Short Term Health Insurance regulation changes - good for age 62 retirement?
Replies: 82
Views: 4560

Re: Short Term Health Insurance regulation changes - good for age 62 retirement?

Ask yourself, "Do I feel lucky?"

There's a reason that premiums are much higher for people in their 50s and 60s than in their 30s and 50s.
by anonenigma
Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teachers Who Have Net Worth of $1 million +
Replies: 105
Views: 13814

Re: Teachers Who Have Net Worth of $1 million +

Several years ago I asked CalSTRS what percentage of retired teachers had benefits: I was told that in 2002 the Office of the Actuary, found the following results: 75.7% have been retired five + years; 53% have been retired for 10+ years; 33.8% have been retired for 15+ years; 18.4% have been retir...
by anonenigma
Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teachers Who Have Net Worth of $1 million +
Replies: 105
Views: 13814

Re: Teachers Who Have Net Worth of $1 million +

Several years ago I asked CalSTRS what percentage of retired teachers had benefits: I was told that in 2002 the Office of the Actuary, found the following results: 75.7% have been retired five + years; 53% have been retired for 10+ years; 33.8% have been retired for 15+ years; 18.4% have been retir...
by anonenigma
Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teachers Who Have Net Worth of $1 million +
Replies: 105
Views: 13814

Re: Teachers Who Have Net Worth of $1 million +

Several years ago I asked CalSTRS what percentage of retired teachers had benefits: I was told that in 2002 the Office of the Actuary, found the following results: 75.7% have been retired five + years; 53% have been retired for 10+ years; 33.8% have been retired for 15+ years; 18.4% have been retir...
by anonenigma
Sun Aug 19, 2018 11:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teachers Who Have Net Worth of $1 million +
Replies: 105
Views: 13814

Re: Teachers Who Have Net Worth of $1 million +

For reference our local district pays between 36-80k for salary depending on education and time served. Employees pay about 1/3 of health insurance. The state pension formula is: Average (top 5) Annual Compensation X 1.1% [0.011] X Years of Service Which works out to be about 20-30K per year depend...
by anonenigma
Sun Aug 19, 2018 2:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teachers Who Have Net Worth of $1 million +
Replies: 105
Views: 13814

Re: Teachers Who Have Net Worth of $1 million +

If they can afford it, teachers are unique in being able to contribute to both a 403(b) and a 457(b) - an annual maximum of $37,000 up to age 50 and $49,000 after age 50. This only makes sense, though, if the plans are low-cost and offer good investment options - unfortunately, rarely the case. Plus...
by anonenigma
Sat Aug 18, 2018 4:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: MoviePass-Too good to be true, but it's legit.
Replies: 370
Views: 49742

Re: MoviePass-Too good to be true, but it's legit.

In January, my wife and I each bought a year of MoviePass via Costco. I can't see foreign films any longer at the Laemmle theaters (MP has turned those off), but I can still use e-ticketing to see films at the Landmark/Nuart cinemas. This certainly isn't the MoviePass to which I subscribed, which ha...
by anonenigma
Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teachers Who Have Net Worth of $1 million +
Replies: 105
Views: 13814

Re: Teachers Who Have Net Worth of $1 million +

In Arizona, for 5 years our schools were on 4 days a week schedule, to cut costs. Many teachers were opposed to the change back -- Who wouldn't like a 4 day work week? I am sure the students loved it too. However, when you think about the mission of public schools, it would seem their education wou...
by anonenigma
Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teachers Who Have Net Worth of $1 million +
Replies: 105
Views: 13814

Re: Teachers Who Have Net Worth of $1 million +

My understanding is that in some states, many teachers have million dollar pensions (I am not a teacher). What do you mean - a million dollars per year or the assets necessary to generate the pension payments during the lifetime of the teacher? It is pretty obvious I don't mean $1 million/year. I m...
by anonenigma
Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teachers Who Have Net Worth of $1 million +
Replies: 105
Views: 13814

Re: Teachers Who Have Net Worth of $1 million +

munemaker wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:07 am
My understanding is that in some states, many teachers have million dollar pensions (I am not a teacher).
What do you mean - a million dollars per year or the assets necessary to generate the pension payments during the lifetime of the teacher?
by anonenigma
Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Men’s Underwear recommendation
Replies: 67
Views: 6950

Re: Men’s Underwear recommendation

I like the Kirkland briefs with no advertising: https://www.costco.com/Kirkland-Signature-Men's-Boxer-Brief-4-pack.product.100323810.html For sleeping in the summer, I just bought (and like) boxers I recently bought on Amazon. They're 100% cotton, not thin, hold up to washing, and are very inexpensi...