Search found 597 matches

by anonenigma
Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are You Dumping Netflix?
Replies: 162
Views: 8148

Re: Are You Dumping Netflix?

Increase is trivial but I’m not wild about quality of Netflix’s collection. Check whether your public library offers streaming services, especially Kanopy, which I like at least as well as Netflix. It’s free and compatible with Roku and presumably other devices.
by anonenigma
Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Computer Chair for Big & Tall People
Replies: 12
Views: 668

Re: Best Computer Chair

Aeron Size C +1 Be sure that the chair comes with 12 year warranty, because you the chair will need repairs a couple of times through the years. I bought my last one on sale at Design Within Reach, which may be owned (there's a lawsuit) by Hermann Miller. If you buy gray market, the warranty may no...
by anonenigma
Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice Regarding Out-of-Network Billing
Replies: 9
Views: 695

Re: Advice Regarding Out-of-Network Billing

If you live in California, it's now the law - if you go to an in-network facility you can't be charged out-of-network rates by any of the providers.
by anonenigma
Sat Jan 05, 2019 8:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 11 days in Europe...Budget and logistical advice please
Replies: 73
Views: 3806

Re: 11 days in Europe...Budget and logistical advice please

Experiencing Paris does not involve checklists. The city has extraordinary public spaces and incredible numbers of sculptures. Walk through the Tuileries to the Place de la Concorde. Spend a couple of hours at the Jardins de Luxembourg. The Musee Cluny (Musee Nationale du Moyen Age), one of the olde...
by anonenigma
Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I open a 403(b)?
Replies: 24
Views: 964

Re: Should I open a 403(b)?

02nz wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:08 pm
I think CalSTRS Pension II and Fidelity (assuming your district is on the list for Fidelity) are likely to be your best bets, but someone more familiar with these plans should chime in.
Definitely the two best on the list.

Do check on 457(b) as well.
by anonenigma
Sat Dec 29, 2018 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spousal Roth IRA
Replies: 1
Views: 178

Spousal Roth IRA

In 2018 my only non-investment income was my pension, but my wife continues to work. Income-related phase-outs on spousal IRA contributions depend on whether one has a retirement plan at work. Technically, she worked for two nonprofit employers this year - the first through April with a 403(b) that ...
by anonenigma
Thu Dec 27, 2018 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do Hertz/Avis really cost double Enterprise?
Replies: 58
Views: 3270

Re: Do Hertz/Avis really cost double Enterprise?

I check Costco first, then Hotwire. I've occasionally reserved on Costco and received an e-mail from Hotwire days later with a much lower rate. I then cancelled the Costco reservation and took Hotwire up on its offer.
by anonenigma
Wed Dec 26, 2018 7:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bookshelf speakers under $300
Replies: 81
Views: 3402

Re: Bookshelf speakers under $300

Worth checking the bargain range of Stereophile's Recommended Components:

https://www.stereophile.com/content/rec ... udspeakers
by anonenigma
Sun Dec 23, 2018 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Defined Benefit Pension Question
Replies: 20
Views: 1808

Re: Defined Benefit Pension Question

For CalSTRS, when I was 56, I was presented the discount factors for 50%, 75% and 100% survivor benefits and elected 75%. When I was close to retirement, six years later, I had second thoughts and thought about switching to 100%. I was shown the discount factor, and it was not nearly as favorable a...
by anonenigma
Sat Dec 22, 2018 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: MoviePass Update
Replies: 16
Views: 1838

Re: MoviePass Update

...Time to stream! Yes, but now the latest and greatest on streaming are the movies you already saw! Of course there are tons of alternative content. I meant that it was time to stream for the gentleman who found no worthwhile films to watch. Gave him a list of suggestions. For myself, I'm chasing ...
by anonenigma
Sat Dec 22, 2018 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: MoviePass Update
Replies: 16
Views: 1838

Re: MoviePass Update

My wife and I had subscription to MoviePass for about 9 or 10 months and we saw 3 to 4 movies each month on average. We cancelled it as we did not see many good movies and from looking at the pipeline were not impressed with what was coming out. It felt like we were wasting time by going to see the...
by anonenigma
Sat Dec 22, 2018 4:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: MoviePass Update
Replies: 16
Views: 1838

Re: MoviePass Update

The decline in the stock value of HMNY (MoviePass's parent) has been precipitous - a $7.25 million award to a top exec is now worth under $50. After the past few weeks of watching unrealized gains turn to unrealized losses, this is strangely comforting. Does that make me a jerk? No. In a film or no...
by anonenigma
Sat Dec 22, 2018 1:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: MoviePass Update
Replies: 16
Views: 1838

Re: MoviePass Update

Try Sinemia now. From everything I've read, it's too complicated and I don't like hidden fees. I will remember my MoviePass (almost) year fondly, but going forward I'll likely just see one movie a week in a theater instead of two or three. The Laemmle chain of art houses has weekday senior matinee ...
by anonenigma
Sat Dec 22, 2018 1:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: MoviePass Update
Replies: 16
Views: 1838

Re: MoviePass Update

Try Sinemia now. If you have a nice AMC Theater , "AMC A List" is an option too https://www.amctheatres.com/amcstubs/alist Most of the films AMC shows aren't of much interest to me. I'll probably sign up for the no-fee Stubs to have access to the $5 Tuesdays. I also read a lot, so I'll likely read ...
by anonenigma
Fri Dec 21, 2018 11:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: MoviePass Update
Replies: 16
Views: 1838

MoviePass Update

It has been a great 11-month run for a retired English teacher in a movie-rich city, but my wife and I cancelled our MoviePass accounts today. For the past few months, Landmark Theatres offered e-ticketing on MoviePass and pretty much became the only cinemas where films could reliably be seen. One c...
by anonenigma
Fri Dec 14, 2018 2:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Defined Benefit Pension Question
Replies: 20
Views: 1808

Re: Defined Benefit Pension Question

For CalSTRS, when I was 56, I was presented the discount factors for 50%, 75% and 100% survivor benefits and elected 75%. When I was close to retirement, six years later, I had second thoughts and thought about switching to 100%. I was shown the discount factor, and it was not nearly as favorable as...
by anonenigma
Sat Dec 08, 2018 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental Car Damage Issue
Replies: 69
Views: 4141

Re: Rental Car Damage Issue

You said it was a third party claim, so damage to someone else's car or property...
by anonenigma
Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Southern California Vacation Questions
Replies: 39
Views: 2098

Re: Southern California Vacation Questions

Depending on traffic, the drive to San Diego can be up to four hours.

Think twice before going to Malibu, significant parts of which recently burned - though the Getty Villa appears to have reopened.
by anonenigma
Sat Dec 01, 2018 2:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 4043
Views: 1101056

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

Elena wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 9:28 pm
I watched Cold war. I enjoyed its folkloric and musical aspect, and its simple elegance. I did not fully understand the plot's development.
Wow - it doesn't open here in Los Angeles until 12/21. Looking forward to it - really liked Ida.
by anonenigma
Wed Nov 28, 2018 2:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIAA: compensation of Wealth Management Advisor
Replies: 22
Views: 2385

Re: TIAA: compensation of Wealth Management Advisor

There have been other threads on this. Out of curiosity, I met with a TIAA WMA several years ago and was very turned off by the pressure tactics. My spreadsheet wasn't enough - he insisted upon copies of account statements. He also spoke about the value, emphasizing tax benefits, of what sounded lik...
by anonenigma
Mon Nov 26, 2018 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 4043
Views: 1101056

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

dm200 wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 2:59 pm
Any feedback on the latest "A Star Is Born" ??
Excellent.
by anonenigma
Sun Nov 25, 2018 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 4043
Views: 1101056

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

Been on quite a run recently, almost all on MoviePass (make the most while it lasts, which shouldn't be much longer): Ballad of Buster Scruggs The Hate U Give Border (Sweden's submission for 2019 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar) A Private War Can You Ever Forgive Me? Green Book Roma (Mexico's submi...
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: 3211

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: 3211

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: 556

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: 2380

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: 74
Views: 4292

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: 74
Views: 4292

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: 3463

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: 736

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: 2542

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: 4318

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: 2092

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: 1291

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: 2148

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: 79
Views: 6737

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: 79
Views: 6737

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: 572

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: 572

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: 572

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: 2148

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: 2148

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: 2148

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: 2148

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: 3387

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: 398

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: 2949

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: 1888

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: 699

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.