Search found 373 matches

by dpc
Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal letters to the sellers of your house can work!!!
Replies: 72
Views: 7454

Re: Personal letters to the sellers of your house can work!!!

We sold our house about three years ago in a great seller's market. We had three offers the first day, two above the asking price - both cash. We got two "heartfelt" letters from the potential buyers about how much they loved the house. We didn't pay much attention to the letters and went with the h...
by dpc
Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash in a local bank or credit union
Replies: 54
Views: 3645

Re: Cash in a local bank or credit union

A bit off-topic, but the events in Puerto Rico remind me that money in a checking account in a local bank or credit union is not cash. Puerto Rico has become a cash economy and the ATMs are out of cash or have no power. I don't have an answer, but something to keep in mind.
by dpc
Sun Aug 06, 2017 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Delta priority boarding - first timer
Replies: 80
Views: 6642

Re: Delta priority boarding - first timer

Interesting to read all the comments about not checking bags. I went through that phase as fairly frequent business traveler, but totally past it now. Unless it is very short trip, I always check my bag. I'm generally carrying a fairly full backpack of laptop and other work-related material that I c...
by dpc
Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Better hurry if you want a gas-engine Volvo
Replies: 96
Views: 5954

Re: Better hurry if you want a gas-engine Volvo

I agree that this is mostly marketing hype and perhaps Volvo's desire to carve out a new niche. Internal combustion engines will be with us for a long time. If you compare energy storage by weight/volume of gasoline or diesel versus storage batteries, the hydrocarbons win by several orders of magnit...
by dpc
Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thinking about the death thing for taking SS
Replies: 17
Views: 1745

Re: Thinking about the death thing for taking SS

There is a fairly good chance that at least one of you will live well beyond 85 unless you know something you haven't shared. The greatest risk of old age is running out of money. Something like 60% of elderly people in nursing homes receive Medicaid and Medicaid pays over 50% of all long-term care ...
by dpc
Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard has switched to brokerage only accounts
Replies: 126
Views: 21710

Re: Vanguard has switched to brokerage only accounts

I'm an extremely lazy investor so I switched to brokerage since I couldn't see going to the hassle of moving my money elsewhere and I was generally happy with Vanguard. In the transition, there were a lot of transactions that occurred but in the end, I don't recall having any major issues. I still d...
by dpc
Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Oh no! The Ohama Titanic Syndrome signal.
Replies: 24
Views: 5226

Re: Oh no! The Ohama Titanic Syndrome signal.

Good thing I listened to CNBC a long time ago and took a 100% cash position in 2009. Just waiting for them to tell me it's safe to get back in the market. 8-)
by dpc
Tue Mar 07, 2017 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Searched forum, unsuccessful, how to find doctors who take Medicare
Replies: 62
Views: 4098

Re: Searched forum, unsuccessful, how to find doctors who take Medicsre

I would start calling local doctors and asking their staff about Medicare. No national database will ever be highly accurate. There is a huge variation by locality. We lived in Corvallis OR for many years. The largest practice (Corvallis Clinic) will not accept new Medicare patients. I thought it wa...
by dpc
Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At what age did you drop life and disability insurance?
Replies: 56
Views: 4896

Re: At what age did you drop life and disability insurance?

Most financial planners will tell you that disability insurance is more important than life insurance if you have dependents. When you're young, you are much more like to become disabled than die. Also, if your company provides disability insurance, I believe the proceeds would be taxable income. If...
by dpc
Mon Mar 06, 2017 6:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At what age did you drop life and disability insurance?
Replies: 56
Views: 4896

Re: At what age did you drop life and disability insurance?

I'm guessing about age 55. Kids out of college, house paid for. Didn't make sense to keep paying the premium. As a friend of mine stated it - why pay for your wife and her next husband to get a windfall.
by dpc
Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace gas water heater with electric?
Replies: 40
Views: 4953

Re: Replace gas water heater with electric?

I'm not worrying about purchase and installation cost But you're worried about energy costs? That seems illogical. Money is money. I'd prefer gas, especially since you have everything in place. Replacement should be straightforward. It will be cheaper in terms of energy costs. That said, if you wan...
by dpc
Wed Feb 22, 2017 2:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you replace your electrical switches/outlets or use an electrician?
Replies: 93
Views: 7018

Re: Do you replace your electrical switches/outlets or use an electrician?

He did not even switch off the circuit breaker - said he did not need to - been an electrician for over 30 years Sigh.... as an electrical safety person, this is always disheartening to hear. Electricity won't care how long he's been an electrician. He absolutely should have de-energized that circu...
by dpc
Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Coupon Code [expired now]
Replies: 23
Views: 2723

Re: Amazon Coupon Code

Also does not apply to Amazon Gift Cards.....
by dpc
Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best way to set up small account for incidentals after Mom passes away?
Replies: 19
Views: 1946

Re: Best way to set up small account for incidentals after Mom passes away?

Agree that a joint checking account is the best solution, assuming there is sufficient trust between siblings. Our dad put my sister and I on his checking account when our mother died. When he died, we could simply write checks as needed. He tried to keep enough money in the checking account to cove...
by dpc
Fri Feb 10, 2017 12:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why don't stock prices go up on payday?
Replies: 43
Views: 4233

Re: Why don't stock prices go up on payday?

Traditionally, for people working in the trades, payday is always Friday. If a contractor were to miss a Friday payroll, there would be - trouble. I suspect this applies to a minority of workers these days.
by dpc
Sat Feb 04, 2017 3:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: online engineering degrees- waste?
Replies: 13
Views: 1945

Re: online engineering degrees- waste?

In terms of career advancement, I don't think you would gain much from another degree. Manufacturing companies are much less focused on degree types. If you wanted to work for an engineering company, an engineering degree from an accredited school is a necessity to qualify as an "engineer"...
by dpc
Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lexus PreCollision Safety System (auto braking)
Replies: 35
Views: 3247

Re: Lexus PreCollision Safety System (auto braking)

The cost per life saved is somewhere over $50,000,000. Source please. Also there are negative consequences, both physical and financial, to automobile accidents beyond fatalities. The question of the utility of auto braking has been discussed before. The differences of opinion and reasons stated ar...
by dpc
Mon Jan 23, 2017 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turned down for Citibank Costco Visa
Replies: 25
Views: 4849

Re: Turned down for Citibank Costco Visa

Anyone who has this card buys their gas at Costco I have the Costco card and almost never buy gas at Costco. But I could be the exception. If someone wants to shop at Costco and pay for the membership, what is the issue with getting their Visa card? And none of this relates to the OPs question anyw...
by dpc
Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: how friends can hurt you financially unintentionally
Replies: 24
Views: 3488

Re: how friends can hurt you financially unintentionally

This is perfect explanation of why I don't give friends investment advice.
by dpc
Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Iphone/Ipad fingerprint signin reasonably secure?
Replies: 57
Views: 5099

Re: Is Iphone/Ipad fingerprint signin reasonably secure?

it is technically easier to obtain your fingerprints than cracking your long password


Just curious if there are any verified cases of this? Plenty of people have been compromised by keystroke loggers.

Don't forget to cover up the camera on your laptop. 8-)
by dpc
Thu Jan 05, 2017 7:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Ponzi Schemes and Ego"
Replies: 10
Views: 1919

Re: "Ponzi Schemes and Ego"

“Our comforting conviction that the world makes sense rests on a secure foundation: our almost unlimited ability to ignore our ignorance.”
― Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow
by dpc
Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime shipping to post office for pickup?
Replies: 18
Views: 7481

Re: Amazon Prime shipping to post office for pickup?

This seems like more of a USPS issue than Amazon. Either they didn't leave a notice or it was lost somehow. I buy a lot from Amazon and of the issues I've had with shipment/delivery, nearly all involve the USPS. Currently waiting on an order that I foolishly selected for "No Rush" shipping...
by dpc
Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Running electrical wire (Romex) on outside of house without conduit. Allowed?
Replies: 29
Views: 8152

Re: Running electrical wire (Romex) on outside of house without conduit. Allowed?

If you want to know if the present installation meets code (it clearly does not, IMO), just contact your local building department and ask their electrical inspector. Was a permit pulled when this was installed? The local inspector is the "Authority Having Jurisdiction" or AHJ in NEC-speak...
by dpc
Mon Jan 02, 2017 1:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: This is a good weekend to start tracking your net worth.
Replies: 69
Views: 6448

Re: This is a good weekend to start tracking your net worth.

It would be kind of an unusual situation for a mortgage balance to exceed total NW wouldn't it I suspect there were millions of people in that situation in 2009. A lot of people still have no savings, but have car loans, mortgages, and credit card debt. Bogleheads is not a representative sample of ...
by dpc
Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Shipping Large Items Cross-Country?
Replies: 10
Views: 1259

Re: Shipping Large Items Cross-Country?

There are moving companies that specialize in shipping furniture cross-country. I did this recently for some of my father's furniture after he died. My thoughts: I would expect the shipping costs to exceed the value of the wine barrels. If shipped common-carrier as freight, you'll need to specify li...
by dpc
Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you track your finances?
Replies: 79
Views: 8047

Re: How do you track your finances?

Basically, I don't. I look at my investment and banking accounts online but rarely change anything. I look over each credit card statement but have them all on autopay. Every so often I transfer some money to our checking account. I review the bank statements for anything surprising, but I don't bal...
by dpc
Tue Dec 20, 2016 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The True Cost of Owning a Dog
Replies: 176
Views: 16692

Re: Cost of dog ownership.

Anyone who is compelled to attempt to calculate the total cost of pet ownership should definitely not get one. Just send an annual contribution for half of your projected annual cost to your local animal shelter and we'll all be better off.
by dpc
Tue Dec 20, 2016 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Pilot vs Toyota Highlander?
Replies: 67
Views: 13655

Re: Honda Pilot vs Toyota Highlander?

What is wrong with it? Did you wreck it? What's included in the $5k?!? What else would be needed?


Calm yourself and give the OP the benefit of the doubt. It's not too hard to get to a $5000 repair bill these days.
by dpc
Mon Dec 19, 2016 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Pilot vs Toyota Highlander?
Replies: 67
Views: 13655

Re: Honda Pilot vs Toyota Highlander?

I have a 2012 Pilot and it's been a good vehicle. I like the new Pilots - I believe the lower end models (without leather) have a 6-speed transmission as standard. But I can't really speak to problems or issues with the newer Pilots. Ours has been good. Highway mileage is good (26 or 27), but mileag...
by dpc
Fri Dec 16, 2016 6:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell phone carriers (looking to switch)
Replies: 34
Views: 2714

Re: Cell phone carriers (looking to switch)

There are a lot of incentives being offered to switch, including phones. My only warning is to check the coverage at your home and make sure you can cancel your new plan if coverage is not good. Maybe in NYC it's all good, but the three most important things in cell phones are coverage, coverage, co...
by dpc
Thu Dec 15, 2016 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare IRMAA
Replies: 7
Views: 908

Re: Medicare IRMAA

I appealed mine, got it reduced, then recently got a letter stating that they looked at my 2015 tax return and found that I made more money than I estimated (don't think this is true) and re-instated the IRMAA. For me, it's not worth trying to appeal it again. I'll pay it and hopefully it will event...
by dpc
Wed Dec 14, 2016 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: On-line order, in-store pickup
Replies: 27
Views: 2694

Re: On-line order, in-store pickup

I've done this a few times and it's generally worked fine. Home Depot was fine. West Marine was OK - they don't charge your card until you pick it up. Assuming you went to the Customer Service desk at Home Depot? I will agree there are a lot of clueless people working at Home Depot, especially in la...
by dpc
Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2nd cell phone in different area code
Replies: 13
Views: 1930

Re: 2nd cell phone in different area code

I only wanted to add that the issue of "area code" is becoming less and less important. The young people working for me before I retired often kept their cell phone number even after relocating across the country. Most people have nationwide plans for their cell phones and most landlines n...
by dpc
Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I buy a new car for safety's sake?
Replies: 152
Views: 8457

Re: Should I buy a new car for safety's sake?

I knew this was going to be a snow tire thread in the end. 8-)


Dave
by dpc
Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wisdom of saving money and buying a cheaper ultrabook- specifically Thinkpad 13
Replies: 18
Views: 1784

Re: Wisdom of saving money and buying a cheaper ultrabook- specifically Thinkpad 13

Very happy with my Acer Aspire S7 UltraBook. But it was a higher end machine when I got it a couple of years ago. The solid-state hard drive is the only way to go. Unless you like buying new computers or on a limited budget, I wouldn't skimp. Extra RAM and larger SS HD have worked well for me. Good ...
by dpc
Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas range and refrigerator suggestions?
Replies: 13
Views: 1329

Re: Gas range and refrigerator suggestions?

Regarding the gas range, anecdotally we had a horrible experience with Samsung on a gas range. Customer service was absolutely terrible. Based on this experience, I will never buy another Samsung product. Your mileage may vary, of course. The range we purchased was highly rated in CR.
by dpc
Fri Nov 18, 2016 2:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to get iPhone screen replaced
Replies: 23
Views: 2157

Re: Where to get iPhone screen replaced

If you are close to an Apple Store, I'd set up an appointment and take it there. Probably the safest bet. Of course, I take my car to the dealer for service as well. I broke my screen on a new 6S, but we live nowhere close to an Apple Store. I happened to be in downtown LA on business last week, so ...
by dpc
Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Battery backup for cable modem and router.
Replies: 36
Views: 5328

Re: Battery backup for cable modem and router.

There is no assurance that the cable system will be operational in the event of local power outage. Their repeaters and amplifiers probably have no emergency power. It may still be working, but you can't depend on it. There is no telephone central station with a huge room full of batteries. If you g...
by dpc
Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: which engineering major for renewables
Replies: 62
Views: 5196

Re: which engineering major for renewables

Another EE here. I tend to do an eye roll when someone is totally focused on "renewables", so take my comments for what they are worth. Your son is clearly pretty bright so he can probably succeed in about any engineering field if he is interested in math and science, with a little account...
by dpc
Sun Oct 30, 2016 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Declining Service Expectations. Are there any excellent companies still out there?
Replies: 81
Views: 7889

Re: Declining Service Expectations. Are there any excellent companies still out there?

Nordstroms
Amazon
Apple
Our local Toyota and Honda dealers are great.
Les Schwab Tires (Pacific NW)
Hilton Hotels
by dpc
Sat Oct 22, 2016 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Samsung Exploding Washing Machines & CPSC Involvement
Replies: 51
Views: 7377

Re: Samsung Exploding Washing Machines & CPSC Involvement

All I can add is good luck dealing with Samsung customer support. We bought a Samsung gas range last year that had a major gas leak as soon as it was connected. Getting Samsung (and Home Depot) to resolve it was a truly horrible experience.

No new Samsung products for me. Ever.
by dpc
Thu Oct 06, 2016 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Part B Billing
Replies: 12
Views: 1237

Re: Medicare Part B Billing

So apparently the solution was just to post a question on BH. I received a bill today from CMS. I guess I had overpaid more than I realized prior to the IRMAA appeal and kept sending the same amount for a few additional months. After I stopped making payments in June, I finally end up with balance d...
by dpc
Wed Oct 05, 2016 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Part B Billing
Replies: 12
Views: 1237

Re: Medicare Part B Billing

The payments go to CMS. I think questions on Part B payments have to go through SS. You contact Medicare if you have questions on claims, etc. But I'm not actually 100% sure. My IRMAA reduction should have resulted in a credit being issued - never saw it - but it would not have been sufficient to co...
by dpc
Wed Oct 05, 2016 2:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Part B Billing
Replies: 12
Views: 1237

Medicare Part B Billing

A dumb question for those of you on Medicare but not collecting SS: Do you receive a monthly bill for the Medicare Part B payment. I was receiving bills, but successfully appealed my IRRMA penalty. Since then I have not received a new bill or statement of any kind. This was at least six months ago. ...
by dpc
Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Beginner trader looking for a little guidance with my SIMPLE IRA
Replies: 9
Views: 682

Re: Beginner trader looking for a little guidance with my SIMPLE IRA

Also, I believe that Admiral and ETF shares are not available in Vanguard SIMPLE plans


Not sure about ETFs, but definitely no Admiral shares in SIMPLE IRAs with Vanguard.
SIMPLE plans are generally administered by the company you work for. Are you self-employed?
by dpc
Tue Sep 27, 2016 9:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: latest scandal has me thinking of leaving Wells Fargo
Replies: 36
Views: 4324

Re: latest scandal has me thinking of leaving Wells Fargo

Take your money and run to a local credit union. They're not perfect, but a major improvement over a mega-bank.

How anyone could remain a WF customer after watching Mr. Stumpf's performance is beyond me.
by dpc
Tue Sep 27, 2016 6:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smartphone Case
Replies: 15
Views: 1112

Re: Smartphone Case

Depends on how you use and carry your phone. I find the iPhone slippery to hold without case. I've used simple bumpers (no front, no back) for many years. Works for me. The bumper also gets the back of the phone off whatever surface you set it on. For my new phone, I tried an Otterbox, based on reco...
by dpc
Tue Sep 27, 2016 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Comcast incorrectly told us there was an internet line - now what? - solved
Replies: 47
Views: 3859

Re: Comcast incorrectly told us there was an internet line - now what?

There is a phone line here but no one willing to offer dsl through that line There are technical limitations to DSL over phone lines - mostly related to the distance between your location and telephone central office. Other issues are the quality of the of the line. Since it sounds like your new pl...
by dpc
Mon Sep 26, 2016 1:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When to collect Social Security - Please check my logic
Replies: 16
Views: 2638

Re: When to collect Social Security - Please check my logic

I agree with the previous comments that a break-even analysis is not the way to evaluate your SS strategy. The biggest risk of retirement is longevity risk - running out of money. If you die before age 70, you'll be dead - you're not going to care about missing out on a few SS payments. If you live ...
by dpc
Sun Sep 25, 2016 1:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental Cars
Replies: 22
Views: 2364

Re: Rental Cars

You might check your local car dealers. We've gotten some good rates for local rentals from dealers.