Search found 1358 matches

by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Southeast Asia trip - Cash handling
Replies: 19
Views: 1259

Re: Southeast Asia trip - Cash handling

I was recently in China. Never used cash for anything. Everyone else was using various forms of paying with a cell phone, so they didn't use cash either. You know, like Apple Pay and the home-grown equivalents. So do SEA countries use cell phones for payments? Indeed, I am just back from a quick 2-...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ASUS Student Chromebook - thoughts?
Replies: 22
Views: 1139

Re: ASUS Student Chromebook - thoughts?

Just a side note for anybody shopping. I followed the above link to Costco and that model does look good. My ebates app popped up and told me that the same model was available for $47 less at jet.com with free shipping and a few percent rebate if you have ebates so a few more dollars saved. So just...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ASUS Student Chromebook - thoughts?
Replies: 22
Views: 1139

Re: ASUS Student Chromebook - thoughts?

There is a web-based Skype that works fine on Chrome OS.

And for the real adventuresome, you can always install Linux on a Chromebook.
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ASUS Student Chromebook - thoughts?
Replies: 22
Views: 1139

Re: ASUS Student Chromebook - thoughts?

What they WONT do is the following: Play DVDs, even if you get an external DVD player. If you Dad has a DVD collection he wants to view he needs a regular PC or Mac laptop. The Chrome software doesn't support DVD playback so you can't work around the lack of drive by just getting an external drive....
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS application at 70, 1st of the month birthdate
Replies: 2
Views: 454

SS application at 70, 1st of the month birthdate

I have searched but there is enough somewhat conflicting information that I seek clarification, sorry for the redundancy. I turn 70 on February 1 and want to maximize my monthly benefit. Some past posts seem to indicate that I should apply to receive benefits as of January given my first of the Febr...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chromebook/Similar for Elderly Dad
Replies: 30
Views: 1783

Re: Chromebook/Similar for Elderly Dad

I have been a happy Chromebook user for some years, older Acer model. Keyboard and screen don't match up to my Thinkpad but it works fine for almost all of my activities (exceptions are taxes and some spreadsheets). One big disqualifier, likely not an issue for the OP. I am today just back from a tw...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why pay cash for a car?
Replies: 179
Views: 14648

Re: Why pay cash for a car?

If the rate is low enough to be attractive, it is being subsidized by the auto maker. If you go all cash, you can get some of that subsidy in the form of a price reduction.
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal letters to the sellers of your house can work!!!
Replies: 72
Views: 7261

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

Put me down as one who is skeptical about the value of most so-called home inspections. There may be exceptions but... One example, my son and daughter-in-law were buying a house and we were all there during the house inspection. I followed the inspectors around, they didn't do much more than flip s...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Business Laptop Suggestions Request
Replies: 36
Views: 2969

Re: Business Laptop Suggestions Request

I am curious why not a Mac? I am typing this on a Lenova Yoga 2 Pro which I would not recommend due to unresolved flickering issues and pre-installed malware ("superfish"). We have two of these machines, bought around the same time, and we got them because they have high resolution and touch screen...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Morningstar: Cognitive decline in aging. A strong case for portfolio simplification?
Replies: 98
Views: 7715

Re: Morningstar: Cognitive decline in aging. A strong case for portfolio simplification?

Pssst. "Apple, table, penny." How many people know what I am talking about? Zen question: is it really cheating to know the answer to a memory test by heart? You're not really supposed to remember the three items after you leave the office. And you're not supposed to teach everyone the only three t...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best strategy for selling cell phone on Ebay?
Replies: 27
Views: 1421

Re: Best strategy for selling cell phone on Ebay?

I have sold and purchased phones on swappa.com, I suggest them over ebay and their terms of engagement take care of most of your questions. Once I purchased a phone and it was plagued by the LG G5 looping problem, no issue it getting the sale reversed and my money refunded, Ebay on the other hand, i...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Business Laptop Suggestions Request
Replies: 36
Views: 2969

Re: Business Laptop Suggestions Request

Another endorsement of ThinkPads, I have used them since 1990, great durability, decent depot service, and an array of accessories. The MacBooks fail on the last count, I use a docking station with my X230 and can attach a great number of accessories with a variety of connections, even going back de...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Card - Should I get a Replacement
Replies: 47
Views: 2704

Re: Social Security Card - Should I get a Replacement

For those of us in border states to the north, driving to Canada to visit friends, have dinner, see a show, etc. is often a spontaneous act. Not having to think about packing a passport and knowing that my driver's license is always with me, avoids complications. Of course, I go back to the time whe...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: China visa service recommendations
Replies: 5
Views: 399

China visa service recommendations

Looking to get a China visa, no longer able to get to NY to do it in person. The various services have different prices and seem to recommend different documentation. If it matters, I am seeking an F, multi-entry, 10-year visa. I have had numerous F visas in the past and this seems within the realm ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Card - Should I get a Replacement
Replies: 47
Views: 2704

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
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pressure washer with telescoping wand and bleach spray
Replies: 10
Views: 805

Re: Pressure washer with telescoping wand and bleach spray

You don't say what kind of siding but I'm going to assume it is plastic. You never want to spray your siding with a pressure washer if you are below the bottom lip of the siding. The pressure can force water up underneath the siding and cause mold and damage to your sheathing. You always want to be...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budgets: how do you track irregular income and expenses
Replies: 35
Views: 2502

Re: Budgets: how do you track irregular income and expenses

livesoft wrote:
Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:37 pm
We don't have a monthly budget any more. We use a yearly budget, sort of.
Never did a budget, even during the early years. Spent what we had to, saved the rest. As time went by accumulated surplus and would take a vacation or eat out more often.
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: "We can't complete your transaction at this time" Vanguard
Replies: 2
Views: 531

"We can't complete your transaction at this time" Vanguard

I have an orphan Roth at Vanguard, have overlooked it a when I got a notice that I was about to lose Flagship on it a logged on and attempted to move it to my "non-orphan" Roht. Got the message included in the title, told to call. I call and the rep has the same problem, puts me on hold for 10 minut...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Sep 28, 2017 5:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Accidentally Underpaid Income Taxes – Please Advise
Replies: 8
Views: 822

Re: Accidentally Underpaid Income Taxes – Please Advise

Check Publication 17 to see if safe harbor(s) apply to you?? (But your tax software or account should take care of that.) There is no safe harbor in this situation, safe harbor applies for underpayments that are either the amount you paid last year OR something like 90% of what is owed. The actual ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you subscribe to digital newspapers?
Replies: 80
Views: 4550

Re: Do you subscribe to digital newspapers?

BC_Doc wrote:
Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:24 am
I subscribe to the NYT online for $4.00 per month for an academic subscription (faculty rate).
How come I am paying $10 a month for the faculty rate??
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Sep 24, 2017 1:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do I retain check writing on bond fund?
Replies: 21
Views: 1874

Re: How do I retain check writing on bond fund?

Are they changing the bank through which it clears??

Will the grandparent in current, active users?

Just a thought
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Sep 22, 2017 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gaps in new hardwood flooring
Replies: 52
Views: 3455

Re: Gaps in new hardwood flooring

Am I correct these floors are not pre-finished, but will be sanded and some finish coat applied? If so, the "gaps" will likely become less noticeable, but a credit card should not fit in the gap. To my eye, this looks to be pre-finished. It also looks like the installer did not do all that could be...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sticky family/parental care situation...long post
Replies: 19
Views: 2129

Re: Sticky family/parental care situation...long post

Awt198 wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2017 6:24 am
Caregiver gets 24,000 under table. Tax free, plus her disability, she has a good gig.
If you think this taking care of an elderly individual with a terminal disease is a "good gig" you might leave your current employment and give it a go, it is way short of a "good gig".
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare patients pay FAR MORE at 1300 rural Critical Access Hospitals
Replies: 55
Views: 3706

Re: Medicare patients pay FAR MORE at 1300 rural Critical Access Hospitals

Medicare also pays billions each year to train new doctors through residencies, that are mostly at large, university-affiliated medical centers. You never see this subsidy on the bill.

https://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013 ... -training/
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: US removing Kaspersky Antivirus from government computers
Replies: 38
Views: 3672

Re: US removing Kaspersky Antivirus from government computers

In 2016, I bought a laptop so that I could communicate with family when on an overseas trip. The laptop was a Lenovo and Kaspersky was the protective firewall and anti-virus software. I suppose everything I did got transmitted to the Chinese via a secret chip imbedded in the motherboard and the Rus...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turned down for umbrella insurance
Replies: 57
Views: 5868

Re: Turned down for umbrella insurance

When I first got umbrella insurance a decade or so ago, we were turned down by Ameriprise because they had discovered that my wife and I taught 6 months each year in China. Geico had no problems writing the policy.
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: US removing Kaspersky Antivirus from government computers
Replies: 38
Views: 3672

Re: US removing Kaspersky Antivirus from government computers

I use AVG Free on my Mac. Never a single virus in ~5years. Prior to that I had Windows and every virus protection under the sun. The machine was still infected every so often. I highly recommend running a Mac. 22 years using Windows, never a single virus, I have used a variety of free programs, I h...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?
Replies: 43
Views: 3011

Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

I have never bought a lottery ticket but... When my then 16 yo son had a job in a mini-mart. he would come home expressing surprise at the number of people who would come in and buy beer, cigarettes, and lottery tickets. Often they were driving clapped out vehicles. It offered an opportunity for a g...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High-Deductible Health Plan vs. Peace of Mind
Replies: 42
Views: 4451

Re: High-Deductible Health Plan vs. Peace of Mind

Buy as much insurance as you need... Can you readily pay the deductible and out of pocket max if necessary? It is always of interest to me that we calculate things for health insurance differently from auto/home insurance. It underscores the absurdity of using an insurance mechanism but that is way ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Aug 30, 2017 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Beginner Mountain Bike
Replies: 59
Views: 3412

Re: Beginner Mountain Bike

The many threads about this topic elicit three different sorts of responses: 1: Buy a used Craigslist bike, big discount over new. The big drawback, in my opinion, is that if you know from shinola about bikes you may buy something with a cracked frame, worn out shock, beat on bottom bracket or wheel...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Aug 26, 2017 7:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tablets for hospital patients - Chromebook?
Replies: 3
Views: 564

Re: Tablets for hospital patients - Chromebook?

The one advantage to going with iPads is that it is likely that a majority of family members will have iPhones and apple-to-apple photo sharing and video conferencing with facetime is extremely slick and easy. But that would only make sense if each patient had their own permanent device. If you are...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a used Tesla
Replies: 18
Views: 2408

Re: Buying a used Tesla

And for vehicles whose in service date is before 1/5/2017, there is free, unlimited access to the network of superchargers.

There are some workarounds to get this even if you buy new after 1/5/2017, something about getting a referral from a Tesla owner
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental car booted for prior unpaid parking tickets
Replies: 31
Views: 3738

Re: Rental car booted for prior unpaid parking tickets

For what its worth, I rented from Hertz on an East Coast road trip late last year. We apparently did not pay a toll somewhere along the way and a ticket/fine was sent to Hertz. To their credit (and my chagrin) they were right on it and told us they would be adding $28 to the associated cc bill unle...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Aug 21, 2017 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Automatic IRA distribution, Fidelity and ETFs
Replies: 1
Views: 228

Automatic IRA distribution, Fidelity and ETFs

I recently helped an older relative transfer from an "advisor" at Fidelity to a self-managed account. Among other things it meant liquidating 18 (!) funds; since it was all in an IRA no tax issues. As a foreigner to Fidelity I searched out the three-fund option and bought them in ETF form. Now I fin...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Aug 17, 2017 6:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Want to give money to relative traveling int'l - options?
Replies: 19
Views: 1262

Re: Want to give money to relative traveling int'l - options?

What is the "impracticality" of traveling with cash?
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Aug 17, 2017 6:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Leasing a vehicle
Replies: 22
Views: 3371

Re: Leasing a vehicle

at Gamma Ray wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 2:54 pm
It will be fun to see what happens if Volvo goes through with their plan of going all electric in 2020.


What Volvo said has been widely reported incorrectly:

[url]https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/05/busi ... c-car.html[/url
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CIT Bank 1.3% online savings + $100 bonus
Replies: 5
Views: 1058

Re: CIT Bank 1.3% online savings + $100 bonus

The thing that annoys me about CIT is that once you have an account opened your rate does NOT increase when they offer increased rates to new customers. I just moved $150k from there, I was back at a .95% rate!
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Puts Rivals on Notice: Fee Wars Will Only Heat Up
Replies: 62
Views: 6495

Re: Vanguard Puts Rivals on Notice: Fee Wars Will Only Heat Up

Interesting discussion...

In my experience, having been with Vanguard for about 40 years and seen by portfolio rise beyond all expectations (not Vanguard's doing, just thrifty and a rising market), I have never received any solicitation from them for anything.

Chopped liver or what??
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What Would You Do- Brokerage Transfer?
Replies: 9
Views: 526

Re: What Would You Do- Brokerage Transfer?

I am unclear how a "correction" in the market would help. Let's say you have funds worth $100k now with a basis of $75k. If you are in the 15% capital gains bracket you will pay $3750 in taxes and have $96250 to invest (without the advisor fee). If you get a correction and the value goes down to $75...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Model 3 or Chevy Bolt?
Replies: 330
Views: 35101

Re: Tesla Model 3 or Chevy Bolt?

Longdog wrote: I have a feeling Tesla will start to include the enhanced autopilot feature as standard once the Federal tax credit ends, to compensate for that loss.
I have also thought that some adjustment in the standard specs would be made as the rebate goes away. It seems to be too sharp a financial cliff.
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap notebook for surfing/watching videos
Replies: 18
Views: 1686

Re: Cheap notebook for surfing/watching videos

iPad is still the best bet for seniors. Apple has always built their hardware around an intuitive UI. Chromebooks will be a huge headache for the non-techy person as soon as they run into some incompatibility issue. iPads are more expensive for sure, but worth it for fewer headaches. My 82-year-old...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Jul 27, 2017 9:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: mutual fund dividends not being sent to bank
Replies: 5
Views: 629

Re: mutual fund dividends not being sent to bank

The switch to the new brokerage "broke" the old instructions of directing dividends to an outside account. This has been documented here in past threads.

Just go to the site and instruct that you want dividends forward to an outside linked account and all will be good.
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Potential Move to the Upper Valley, NH
Replies: 24
Views: 1851

Re: Potential Move to the Upper Valley, NH

Tons of outdoor stuff: Hiking, Skiing, water sports. Hanover has quite a bit of cultural stuff especially during the school year. New London has a pretty good theater scene. For school systems the only two in the area that are public I would consider: Hanover a great school, has a very rich entitle...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dutch Elm Disease looming, maybe. Should I fight it?
Replies: 15
Views: 1726

Re: Dutch Elm Disease looming, maybe. Should I fight it?

Friends of ours in the Champlain Valley, Vermont have a huge, healthy American Elm in their yard even though all the other elms in the area were wiped out long ago. They have had researchers come out and examine the tree, I think it is being used in some small way to develop a Dutch Elm-resistant st...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Apple iMac problem?
Replies: 49
Views: 3444

Re: Apple iMac problem?

You did state that you were considering a new machine?? You are essentially using a browser and email??

Buy a Chromebook, they just work! :D
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road vehicle, 4 adults, one car seat, must it be a minivan?
Replies: 43
Views: 2744

Re: Road vehicle, 4 adults, one car seat, must it be a minivan?

TareNeko wrote:Mazda 5. Smallest "van" that can fit 6 people. It's the same length as Golf Sportwagon, weighs a bit more.
Funny you mention that, the Mazda5 had been my recommended choice for young families and with its demise there is nothing comprable.
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road vehicle, 4 adults, one car seat, must it be a minivan?
Replies: 43
Views: 2744

Re: Road vehicle, 4 adults, one car seat, must it be a minivan?

Thanks for the comments; with all the vehicles out there no one really suits me to own, day in, day out. I was reminded while on granddaughter duty yesterday that not only is the width an issue (fine for trips less than 3 hours) but the space between the infant seat and the back of the front seat. T...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road noise in 2017 Honda CRV?
Replies: 32
Views: 5347

Re: Road noise in 2017 Honda CRV?

I have a passing familiarity with the 2017 CRV but do know that much road noise (as opposed to engine/wind noise) is dependent on the tires. I have experience with other vehicles that changing the tires to ones that ride quieter, made a big difference.
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road vehicle, 4 adults, one car seat, must it be a minivan?
Replies: 43
Views: 2744

Re: Road vehicle, 4 adults, one car seat, must it be a minivan?

Buy something you want and rent a bigger vehicle when needed for road trips. If you must buy, any 3-row Japanese SUV would suffice. That has been my Plan B all along :D A minivan is possible a large SUV is definitely an 86! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/86_(term) I did state "engaging" an SUV (espe...