Search found 79 matches

by LAbob
Tue Jan 21, 2014 6:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: hybrid cars
Replies: 55
Views: 4912

Re: hybrid cars

If you live where they are offered, take a serious look at the Chevy Volt. Unlike the other plug-in hybrids, it is a parallel hybrid, meaning that the drivetrain in purely electric, and the gas engine just comes on to charge the batteries after the (approx.) 40 mile electric-only range is exceeded. ...
by LAbob
Sun Nov 10, 2013 8:50 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Any LDS Bogleheads out there? [Latter Day Saints]
Replies: 21
Views: 3388

Re: Any LDS Bogleheads out there? [Latter Day Saints]

02sbxstr wrote:I continue to be amazed at the attention paid to LDS people. They are just the same as your next door neighbors. ... they are not proselitizers, in short, they are ideal Americans.
[OT comments removed by admin LadyGeek]
by LAbob
Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best HSA Strategy
Replies: 6
Views: 1480

Re: Best HSA Strategy

I'd save it in an HSA to avoid paying tax on it. It can still be used for non-covered medical and dental expenses, hearing aids, etc. I checked the HealthEquity website, am puzzled by a lack of fee disclosure, and assume they make it on the brokerage fees and, perhaps, fund fees. For what its worth,...
by LAbob
Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boston this weekend
Replies: 25
Views: 2484

Re: Boston this weekend

I lived in Boston many years ago and recently went back to visit. I loved Regina's (pizza) in the North End, and Mike's Pastry (also in the North End) when I lived there, and are both still great!! (And the North End is where the "one if by land, two if by sea" lanterns were lit for Paul Revere.) Ri...
by LAbob
Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Birthdate and first social security payment
Replies: 46
Views: 71375

Re: Birthdate and first social security payment

And the confusion continues. So here's a tip. I found my payments arrived on seemingly random dates; after calling them, I learned that it's paid (in my case) on the 4th Wednesday each month.
by LAbob
Mon Aug 05, 2013 2:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is the Role of TIPS in Your Portfolio?
Replies: 71
Views: 6175

Re: What is the Role of TIPS in Your Portfolio?

Very helpful, G. Thank you.
by LAbob
Mon Aug 05, 2013 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric cars (full electrics and plug-in hybrids)
Replies: 69
Views: 10058

Re: Electric cars (full electrics and plug-in hybrids)

The major cost from what I understand are battery, brakes, and tires......anyway..... FWIW, I've been driving electric for about 13 years...first with the EV1, and then with the RAV4-EV (currently at 85,000 miles and running like new). Zero maintenance cost except tires for 13 years, except for one...
by LAbob
Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is the Role of TIPS in Your Portfolio?
Replies: 71
Views: 6175

Re: What is the Role of TIPS in Your Portfolio?

What's the consensus on VIPSX vs. the short-term TIPS fund, VTIPX?
by LAbob
Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is This Normal Service For Ally?
Replies: 1
Views: 530

Is This Normal Service For Ally?

I decided to put some of my Vanguard SEP money into CD's at Ally in a new IRA to be set up. Following a telephone call to them in which I explained my intent to transfer SEP money, I completed and faxed the downloaded forms to them, mailing the originals. Two day later, I received a phone call telli...
by LAbob
Tue Jun 25, 2013 6:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: SEP To Traditional IRA Conversion
Replies: 4
Views: 355

Re: SEP To Traditional IRA Conversion

Thanks once again, Alan. I appreciate the help.
by LAbob
Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: SEP To Traditional IRA Conversion
Replies: 4
Views: 355

Re: SEP To Traditional IRA Conversion

Thank you, Alan. "roll over" is the term I should have used.

The purpose was to purchase CDs with some of the money sitting at Vanguard.

BTW do I correctly assume that, if I go forward, I can roll the funds back into my Vanguard SEP in the future (unless the rules change of course)?
by LAbob
Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: SEP To Traditional IRA Conversion
Replies: 4
Views: 355

SEP To Traditional IRA Conversion

Ally Bank has belatedly advised that they will only accept a transfer from my SEP IRA into a Traditional IRA (that they will set up for me). I am self-employed. Are there any reasons NOT to set up a Traditional IRA for the transfer? For example, limitations or complications down the road with post-r...
by LAbob
Tue May 28, 2013 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Roku-ing & TV issues
Replies: 23
Views: 3006

Re: Roku-ing & TV issues

Democracy Now is a pretty good progressive news channel. TED talks are also pretty interesting
by LAbob
Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [stopping] Telemarketers
Replies: 29
Views: 2255

Re: Telemarketers

When I have a moment, I love to act real interested and repeatedly ask them to repeat and talk louder because their voice is coming across very soft. Within a short time, I have them yelling and out of breath, at which point I say "no thank you" and hang up.
by LAbob
Thu Apr 18, 2013 4:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medigap Plan G vs Plan F?
Replies: 107
Views: 33295

Re: Medigap Plan G vs Plan F?

If you change from Plan F to Plan F-HD, is there a problem down the road in switching back to Plan F during an open enrollment period if you, at that point, find you have high medical expenses?
by LAbob
Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Social Security - Why Delay ?
Replies: 145
Views: 7704

Re: Social Security - Why Delay ?

If you wait to start it, the annual payment amount will increase 8% per year of delay. Where are you getting that kind of return these days? I do not think that the 8% is a "return". A "return" assumes you also get back your principal. Here, there is no principal; you simply get more per month late...
by LAbob
Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Jumbo Loan Mortgage Providers
Replies: 15
Views: 1859

Re: Jumbo Loan Mortgage Providers

+1 for First Internet Bank.
by LAbob
Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 3 Methods to Get the Most Out of Social Security
Replies: 23
Views: 3051

Re: 3 Methods to Get the Most Out of Social Security

What I have not seen discussed is the break-even point for deferring benefits. If you defer from age 66 to age 70, there are 48 months for which you have collected nothing. How long does it take before the "extra" payment compensates you for the 48 months of zero? My calculation was that it takes ab...
by LAbob
Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to stop friends/family from jumping in/out of the mkt?
Replies: 58
Views: 3346

Re: How to stop friends/family from jumping in/out of the mk

Treat them to a copy of William Bernstein's book, The Intelligent Asset Allocator or his prior book, Four Pillars of Investing. I found he explained it all in ways that really made sense even when at times the result was counter-intuitive. They completely changed my investment behavior.
by LAbob
Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good movies to stream on Netflix
Replies: 37
Views: 5184

Re: Good movies to stream on Netflix

I know you said "no TV", but Breaking Bad, The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret , TED Talks: Smart Laughs, and Wilfred are much better than standard TV fare, and I found the first two seasons of 30 Rock to be pretty imaginative. As for movie streaming, try Swimming with Sharks (a close-t...
by LAbob
Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: NetFlix vs Amazon Prime vs Hulu Plus
Replies: 40
Views: 12040

Re: NetFlix vs Amazon Prime vs Hulu Plus

Forget them all for the next week, and watch "Borgen" online at http://www.linktv.org/borgen . A Danish TV series filled with political maneuvering and intrigue that is absolutely addictive and treats its viewers as intelligent adults. (Both seasons are being streamed for about the next week or so o...
by LAbob
Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: chosing an attorney
Replies: 12
Views: 1493

Re: chosing an attorney

Two suggestions: ask her bank manager for a referral, or ask her doctor who he uses. The first likely deals with them and the second is likely someone she trusts and who has one he/she trusts.
by LAbob
Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's Your Favorite Hot Sauce?
Replies: 84
Views: 5654

Re: What's Your Favorite Hot Sauce?

I guarantee that if you can get your hands on Maria Sharp's (made in Belize) you will never look back. It is incredible, and many of my friends and workmates have become addicted to it. It's available at Light My Fire at their store here in LA (Farmers Market at 3rd/Fairfax) and also via their websi...
by LAbob
Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds: Bernstein vs. Swedroe and Ferri
Replies: 96
Views: 13759

Re: Bonds: Bernstein vs. Swedroe and Ferri

I'm glad someone posted this because that has been a nagging question in my mind as well. I went "Bogle" after reading Dr. Bernstein's two books on asset allocation (which I have followed pretty faithfully for the past 5 years or so after terminating my advisor), and have been staying "short-term" d...
by LAbob
Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Learning to Speak Chinese
Replies: 49
Views: 6302

Re: Learning to Speak Chinese

FWIW, I used the Plimseur CD's (Mandarin I, 2 and 3). It was a great way to learn vocabulary and phrases, but I discovered that my tones were way off, since there was nobody to correct me. Chinese is a tonal language, and I cannot over-emphasize the importance of combining self-study with a knowledg...
by LAbob
Mon Jul 09, 2012 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question about DSL service
Replies: 8
Views: 1211

Re: Question about DSL service

Try speakeasy.net
I've used them for many years with zero complaints for both home and office
by LAbob
Sun Jul 08, 2012 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: area under the deck
Replies: 29
Views: 3732

Re: area under the deck

Building a model of Stonehenge for Spinal Tap?
by LAbob
Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vegetable Gardening
Replies: 99
Views: 12043

Re: Vegetable Gardening

Interesting article re garden hose contaminants. I may switch to one of the potable-water hoses available at boating supply stores or buy one of the hoses listed in the article. http://www.alternet.org/health/155718/health_dangers_in_your_hose%3A_are_you_watering_your_garden_with_endocrine_disruptor...
by LAbob
Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need a good HSA provider
Replies: 30
Views: 4114

Re: Need a good HSA provider

Stanford Federal Credit Union. https://www.sfcu.org/personal/savings/hsa

1.5%, no monthly fees. As I recall, you have to join the Friends of Palo Alto Library ($25?) if you are not a member of one of the listed organizations.
by LAbob
Sat May 12, 2012 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawnmower recommendations?
Replies: 28
Views: 3958

Re: Lawnmower recommendations?

Manual push mower! Small lawn and way less weight; it's a natural, and emission-free to boot. That's what I've used for 10+ years.
by LAbob
Sat May 12, 2012 7:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Health Supplement question
Replies: 32
Views: 2842

Re: Medicare Health Supplement question

In my opinion, you did the right thing. After putting in way more time than I probably should have, I did what you did: traditional Medicare plus Medigap (specifically, "Plan "F") and the drug plan ("D"). My MBA partner independently ended up doing the same (which confirmed my choice in my mind).
by LAbob
Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vegetable Gardening
Replies: 99
Views: 12043

Re: Vegetable Gardening

Are there any good simple, basic books on starting a garden? I found How To Grow More Vegetable by John Jeavons to be really helpful when I started a few years ago..especially the "double dig" approach to soil preparation. Its easiest to start small and expand each year if you want to. Over the yea...
by LAbob
Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Natural Lawn Care?
Replies: 23
Views: 3780

Re: Natural Lawn Care?

I second everything Livesoft says. Been doing it that way for many years with success, and water once a week for an hour with a lawn sprinkler. Also, I release ladybugs 2-3 times/year, green lacewings 1-2 times per year and decollate snails (which eat the eggs of slugs and snails as well as young sn...
by LAbob
Sat Mar 24, 2012 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vegetable Gardening
Replies: 99
Views: 12043

Re: Vegetable Gardening

imagardener wrote:I'm in south Florida. Our best growing season starts after hurricane season is over, say October-November and runs through May or when the heat starts up again.
I'd think eggplants and peppers would do really well in the heat there, no?
by LAbob
Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vegetable Gardening
Replies: 99
Views: 12043

Re: Vegetable Gardening

Great idea, Skiffy. I'm going to try that!! I have had great luck growing artichokes. At $3.50+ a choke at the local Farmers' Market, I figure the payback is well worth it. And the plants are perennial. Also got some red asparagus growing but it takes 3 years before you can do the first harvest. As ...
by LAbob
Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawn mower recs needed
Replies: 29
Views: 4636

Re: Lawn mower recs needed

Love my Toro composting gas-powered push mower. Great for the biceps. So much more pleasureable mowing grass on a sunny day than working out at a gym. Can't imagine ever buying a self-propelled. Personally, I can't imagine spending a nice day smelling exhaust from a mower. According to the EPA, as ...
by LAbob
Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawn mower recs needed
Replies: 29
Views: 4636

Re: Lawn mower recs needed

A bit off topic, but consider getting rid of some lawn, and planting fruit trees and vegetables. Why put work and water into something you can't eat? My neighbor convinced me to convert a bit of my lawn a few years ago, and it expands a bit each year. About half the yard now is food, and a manual mo...
by LAbob
Sat Feb 04, 2012 8:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Check Reorder Fee - Pay It or Look Elsewhere?
Replies: 33
Views: 3051

Re: Check Reorder Fee - Pay It or Look Elsewhere?

Try http://www.checksinthemail.com for pretty good prices. We've used them for years.
by LAbob
Fri Feb 03, 2012 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Merchant Accounts
Replies: 8
Views: 1202

Re: Merchant Accounts

Auream wrote:Check out http://www.feefighters.com. Seems kinda like TrueCar for credit card processing.
Incredible site!! Thank you.
by LAbob
Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Merchant Accounts
Replies: 8
Views: 1202

Re: Merchant Accounts

I'll make a few points that, I hope, will help you be more savvy when evaluating merchant account offers.
Thank for the comprehensive reply. It must have taken quite a bit of time to present it in such a clear manner. I'll digest the info and runs an analysis along the lines you suggest.
by LAbob
Thu Feb 02, 2012 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Merchant Accounts
Replies: 8
Views: 1202

Merchant Accounts

My equipment lease on my credit card reader and payment-gateway service contract are nearing expiration, and I was wondering if any of you have any tips as to who has the best equipment rates and/or transaction fees for merchants accepting Visa/MC and Amex.

Thanks in advance for the invaluable help.
by LAbob
Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance - High Deductable Plan
Replies: 24
Views: 2219

Re: Health Insurance - High Deductable Plan

I can only tell you what we have done in CA We have had Blue Shield 3K deductible for many years. In CA, Blue Shield is a non-profit (unlike Blue Cross) and has pretty decent premiums. We set up our HSA with a credit union (Stanford Federal CU in Palo Alto) because it was zero-fee, paid decent inter...
by LAbob
Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: re-financing advice
Replies: 9
Views: 1217

Re: re-financing advice

1. First Internet Bank of Indiana (http://www.firstib.com). Use Melanie Smith. First IB took about a month to close, but they were the most personable. They sold my loan to GMAC Mortgage. This loan cost me -$305 for a 3.75%, 15 year fixed loan. I recommend Melanie Smith at First IB. Very organized ...
by LAbob
Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where are the best places to do a home ReFi right now?
Replies: 29
Views: 2509

Re: Where are the best places to do a home ReFi right now?

Try First Internet Bank. ( www.firstib.com ). I used them about a year ago based on comments on this forum; it was mostly fill-in templates via secure Internet and pretty painless. Got a good rate at the time, with no points and minimal closing cost.
by LAbob
Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cooking oil polyunsaturated fat
Replies: 22
Views: 1701

Re: Cooking oil polyunsaturated fat

Right or wrong, I view oil as non-nutritional liquid fat and wasted calories. I try not to use any all. When absolutely needed, I spray with canola oil. My understanding is that olive oil is just fat as well, although better than most other oils; it has a low smoke point, however, and is generally n...
by LAbob
Sat Jan 14, 2012 4:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refi- worst experience ever!
Replies: 26
Views: 3286

Re: Refi- worst experience ever!

You might want to check out First Internet Bank (located in Indiana as I recall). I refi'd with them after reading tips about them on this site about year ago. Mostly done online (signed all the docs at the closing) and got a great rate with minimal closing costs. i assumed they take advantage of 21...
by LAbob
Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Supplement Experiences
Replies: 14
Views: 3920

Re: Medicare Supplement Experiences

I want to thank all of you for your invaluable information so far. This is incredibly helpful. Thank you!
by LAbob
Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Supplement Experiences
Replies: 14
Views: 3920

Medicare Supplement Experiences

I'm in the process of selecting a carrier for Medicare Supplemental (Medigap), as well as for Part "D", in California. Do any of you have any good or bad experiences with any? Any recommendations? Since all the premiums are about the same, and I currently have good health with no drug needs, custome...
by LAbob
Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cut the land line with magicjack plus
Replies: 42
Views: 5284

Re: cut the land line with magicjack plus

No, you don't need a landline connection from the phone company. Just plug in the Obi100 adapter to your wi-fi router, configure it online with your favorite VOIP service using the Obitalk website, and you're good to go. But the router plugs into the wall jack which, in turn, couples to a line that...
by LAbob
Fri Jan 06, 2012 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cut the land line with magicjack plus
Replies: 42
Views: 5284

Re: cut the land line with magicjack plus

ThinkingRunner wrote:I'd get Obihai's Obi100/110 voice bridges.
What confuses me is that you still need the land line, don't you? Otherwise, what do you hook your router up to? The landline is virtually the cost of the telco's phone service, isn't it? If so, why not just have the minimal phone service?