Search found 410 matches

by oxothuk
Fri May 24, 2019 4:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does it make sense to buy Part D if you are subject to IRMAA?
Replies: 17
Views: 864

Re: Does it make sense to buy Part D if you are subject to IRMAA?

Wricha wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 4:20 pm
Not a lot of activists for the IRMAA Coalition.
I’m not too bothered by the notion of higher premiums for those of us with higher incomes.
My primary beef with IRMAA is its “cliff effect”, and the mental energy required to stay on the right side of its bracket boundaries.
by oxothuk
Wed May 22, 2019 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken: Windows to Mac
Replies: 14
Views: 812

Re: Quicken: Windows to Mac

Who cares how much we spent at Home Depot vs. Lowes, or worse yet, how much on October 12, 1915? Simply have $XXX for "Home improvement" in 2015. One of our primary uses for historical data is to find answers to the question "what was the name of that company we bought xxx from, and is it still in ...
by oxothuk
Tue May 21, 2019 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Renewing TSA Precheck
Replies: 18
Views: 2080

Re: Renewing TSA Precheck

I wish i could have done global entry for this reason - but it's harder to find airports that do it. Most regional airports do precheck but you usually need a big international airport for global entry. Or at least one bigger than mine!! I assume you are talking about the interview required to get ...
by oxothuk
Tue May 21, 2019 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Renewing TSA Precheck
Replies: 18
Views: 2080

Re: Renewing TSA Precheck

From the TSA website: "Global Entry provides the TSA Pre✓ benefit plus expedited US customs screening for international air travelers when entering the United States. TSA Pre✓ costs $85 and Global Entry costs $100 for a five year membership." If you fly internationally, the extra $15 for Global Ent...
by oxothuk
Tue May 21, 2019 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What computer to buy for snowbird
Replies: 37
Views: 2897

Re: What computer to buy for snowbird

How did the SP4 die? I'm curious since I own one. This ^^^ I am using a Thinkpad T400, purchased a decade ago. Replaced fan under warranty, backlight, and put in an SSD. Runs great. Most things can be fixed. Same here, T400 upgraded to SSD. It's the only Windows computer I have any more.
by oxothuk
Sun May 12, 2019 6:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: European Hiking Tours (where they transfer your luggage to the next spot)
Replies: 8
Views: 863

Re: European Hiking Tours (where they transfer your luggage to the next spot)

TNWoods wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 2:43 pm
I've been looking at "self guided" walking tours in Europe at places like "Eurohike", and am tentatively planning one for next spring with a friend. We have been looking at "moderate" difficulty options in the Alps
You may not find much hiking available in the Alps before June.
by oxothuk
Sun May 12, 2019 5:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: European Hiking Tours (where they transfer your luggage to the next spot)
Replies: 8
Views: 863

Re: European Hiking Tours (where they transfer your luggage to the next spot)

I’ve done multiple trips through a UK company called InnTravel. I highly recommend them. Their trips are flexible, in that you can take their base itinerary and add days at places where you want to spend more time. Sure, the trips cost more than if I just made all the reservations myself, but the ov...
by oxothuk
Fri May 03, 2019 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anybody try Cameron Hughes wine?
Replies: 7
Views: 703

Re: Anybody try Cameron Hughes wine?

I’ve seen them at Costco from time to time.
by oxothuk
Sat Apr 20, 2019 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?
Replies: 116
Views: 9506

Re: For those who like travel, when did you retire and where are the most exciting places you travelled to?

I’m thinking of the 6 hours to my destination trip when I’m older. For example to get to New Zealand, I would fly to Hawaii from LAX, then to Tahiti, then to New Zealand. I thinks it’s much shorter flight but longer traveling time. Cost more money though. My wife and I took ANZ from Honolulu to Auc...
by oxothuk
Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Colorado Day Hike Suggestions - Updated
Replies: 24
Views: 1694

Re: Colorado Day Hike Suggestions

Bacchus01 wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:16 am
But....I decided to head home. I had done one 14k and that was enough for today
I live in CO and have been up Gray’s Peak three times. Every time I’ve done the same as you. If I ever want to bag Torrey’s I’ll have to go there first
by oxothuk
Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Newbie international traveler
Replies: 65
Views: 3845

Re: Newbie international traveler

If possible, stay your last night at a hotel which you have NOT prepaid in advance. That way you can use the hotel bill to soak up any leftover currency you have at that point.
by oxothuk
Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Soon to be dad, how to prepare
Replies: 127
Views: 6165

Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

When you come home, immediately greet and kiss your spouse. This reminds the kids your spouse is #1, not them. When disciplining your kids, wait until they have gone to bed to discuss how you could have handled it differently. MUST: Sleep now.....you wont catch up until many years later. LOVE YOUR ...
by oxothuk
Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Thoughts on this Forbes article? "Why Most Index Funds And ETFs Are Not Good Investments"
Replies: 76
Views: 10552

Re: Thoughts on this Forbes article? "Why Most Index Funds And ETFs Are Not Good Investments"

For the general public, stocks and bonds are passive investments. When packaged as index funds/ETFs the general public can achieve average returns, minus a few basis points. When packaged as actively managed funds, the general public CAN achieve higher than average returns (due to luck, which is nei...
by oxothuk
Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Much Do You Pay For Haircut?
Replies: 115
Views: 6411

Re: How Much Do You Pay For Haircut?

$18 + $4 tip, includes beard trim. Same shop for almost 30 years
by oxothuk
Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Baby boomer vicious cycle crash
Replies: 63
Views: 5594

Re: Baby boomer vicious cycle crash

As a boomer myself, I’m not too worried about a demographically driven market sell off.

I AM worried about a demographically driven run up in the cost of services.
by oxothuk
Wed Apr 10, 2019 5:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Preparing for Climate Change
Replies: 15
Views: 879

Re: Preparing for Climate Change

Buy land in Canada?
by oxothuk
Sat Apr 06, 2019 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: eSIM experience in Europe/Hungary?
Replies: 7
Views: 524

Re: eSIM experience in Europe/Hungary?

I ended up putting my primary US plan on the eSIM and ditching my physical SIM card. Now, my SIM tray is empty and it will be easy to get a SIM in Europe without having to worry about swapping the SIM cards. Once e-sim support is more widespread I would recommend the opposite approach - use a physi...
by oxothuk
Thu Apr 04, 2019 7:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: French movies on Netflix
Replies: 40
Views: 2046

Re: French movies on Netflix

There are some hilarious movies from the 70’s pairing Gerard Depardieu and Pierre Richard. Not on Netflix though.

+1 for MHZ network. Depending on where you live you may have a local PBS channel that carries them.
by oxothuk
Thu Apr 04, 2019 7:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hiking in Alps - Hotel to hotel, service hauls bags.
Replies: 11
Views: 1436

Re: Hiking in Alps - Hotel to hotel, service hauls bags.

I’ve taken several self guided hiking trips with a company called InnTravel and one with a company called Macs Adventures. Was very pleased with all of them. Take a look at their web sites and you’ll find plenty of options for hiking in the mountains. The itineraries they publish are a starting poin...
by oxothuk
Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A 23% increase from ATT Wireless
Replies: 84
Views: 6171

Re: A 23% increase from ATT Wireless

These recent shenanigans were the last straw to make us switch to T mobile. $120 for 3 lines, tax included; effective cost is $109 when taking the free Netflix into account.
by oxothuk
Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity Cash Management Account - Investments
Replies: 20
Views: 2345

Re: Fidelity Cash Management Account - Investments

Can someone confirm with the Fidelity Cash Management account that Fidelity will automatically sell investments at the end of the day to cover checks and ATM withdrawals? I've read posts from a search, but many of those were a little older. I wanted to make sure Fidelity hasn't changed anything rec...
by oxothuk
Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Global Entry Application turnaround times?
Replies: 35
Views: 2851

Re: Global Entry Application turnaround times?

We recently received conditional approval for our GE applications but our local airport office does not have any appointments available until July. However we got an email last week from CBP stating that we could finalize our applications without an appointment when going through CBP on return from ...
by oxothuk
Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A 23% increase from ATT Wireless
Replies: 84
Views: 6171

Re: A 23% increase from ATT Wireless

I also got a message today that they were changing my MSV plan from 15GB to 30 GB.

WTF Is AT&T up to?
by oxothuk
Mon Mar 18, 2019 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are the purposes of your travels?
Replies: 60
Views: 3463

Re: What are the purposes of your travels?

Northern Europe might be cool in April but you can always look further south. Last year my wife and I took a March hiking trip in Cyprus and the weather was delightful.
by oxothuk
Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: End of Support Chromebook
Replies: 54
Views: 3770

Re: End of Support Chromebook

A misconfigured or unpatched chromebook, or smart TV or whatever, can allow them to get inside the network. Even if you have a strong firewall where the IP address is not even visible from outside? I am wondering how someone could get in through my Chromebook when my network IP address is not even ...
by oxothuk
Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I revise 2017 State Income Tax deduction
Replies: 12
Views: 748

Re: Can I revise 2017 State Income Tax deduction

I think you're an accountant, but you think it's okay to overpay and deduct taxes by 3X - in December?? I guess you would know what tricks can be played, but I would be scared if I had to defend this. I don't actually understand what the OP was going for. All this to save maybe 3% on 5k - i.e. $150...
by oxothuk
Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I revise 2017 State Income Tax deduction
Replies: 12
Views: 748

Re: Can I revise 2017 State Income Tax deduction

Are there one or two of you? Seems like the IRMAA delta between tiers is about $100/mo/person or 1200/yr/person which is similar? to your taxes on that additional income.....if that is true not much benefit if single but a benefit for MFJ? Yes we are MFJ, so the IRMAA surcharges would apply to both...
by oxothuk
Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I revise 2017 State Income Tax deduction
Replies: 12
Views: 748

Re: Can I revise 2017 State Income Tax deduction

Are there one or two of you? Seems like the IRMAA delta between tiers is about $100/mo/person or 1200/yr/person which is similar? to your taxes on that additional income.....if that is true not much benefit if single but a benefit for MFJ? Yes we are MFJ, so the IRMAA surcharges would apply to both...
by oxothuk
Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I revise 2017 State Income Tax deduction
Replies: 12
Views: 748

Re: Can I revise 2017 State Income Tax deduction

So if I understand you guys correctly I could do the following: a) Amend my 2017 return, replacing the (about $7100) State Income Tax deduction with the General Sales Tax deduction from the IRS calculator (about $1700). With this amended return my itemized deductions would go down by $5400 and I wou...
by oxothuk
Mon Mar 11, 2019 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I revise 2017 State Income Tax deduction
Replies: 12
Views: 748

Can I revise 2017 State Income Tax deduction

So in the mad rush after the new tax bill in 2017, I ended up overpaying my estimated state income taxes by a good bit. This generated a $5K refund which is taxable income for 2018. This turns out to be "inconvenient" because it pushes me over an IRMAA threshold. What I want to know is this. Can I a...
by oxothuk
Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has any retiree taken classes at 4-year college - for interest - e.g. Spanish
Replies: 108
Views: 6039

Re: Has any retiree taken classes at 4-year college - for interest - e.g. Spanish

One option I would suggest is to see if your local library has the Pimsleur Spanish course on CD or audiobooks. It starts by teaching you short phrases and then prompts you to form your own responses based on what they’ve taught you. The grammar is integrated into the lessons a bit at a time. I’m su...
by oxothuk
Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Free Antivirus for Macs?
Replies: 26
Views: 1577

Re: Which Free Antivirus for Macs?

Make sure you enable the setting “allow applications downloaded from App Store”. This way you will be required to confirm before running anything that doesn’t come from the App Store
by oxothuk
Sat Feb 23, 2019 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why Working as a Senior Male is Wise...
Replies: 104
Views: 11727

Re: Why Working as a Senior Male is Wise...

Like the OP, I have continued to work (currently 69) after retiring from my career job 7 years ago. I only work 10-20 hours a week and with reasonable notice my employer has no problem with my taking 2-3 weeks off to travel several times per year. Since being fired or laid off is not a threat to me,...
by oxothuk
Tue Jan 29, 2019 4:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Max out retirment funds before saving for kid's college?
Replies: 54
Views: 2388

Re: Max out retirment funds before saving for kid's college?

Sure, but there are many majors where there are no convenient, quality low-cost options. And cost is relative: when I was in college, the all-in cost was much less than that. And besides, $12.5k per year is $50k over 4 years, or $62.5k over 5 years. That's actually a lot to borrow and represents a ...
by oxothuk
Sun Jan 27, 2019 11:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Blu-Ray drives vs DVD drives for data storage and archiving
Replies: 59
Views: 2772

Re: Blu-Ray drives vs DVD drives for data storage and archiving

Optical media are fairly expensive for large amounts of storage, and not very fast. Traditional hard drives are much cheaper Do you really need archiving, or just a separate backup? We keep our data on a Synology NAS device in the house, which is RAID protected. We perform differential backups of th...
by oxothuk
Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stressless Recliners
Replies: 40
Views: 23275

Re: Stressless Recliners

My wife and I bought a pair of Stressless recliners plus a love seat last year. Very pricey, but we are not ones to boy furniture often - the pieces we were replacing were 25 years old

Very pleased so far.
by oxothuk
Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Peter Jackson’s “They shall not grow old” - now streaming on Amazon Prime]
Replies: 77
Views: 10249

Re: [Peter Jackson’s “They shall not grow old” - now showing Jan 21]

Saw it tonight in 3D. Absolutely fantastic. I saw it yesterday, supposedly in 3D, but couldn’t discern any noticeable 3D effects. And Peter Jackson’s commentary didn’t make any mention of 3D. Was I missing something? Your 3D glasses? Seriously, the 3D effect was very noticeable to us. I have to say...
by oxothuk
Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Son moving to Denver from California
Replies: 47
Views: 3408

Re: Son moving to Denver from California

AWD drive is what let’s you GO in the snow. Good tires are what let you STOP in the snow.
by oxothuk
Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Peter Jackson’s “They shall not grow old” - now streaming on Amazon Prime]
Replies: 77
Views: 10249

Re: [Peter Jackson’s “They shall not grow old” - now showing Jan 21]

Whakamole wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:00 am
Saw it tonight in 3D. Absolutely fantastic.
I saw it yesterday, supposedly in 3D, but couldn’t discern any noticeable 3D effects. And Peter Jackson’s commentary didn’t make any mention of 3D.

Was I missing something?
by oxothuk
Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Son moving to Denver from California
Replies: 47
Views: 3408

Re: Son moving to Denver from California

I’ve lived in Boulder for almost 30 years and never had snow tires, just good all season tires from Big O and Costco. I do just fine by driving conservatively when the snow falls. One blessing is that Colorado rarely gets ice, which is much more challenging to drive on than snow. Of course it would ...
by oxothuk
Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used electric car - a good deal?
Replies: 28
Views: 1593

Re: Used electric car - a good deal?

I did not know that used ones were going that cheap. That is what, about 50-75% depreciation in the first 3 years! Because of the various incentives, the net new price of these vehicles was far below MSRP. Taking that into consideration the real depreciation is much less than it would otherwise app...
by oxothuk
Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is My Iphone Now a Brick?
Replies: 27
Views: 3135

Re: Is My Iphone Now a Brick?

The process is difficult by design, to reduce the incentive for stealing iPhones.

Worst case you might be able to sell the phone for parts. At least it’s just an iPhone 6 and not one of the newer models.

But wait and see what answer you get from Apple
by oxothuk
Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tips for online photography course?
Replies: 27
Views: 1122

Re: Tips for online photography course?

I would start with The Great Courses . Joel Sartori, an experienced National Geographic photographer, gives the introductory course. There are follow on courses that I have not viewed. That may be available through your local public library. If you wait for the sales, TGC courses can be half the li...
by oxothuk
Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: USPS Tracking Information Available Soon
Replies: 16
Views: 3491

Re: USPS Tracking Information Available Soon

I was tracking a package this week and kept getting the "information available soon" message. I later figured out that I was missing the last four digits of the tracking number.

The fact that they couldn't even recognize an invalid number says a lot.
by oxothuk
Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: United, American Airlines, Delta--about the same?
Replies: 144
Views: 8063

Re: United, American Airlines, Delta--about the same?

Based on what I've read here, it sounds like I should use Southwest more often. If you travel with any frequency, Southwest is what you choose when your only other viable options are Frontier, Spirit, or Greyhound. I would say the flying experience goes from top to bottom as follows: 1) Flying on t...
by oxothuk
Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel Companies Similar to "Road Scholar"?
Replies: 21
Views: 1597

Re: Travel Companies Similar to "Road Scholar"?

Not the same thing as RS, but if you and your wife are the active sort you might consider a walking or biking vacation. Here is a company we have used several time with great results http://www.inntravel.co.uk. They handle all the logistics of hotel reservations and carry all your luggage by day; yo...
by oxothuk
Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Phone concierge service for seniors?
Replies: 17
Views: 1635

Re: Phone concierge service for seniors?

Your MIL transports her number to your wife. Your wife keeps 2 phones. MIL's friends now call your wife's second phone and your wife acts as the screener. Your wife uses the appropriate filtering apps. Your MIL gets a new phone number and loads it with friends phone numbers and the phone is set to ...
by oxothuk
Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Phone concierge service for seniors?
Replies: 17
Views: 1635

Phone concierge service for seniors?

i've been trying to figure out some way to protect my MIL from phone scams. At this point I'm convinced there is no purely technical solution. What I'd really like is to find a phone screening service which will pass through any numbers on a trusted list, reject obvious spam calls, and contact a tru...
by oxothuk
Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 11 days in Europe...Budget and logistical advice please
Replies: 90
Views: 4917

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

I agree with the others who say 11 days is too much Paris for a first trip. If you want to spend some time outside Paris I would suggest picking one other region of France to visit for a few days - Loire Valley chateaux, Normandy, Provence, or the Riviera; all accessible by train from Paris in half ...
by oxothuk
Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Uber/Lyft where do you sit?
Replies: 42
Views: 4139

Re: Uber/Lyft where do you sit?

Passenger side rear. I only sit in front if I’m in a group of 4