Search found 126 matches

by frequentT
Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: declining employer benefits?
Replies: 36
Views: 3976

Re: declining employer benefits?

Very common: Incentive payment to opt out depends on the employers cost to insurance, claims history, etc. I have heard of incentive payments of $500-$1000.
by frequentT
Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why is Costco gas so much cheaper
Replies: 119
Views: 10455

Re: Why is Costco gas so much cheaper

Many years ago while studying economics my professor used gasoline marketing to illustrate several important principles. Gasoline is one of the most unique products sold anywhere: prices are almost always posted in large signs that all can see. Instant price discovery for all buyers ( this was long ...
by frequentT
Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: are iPad Minis obsolete?
Replies: 28
Views: 3070

Re: are iPad Minis obsolete?

I really enjoy the mini. Skeptical at first, but received as a gift and it is my default for international travel and often for air travel of any kind. Great for books, magazines, doing work of any kind. I bring external keyboard if I anticipate lots of work. It is also great for shooting videos and...
by frequentT
Thu Sep 06, 2018 5:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to "waste" money on groceries?
Replies: 109
Views: 9906

Re: How to "waste" money on groceries?

Though I always shop using price comparisons, I believe if you eat and enjoy, it is not a waste. Waste is what happens when we buy too great a quantity and have to throw it out. That kind of waste is painful to us. Costco shopping is generally not wasteful because the quality is high and the price v...
by frequentT
Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prescription Price Shopping?
Replies: 37
Views: 2451

Re: Prescription Price Shopping?

It has been my observation that when the ACA went into action RX price shopping became really critical. Bogelheads know how to shop for anything. Consider this strategy: If the medication will be used continuously/chronically, shop aggressively. Question #1: Is it cheaper to buy without insurance (i...
by frequentT
Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: input on trip to Spokane, Coeur D'Alene
Replies: 25
Views: 1802

Re: input on trip to Spokane, Coeur D'Alene

Thank you to all! I feel very wealthy with great tips and local knowledge! Everything has been copied into my Evernote file dedicated to this trip. I recommend this app to all travelers for notes and plans as well as business and personal stuff. Safe travels to your next fun destination!! Frequent T...
by frequentT
Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: input on trip to Spokane, Coeur D'Alene
Replies: 25
Views: 1802

Re: input on trip to Spokane, Coeur D'Alene

Thank you!

These suggestions are very helpful and will be put to good use!

Frequent T.
by frequentT
Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: input on trip to Spokane, Coeur D'Alene
Replies: 25
Views: 1802

input on trip to Spokane, Coeur D'Alene

Dear Travelers, We are planning a September trip with a flight into Spokane. There, we would rent a car and visit Spokane, Coeur D'Alene, followed by a big loop down to Walla Walla. Then, perhaps a drive to the college towns of Pullman and Moscow for a night or two on the way back to the airport. Ne...
by frequentT
Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone use T-mobile cell network?
Replies: 32
Views: 2191

Re: Anyone use T-mobile cell network?

Been with tmobile for almost 2 years. Coverage and signal strength is definitely less than ATT, Verizon. Cost of plan keeps us subscribing. Also, the international service is really convenient and reliable. It's the bonus that tips the scale.
by frequentT
Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel to Poland, Estonia, Lithuania: is it worth it?
Replies: 37
Views: 3740

Re: Travel to Poland, Estonia, Lithuania: is it worth it?

Last May we visited the Baltics traveling north to south: Tallin, Saaremaa Island, Riga, Kaliningrad, Vilnius. The Baltics were fantastic. Not over touristed like other countries in Europe. The people were friendly and welcoming; the culture and history very interesting. The variety of cooking was w...
by frequentT
Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco Citi removing Foreign Transaction Fees; No Fee/Reimbursed Fee International ATM; ; Free International Data
Replies: 40
Views: 5980

Re: Costco Citi removing Foreign Transaction Fees; No Fee/Reimbursed Fee International ATM; ; Free International Data

Thank you for this update!! We have some highly skilled international travelers on this site. It is my go-to destination for travel questions. In the past, I have left my Costco card home due to these fees. I will be happy to use if for hotels, meals, and rental cars. I generally fly American and us...
by frequentT
Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cactus League location/accomodations
Replies: 1
Views: 346

Cactus League location/accomodations

We will be visiting the Phoenix area in late February to take in several games and would like advice on good locations to base ourselves during our stay. We have two games booked so far, Scottsdale and Peoria. We are trying to decide on a third game to see. Its a feast of choice for baseball fans......
by frequentT
Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vegas on a budget
Replies: 49
Views: 4728

Re: Vegas on a budget

Check out Bahama Breeze
by frequentT
Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 450,000 American Airlines MILES gifted to me - how to book
Replies: 25
Views: 2832

Re: 450,000 American Airlines gifted to me - how to book

This is a wonderful and thoughtful gift!!! I recommend you book a trip right away to a place you always wanted to visit, take lots of photos, make a slide show for your uncle and celebrate upon your return with a special dinner for him. He must like travel at some level to accumulate all those miles...
by frequentT
Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Portugal Trip, any suggestions?
Replies: 38
Views: 3089

Re: Portugal Trip, any suggestions?

Portugal has so much to offer! I have been a few times for business. This time it was all fun. We visited Porto which I can say has joined the list of trendiest European cities. It was very crowded with tourists, but worth seeing, for no more than 3 days. We spent 4 days in the Douro Valley and coul...
by frequentT
Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ecuador safe to travel and hike?
Replies: 21
Views: 3117

Re: Ecuador safe to travel and hike?

We visited Ecuador in 2016 and felt safe everywhere we traveled. My wife, sister and mother-in-law went on a guided tour to the Amazon and also were well treated and felt safe; also we did several self-guided day and overnight trips from Quito w/o any incidents. We traveled independently in the Gala...
by frequentT
Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My first promotion without a pay increase
Replies: 47
Views: 6262

Re: My first promotion without a pay increase

Elsebet: The situation you describe happens all too often. It is the curse of mega corps, tightly bound pay ranges, salary compression, etc. You are being tested. The question is why? Did this promotion only change your title? Increase your responsibilities? Make your more marketable in some other w...
by frequentT
Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mobile phone SIM advice for multiple countries in Europe
Replies: 30
Views: 2898

Re: Mobile phone SIM advice for multiple countries in Europe

Just returned from a pleasure trip with the following stops: Netherlands Germany Estonia Latvia Lithuania Kaliningrad I used the the T mobile sim card successfully everywhere. No voice usage ($0.20/min), but lots of SMS, email, web data for information and navigation. It was $75 + a bit for the sim ...
by frequentT
Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time savers - life on automation
Replies: 57
Views: 9442

Re: Time savers - life on automation

Yes, love this thread! Additional ideas: 1. Zojirushi water boiler: 4 liters ready all day, 3 temps, 175, 195, 205 + overnight time 2. PillPack mailorder pharmacy: unit dose packs all meds, vits, supplements, for time of day you prefer. Functions as 21st century full service Pharm. works with most i...
by frequentT
Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Int. Mobile Service with T Mobile Simple Choice
Replies: 5
Views: 725

Re: Int. Mobile Service with T Mobile Simple Choice

This feedback is very helpful! The folks in the T Mobile retail store researched the speeds for me and found 3G in the Baltic cities, 2G in rural areas. This is plenty good for our use. We will have a domestic trial period with the T Mobile plan pay-go plan. If it works out, we may switch. However, ...
by frequentT
Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Int. Mobile Service with T Mobile Simple Choice
Replies: 5
Views: 725

Re: Int. Mobile Service with T Mobile Simple Choice

Thank you for the feedback on T Mobile Int.. It sounds less than ideal, but workable. Last year I used an Orange plan that worked well for voice, but the data piece of the plan just was not enough GBs to do the job, and I ended up running out. The data top-up was not intuitive, plus the retail store...
by frequentT
Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Int. Mobile Service with T Mobile Simple Choice
Replies: 5
Views: 725

Int. Mobile Service with T Mobile Simple Choice

Dear Travelers, We will be traveling in the European Union (mainly the Baltics) and want to use the T Mobile Simple Choice Plan (no credit check, post paid). As described in the T Mobile retail shop this plan will be ideal for us. Unlimited Data (though 3G speed) unlimited SMS free incoming & outgoi...
by frequentT
Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Uber app use in Baltic Countries
Replies: 2
Views: 483

Uber app use in Baltic Countries

Next month we are doing a self organized trip to Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius. We will be using public transport and taxis. Does the uber iphone app work in Europe, as installed on my phone? Will it still come up in English with local maps?
by frequentT
Wed Mar 22, 2017 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Vandalism During Cross-Country Drive
Replies: 41
Views: 4178

Re: Car Vandalism During Cross-Country Drive

I would not worry excessively about your risks. Here are a few counter-measures, cheap, effective, and a turn-off to any vandals: choose mid-tier/budget places like Holiday Express, Hilton Garden, La Quinta avoid the deeply discounted places don't stay on the road to late into the afternoon/evening,...
by frequentT
Sun Jan 15, 2017 2:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: auto retirement withdrawals
Replies: 2
Views: 604

auto retirement withdrawals

Hello forum members! I have a family member who I have been advising for the last 10+ years. She is successfully in retirement; and I help her with withdrawing distributions from her taxable brokerage account to supplement a state government pension. We meet her needs by first automatically distribu...
by frequentT
Fri Dec 09, 2016 8:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacation ideas in Europe or South America - Feb 18-25??
Replies: 9
Views: 1226

Re: Vacation ideas in Europe or South America - Feb 18-25??

I suggest Panama. It is close in flying time, has good tourism infrastructure and a variety of locales: bustling city, beaches, islands, mountains, jungle, indigenous people, some culture. You can be as busy or as laid back as you please. They use $US and being a BH, you can make your budget stretch...
by frequentT
Fri Dec 09, 2016 6:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Homeowners insurance recommendations - MA
Replies: 30
Views: 3521

Re: Homeowners insurance recommendations - MA

I recommend that you take a look at this company: Pure https://www.pureinsurance.com I found them via my employer's commercial broker. Previously I had been a State Farm for 30+ years and experienced 3 years of double digit premium increases both in home and umbrella policies. Warren Buffet explicit...
by frequentT
Fri Dec 09, 2016 6:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to purchase tea
Replies: 13
Views: 1827

Re: Where to purchase tea

I drink tea from loose leaf tea from the Positively Tea Co. purchased via Amazon.

Organic Assam and Irish Breakfast, organic: both are staples in the cupboard.
by frequentT
Fri Dec 09, 2016 5:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need advice on a ski location
Replies: 28
Views: 3761

Re: Need advice on a ski location

You have been given some good advice already, however, I think Vail/BC is your place. It sounds like you have the budget to find exactly what you want there. Eagle County Airport has lots of non-stop seasonal service. At worst you can take a quick connection from Denver. Snow conditions are very rel...
by frequentT
Tue Oct 18, 2016 3:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Matching children's Roth IRA contributions
Replies: 41
Views: 5211

Re: Matching children's Roth IRA contributions

Two years ago we set up a matching gift program for our 10 nephews and nieces. Our gifting program matches their contribution $ for $ up to the legal limit. They contribute to a 401/403/457/Roth/Trad.IRA; and we send our match directly to the custodian for either a Roth or a traditional IRA that our...
by frequentT
Fri Oct 07, 2016 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA renewal - shop around.
Replies: 29
Views: 3810

Re: ACA renewal - shop around.

Dropped also.

2nd consecutive year. 3rd year of 4.

These changes are distressing. Navigating the investment markets is much easier!
by frequentT
Fri Sep 30, 2016 3:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pension Lump Sum vs Annuity (Plot twist: need to make decision 30 years prior to retirement)
Replies: 9
Views: 1216

Re: Pension Lump Sum vs Annuity (Plot twist: need to make decision 30 years prior to retirement)

This one does not require much thought. Non taxable and taxable portions can be invested as suggested above. This decision will eliminate (1)the risk that the fiduciary/custodian is around 30 years from now,(2) puts the money in your control to change the allocation as your circumstances change, (3)...
by frequentT
Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [500 million Yahoo accounts hacked, what should you do?]
Replies: 86
Views: 9349

Re: [500 million Yahoo accounts hacked, what should you do?]

Changed my password today. Changing security questions were not an option. Fortunately, my old password was used only at yahoo. Curiously I received a phishing email last week that threatened my yahoo account would be cancelled if I did not log in by clicking link. I have had several of these phishi...
by frequentT
Thu Sep 15, 2016 10:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which city for part time home during retirement?
Replies: 86
Views: 8318

Re: Which city for part time home during retirement?

Your list is pretty tough to check every item 100%. My suggestions optimize the total list though I am not positive about about rent costs. Particularly difficult to find that rent close to an international airport. You will have a sizable budget gain leaving CA for overall COL + taxes. Texas cities...
by frequentT
Mon Aug 29, 2016 9:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: best software for financial planning
Replies: 60
Views: 10329

Re: best software for financial planning

check out Wealthtrace:

https://www.mywealthtrace.com/

I have investigated the program and plan to purchase in Sept.

They offer a free trial period of several weeks.
by frequentT
Mon Aug 29, 2016 9:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google Word Processing and Spreadsheet
Replies: 29
Views: 4848

Re: Google Word Processing and Spreadsheet

I have been actively using Google Sheets for about 4 years. If you have experience with excel, sheets are an easy transition. Sheets are more than adequate for personal finance work. If you are used to building mega size models with complex functions in excel it might not be for you. Of course you c...
by frequentT
Thu Aug 25, 2016 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Marrakesh, Morocco & Atlas Mtns. recommendations
Replies: 8
Views: 1020

Re: Marrakesh, Morocco & Atlas Mtns. recommendations

Brief Trip Report: Thank you to tludwig23, calsaver, bigred77, mouses, magicrat All of your recommendations were helpful! We appreciated having knowledge from experienced travelers. Morocco is a wonderful destination. Very exotic, not overwhelming at all. The people were warm and welcoming. They are...
by frequentT
Sat Jul 09, 2016 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Simpliest Maintenance Single Family Home (AZ)
Replies: 24
Views: 3057

Re: Simpliest Maintenance Single Family Home (AZ)

For a homeowner that travels there is one easy step that will free your mind from a very worrisome hazard that many folks do not think about. Install a valve that will cut off water to your house. Position the cutoff so your irrigation will still work. Turn off the water every time you are traveling...
by frequentT
Sun Jun 12, 2016 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Fidelity drops AmEx, Bank of America credit cards]
Replies: 289
Views: 50760

Re: [Fidelity drops AmEx, Bank of America credit cards]

Do you think that Fido switching to the Elan Visa is an intentional strategy to keep the credit card volume for purchases at Costco, now that Costco is switching to a Visa card? Fido should know exactly how much of its card volume was spent with Costco...... The timing of Fido's change seems too clo...
by frequentT
Wed Jun 08, 2016 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Overtaxed Investor: (book)
Replies: 0
Views: 822

The Overtaxed Investor: (book)

I heard this author interviewed on his most recent book. The Overtaxed Investor: Slash Your Tax Bill & Be a Tax Alpha Dog by Phil DeMuth The interview covered Roth conversion strategies as part of tax planning. Has anyone read it? How did you like it? The author has written a number of books with Be...
by frequentT
Mon May 23, 2016 4:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Deferred Comp: How long do you trust your company?
Replies: 49
Views: 6311

Re: Deferred Comp: How long do you trust your company?

These plans can be quite helpful. Each one is unique in the way it is written, so you must read carefully. If you are comfortable with the financial condition of your company, you can proceed to calculate how much you can defer. The math is not complicated. It is a matter of having a detailed retire...
by frequentT
Tue May 17, 2016 2:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Marrakesh, Morocco & Atlas Mtns. recommendations
Replies: 8
Views: 1020

Re: Marrakesh, Morocco & Atlas Mtns. recommendations

Thank you for these comments. They are very helpful! We are very excited about Morocco. We have been to Spain and France many times, so Morocco is going to be the stretching/new experience. It it were just my DW and I, I would not worry too much, but I am leading this trip for us, and another couple...
by frequentT
Mon May 16, 2016 10:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Marrakesh, Morocco & Atlas Mtns. recommendations
Replies: 8
Views: 1020

Marrakesh, Morocco & Atlas Mtns. recommendations

We will be visiting Barcelona this summer, and are planning a side trip to Marrakesh, plus an excursion to the Atlas mountains, for a total of approximately 7 days in Morocco. We are experienced travelers who prefer independent travel, as opposed to packaged tours; although we are planning to hire a...
by frequentT
Mon Feb 15, 2016 12:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help Buying Individual Municipal Bonds
Replies: 14
Views: 2919

Re: Help Buying Individual Municipal Bonds

All of your requirements can be done via the Fidelity website. There are adequate new issue bonds to build your portfolio over time. With new issue bonds on the Fido site, you get the same pricing as institutions. Their bond portfolio analysis tool is excellent and will allow you to slice and dice y...
by frequentT
Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA Administrator Recommendation
Replies: 3
Views: 518

Re: HSA Administrator Recommendation

Dear Flobes,

Thanks for feedback!

It never ceases to amaze me how knowledgeable, informed and helpful the users of this can be--truly a community of experts!

Frequent T
by frequentT
Wed Dec 02, 2015 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA Administrator Recommendation
Replies: 3
Views: 518

HSA Administrator Recommendation

We have decided to go with a High Deductible health insurance plan that we will purchase in the private market. Our very detailed analysis reveals that the plan is the best choice for our needs due to their PPO network. We are looking for a recommendation for a HSA plan with the following characteri...
by frequentT
Sun Nov 29, 2015 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are suitcase locks worth it?
Replies: 44
Views: 5391

Re: Are suitcase locks worth it?

I give a strong second on zip ties. They are cheap, disposable, and they keep the casual thief out. For TSA searches, they perform a 'tamper evident' function to let you know at a glance that your bag has been searched. If you don't find a TSA form inside your bag, you must perform a thorough search...
by frequentT
Sun Nov 01, 2015 3:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Many Credit Cards Do You Have?
Replies: 91
Views: 16398

Re: How Many Credit Cards Do You Have?

1) Fido Amex: 2% rebate. This is the default card. Will likely abandon this card when Costco issues its visa card in 2016. Previous posts have recounted hassles with this card; they are not easy to do business with (keep in wallet) 2) American Airlines MC. Pay for this one, but is invaluable for my ...
by frequentT
Sun Oct 04, 2015 10:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity 2% Amex: Security Annoyances
Replies: 92
Views: 11781

Re: Fidelity 2% Amex: Security Annoyances

Yes! Seriously annoying! I got this card to use at Costco to replace the Costco Amex. I had a falling out with the real Amex, and fired them. When Costco starts its new program with Visa, this card will be relegated to the bottom drawer. FIA is a second rate CC company for sure. They think their fra...
by frequentT
Fri Sep 25, 2015 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: medical billing: crime or just mistakes?
Replies: 48
Views: 6024

Re: medical billing: crime or just mistakes?

How does a Health Insurance Company make money? 1. Efficiently collect the premium. 2. Deny the claim or 3. Discount the claim or 4. Challenge the claim or 5. Hassle the patient/beneficiary to provide more documentation or 6. 'Temporarily' forget about the claim and 7. Try to collect from the patien...