Search found 4946 matches

by stan1
Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paying cash for medical care - best practice?
Replies: 27
Views: 1539

Re: Paying cash for medical care - best practice?

It is possible you'll switch doctors and like the new ones better.
by stan1
Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone "re-door" their kitchen cabinets?
Replies: 13
Views: 1409

Re: Anyone "re-door" their kitchen cabinets?

Do the cabinets have a lot of doors that you want to convert to drawers? If so by the time you pay for that, new faces, and painting the carcass you'll be pretty close to the cost of new cabinets in a Kraftmaid line. Are you keeping the existing countertops and backsplash? Installing new cabinets do...
by stan1
Tue Nov 21, 2017 1:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paying cash for medical care - best practice?
Replies: 27
Views: 1539

Re: Paying cash for medical care - best practice?

I would transfer to the new doctors. Then decide next year whether you want to stay or go back. Even if you have a high deductible you want to be getting billed at the insurer's negotiated rate and will be hard to negotiate a cash rate ahead of when you need service. I don't think you'll come close ...
by stan1
Tue Nov 21, 2017 1:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How long does it take a losing company to shutdown?
Replies: 16
Views: 962

Re: How long does it take a losing company to shutdown?

Sears has been shutting down for about 30 years and still is operating. They had a lot of real estate; brands with value like Kenmore, Craftsman, and Diehard; and billions of dollars in cash coming in from sales every year ($22B in sales in 2017) (just not enough).
by stan1
Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why not take Social Security at 62
Replies: 143
Views: 8250

Re: Why not take Social Security at 62

You have to assess your need, longevity, and spousal benefits. Need - if you need the income from SS in your 60s you'll probably want to take it then. Longevity - You can't look at actuarial tables. You have to consider your specific health issues, fitness, and family history. There's no formula it'...
by stan1
Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How am I doing?
Replies: 16
Views: 1522

Re: How am I doing?

I may have posted something similar a few years ago. I am 39 years old and single, no kids. My goal is to retire at 55. I will get a federal FERS pension when I retire plus the social security bridge. My goal is to be financially self sufficient by age 55. The FERS minimum retirement age for someon...
by stan1
Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Merrill Lynch wants personal info--How to deal
Replies: 19
Views: 1631

Re: Merrill Lynch wants personal info--How to deal

Personally I would give them the value of the account they hold. Others might feel this is unethical, immoral, or illegal but it is what I would do. In the oft chance they ever came back to me about it I would just say "Oh, I thought you were asking about the value of this account, I'm so sorry".
by stan1
Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Newly built home. sell or rent?
Replies: 29
Views: 1634

Re: Newly built home. sell or rent?

Has she put any money into the house since she bought it? Where I live new houses usually do not come with landscaping or window coverings and there's a myriad of things do like put in shelving, gas logs, custom paint, and so forth after the house is bought from the builder. Those items all add to t...
by stan1
Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you record customer service interactions?
Replies: 23
Views: 1120

Re: Do you record customer service interactions?

Yes when it matters (such as calls to correct medical billing errors).
by stan1
Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Domestic partnership benefits for health insurance
Replies: 25
Views: 907

Re: Domestic partnership benefits for health insurance

Does the domestic partner benefit on your SO's insurance require you to be legally registered as domestic partners by your state? If so that means you are essentially married from a legal perspective in your state (but not at the federal level). In my state registered domestic partners have to file ...
by stan1
Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buy or rent a house?
Replies: 9
Views: 566

Re: Buy or rent a house?

For the most part it is a personal/lifestyle preference. Yes - I agree that can be a major factor. However, in our case, I am 100% positive we have very large and significant financial benefits of having purchased our home 38 years ago. Go back and add up all the money you've put into that house (p...
by stan1
Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Domestic partnership benefits for health insurance
Replies: 25
Views: 907

Re: Domestic partnership benefits for health insurance

COBRA is going to cost $800 per month. That's horrid. You have other options on the individual marketplace. If you think you'll be able to find another job within 6 months that has health care benefits I'd go the COBRA route. If you think it will be longer I'd comparison shop in your state's ACA ex...
by stan1
Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Contemplating offer on a house with SolarCity lease
Replies: 23
Views: 1829

Re: Contemplating offer on a house with SolarCity lease

I did the SolarCity thing - but I'm not quite sure if it's the same thing we are talking about here. SolarCity put panels on my roof (I replaced the roof before the panels went on because it was about 20 years old at that point) and I paid nothing for the panels. I now pay SC a reduced rate for the...
by stan1
Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buy or rent a house?
Replies: 9
Views: 566

Re: Buy or rent a house?

For the most part it is a personal/lifestyle preference.
by stan1
Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Uber for someone who knows only taxis
Replies: 86
Views: 3995

Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

We use Lyft and tip in the app (20%, $5 minimum)

Many drivers work for Lyft and Uber. I'm told by drivers they prefer Lyft because the "people are nicer" (e.g. tip better).
by stan1
Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The valet smashed my Tesla into a brick wall!
Replies: 102
Views: 10620

Re: The valet smashed my Tesla into a brick wall!

+3 on hiring a lawyer especially if the car has significant damage that would make it difficult to repair (e.g. damaged frame). If the car has a lot of damage you should be pushing to get it totaled not repaired. If you want it replaced not repaired as best they can bring in your attorney now. You m...
by stan1
Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you budget for vacation?
Replies: 94
Views: 5360

Re: How much do you budget for vacation?

When we travel there are areas we don't skimp on. For example we don't skimp on location of accommodations. I'd never book accommodation in London or Paris for a 1-2 week trip that didn't have a central tube/metro stop within a block or two of the hotel. We'll hire a private guide with a Ph. D. in A...
by stan1
Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you budget for vacation?
Replies: 94
Views: 5360

Re: How much do you budget for vacation?

People who like to travel spend money on travel. People who like boats buy boats. People who like ceramic figurines buy ceramic figurines. Our annual expenses for boats and ceramic figurines are zero. We don't keep a budget but our annual travel expense is usually under 5% of gross income and under ...
by stan1
Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco kitchen Cabinets and design service....
Replies: 13
Views: 2643

Re: Costco kitchen Cabinets and design service....

As I may do a kitchen soon I have a question about this. Is an MDF carcass (I assume this refers to the sides and back) intrinsically superior to plywood? In the past I had a kitchen done with Woodmode that did seem to be MDF but which I found highly satisfactory. Woodmode offers a very high qualit...
by stan1
Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Trev H Four-Fund Portfolio Tax Loss Harvesting Partner Options
Replies: 20
Views: 977

Re: Trev H Four-Fund Portfolio Tax Loss Harvesting Partner Options

Thanks to advice on this forum, I am switching to the "Trev H Four-Fund Portfolio" (https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=38374), which uses equal portions of: Vanguard Total Market (VTI) Vanguard Total International Ex-US (VXUS) Vanguard Small Value (VBR) Vanguard International Small Ca...
by stan1
Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: is Amazon a monopoly?
Replies: 15
Views: 722

Re: is Amazon a monopoly?

One may discover that many Bogleheads, like many Americans, believe big tech companies truly care about us and intend to make our lives better. People may not stop to consider unintended consequences. I would guess that many (most?) tech users still mistakenly believe that they are the customer. Th...
by stan1
Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: is Amazon a monopoly?
Replies: 15
Views: 722

Re: is Amazon a monopoly?

Sandtrap wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:15 am
If there were equivalent alternatives to Amazon, I would gladly shop between them. Just as I do for funds between Schwab and Vanguard.
But, I don't think it will happen soon unless someone finds out what secret sauce Bezo's is using.
Look at Jet (owned by Walmart).
by stan1
Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:13 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: is Amazon a monopoly?
Replies: 15
Views: 722

Re: is Amazon a monopoly?

I think we are on the edge of acceptable posting topics but I will try to answer. Having a dominate market position does not automatically translate into being a monopoly. IIRC the company also has to abuse their dominate position. Bullying customers and suppliers in unrelated markets. Microsoft in...
by stan1
Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Benefits of Flagship
Replies: 38
Views: 6184

Re: Benefits of Flagship

I have been told that your assigned, Flagship advisor will almost never be immediately available, so plan on leaving a message for a return call. Tim I called about an account action I couldn't do online a week ago and got the designated rep. To be honest its the first time I've called Vanguard in ...
by stan1
Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The valet smashed my Tesla into a brick wall!
Replies: 102
Views: 10620

Re: The valet smashed my Tesla into a brick wall!

Contact your insurer immediately.

Insist that all repairs be done in a Tesla certified body shop.

Push hard for diminished value. State insurance laws do come into play with diminished value claims.

Above are more important than whether the rental is a Tesla or Kia.
by stan1
Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Contemplating offer on a house with SolarCity lease
Replies: 23
Views: 1829

Re: Contemplating offer on a house with SolarCity lease

Only accept the sellers paying off the lease through escrow with the payoff amount going to Solar City. Make the removal option too hard for the seller by insisting upon full inspections without lifting contingencies until after the work is done all while not slipping the date the house closes. Insi...
by stan1
Sat Nov 18, 2017 6:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has used furniture dropped in value dramatically?
Replies: 108
Views: 8140

Re: Has used furniture dropped in value dramatically?

Not sure why this is a surprise. I've never thought of furniture as an asset or investment. It's an expense. Thirty years ago people were hauling MCM stuff to the dump. In 30 more years maybe someone will want grainy Oak.
by stan1
Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Southeast Asia trip - Cash handling
Replies: 19
Views: 1272

Re: Southeast Asia trip - Cash handling

Southeast Asia is a cash economy and there is a lot of credit card fraud even in Western hotel chains (or I'm just unlucky).

Have him pull cash from an ATM attached to a brick and mortar bank only (preferably inside but I'd avoid independent ATMs).
by stan1
Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you include the sale of your home as part of your retirement planning?
Replies: 75
Views: 3376

Re: Do you include the sale of your home as part of your retirement planning?

I view it as a neutral. We'll either be living in a paid off house/condo or using the proceeds from selling a home to pay rent. Either way housing costs are covered up until we need years of specialized care which would then be funded out of investments and retirement income (e.g. dividends, SS). I ...
by stan1
Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why did Vanguard drop TurboTax?
Replies: 16
Views: 3075

Re: Why did Vanguard drop TurboTax?

Right, Vanguard's expense ratio reductions including Admiral shares over the past 20 years more than offset the cost of TurboTax plus it gives you the choice to buy which tax software you want to use. Vanguard's average expense ratio in 1996 was 0.29%; in 2016 it was 0.12%. That includes their activ...
by stan1
Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has used furniture dropped in value dramatically?
Replies: 108
Views: 8140

Re: Has used furniture dropped in value dramatically?

We cleared out my mom's house in 2013. She lived in a rural, frugal area where garage sales are still very popular. We gave a few items to people who had worked in her house (cleaning lady). Everything else was set out for a garage sale priced at $10-30. Most everything went and the rest was donated...
by stan1
Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you stop junk mail?
Replies: 29
Views: 1507

Re: How do you stop junk mail?

The USPS has to come to my house every day to see if I have any outgoing mail (at least to drive by, I have a flag for outgoing mail). UPS, FedEx, Amazon, and others only come to my house if I have a delivery. I have outgoing mail maybe once or twice a month these days and legitimate first class mai...
by stan1
Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Complaint Escalation [at Vanguard - how to?]
Replies: 6
Views: 1079

Re: Complaint Escalation [at Vanguard - how to?]

I'd call the toll free Flagship number 800-345-1344 and tell them you aren't happy with how a situation is being handled and request escalation. Can you elaborate on the nature of the complaint? With specific information you might get better advice. Unclear to us whether your concerns are related to...
by stan1
Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you stop junk mail?
Replies: 29
Views: 1507

Re: How do you stop junk mail?

A number of years ago we did a permanent opt out from "optoutprescreen.com". This site is run by our dear "friends" at the Big 4 credit bureaus in order to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act mandate for a credit card and insurance offer opt out process. Because they make money selling your da...
by stan1
Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with daughters first investments
Replies: 12
Views: 715

Re: Help with daughters first investments

Roth IRA with Vanguard Target Retirement 2065 in it. Start her out with simplicity not complexity.

This teaches her about : indexing, low cost, asset classes, reducing risk as one gets closer to retirement.
by stan1
Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying off Home mortgage, partner doubts?
Replies: 40
Views: 2913

Re: Paying off Home mortgage, partner doubts?

OneWorld111 wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:41 pm
Finally, its better to ask for forgiveness then permission.
Oh gosh, not with my spouse or my boss for that matter.
by stan1
Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Investing HOA reserve money?
Replies: 24
Views: 1083

Re: Investing HOA reserve money?

Sandtrap wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:25 pm
You have a moral and fiduciary responsibility to the homeowners to preserve the principal before all else.
Fiduciary yes, moral no. I do not want my HOA attempting to exercise moral responsibilities. Slippery slope.
by stan1
Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Investing HOA reserve money?
Replies: 24
Views: 1083

Re: Investing HOA reserve money?

Board members have a fiduciary duty to protect association assets. If ever required the Board's attorney would easily be able to defend that an FDIC insured account is a reasonable way to protect assets. An attorney would have a hard time doing so for any investment that could lose value. Also you c...
by stan1
Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal letters to the sellers of your house can work!!!
Replies: 72
Views: 7267

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

Helps to understand everyone's motivations. Sometimes sellers have an emotional attachment to their home. They have good memories with family and friends. They raised their kids in the house and want to see someone else do the same. Their neighbors are friends and want someone who is active in the c...
by stan1
Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Better way to get rid of old fridge?
Replies: 38
Views: 2464

Re: Better way to get rid of old fridge?

SrGrumpy wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:59 am
$15? C'mon!
Yep, its at least $50 to take it away where I live. You have a bargain.
by stan1
Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frontier Flight Fees
Replies: 17
Views: 1167

Re: Frontier Flight Fees

Frontier has some flights I'm interested in for $91 / ticket. Other flights that day are ~$300 / ticket. But Frontier almost seems like a scam with the varying fees like bag fees changing depending on the season and when you specify your checking your bag. Anyway, have other been happy flying with ...
by stan1
Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying off Home mortgage, partner doubts?
Replies: 40
Views: 2913

Re: Paying off Home mortgage, partner doubts?

If you are planning to buy a new home in the next year or two I'd say your wife is right. If you are planning to keep the current house as a rental how will you fund the down payment, move in costs, and updating costs of the new house that aren't part of a mortgage? Perhaps you have hundreds of thou...
by stan1
Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Working on elevator pitching, sales charisma
Replies: 8
Views: 856

Re: Working on elevator pitching, sales charisma

Have your pitch down (written and memorized), but don't recite it. Be flexible and know your audience and what they are looking for. Don't go techno wonk if the person you are talking to isn't into that. It's a lot about self awareness and reading others.
by stan1
Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Allocation
Replies: 10
Views: 984

Re: Asset Allocation

You stated you are not comfortable with your asset allocation. Do not use Social Security as a way to rationalize a decision you are uncomfortable with. Treat social security as future income. You can't invest it or control it.
by stan1
Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flying first class, business, versus economy.
Replies: 184
Views: 16407

Re: Flying first class, business, versus economy.

j0nnyg1984 wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:10 pm
I'm 6'8" and fly weekly for work.
I'm 5'8" tall. Please continue to pay for upgrades, I don't want you sitting next to me in a coach middle seat.

:twisted:
by stan1
Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are You Comfortable With State Specific Muni Money Funds
Replies: 7
Views: 717

Re: Are You Comfortable With State Specific Muni Money Funds

I am in California and in the highest tax bracket, I know the difference after tax is minor comparing the Schwab Value Advantage to the Schwab CA Muni Money fund. Are you comfortable with the safety of a muni money market fund? Thanks Short answer: yes, very unlikely to break the buck. How much do ...
by stan1
Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Initial Vanguard capital gains distribution announcement
Replies: 14
Views: 1693

Re: Initial Vanguard capital gains distribution announcement

Interesting that Health Care Adm and Inv have a hefty CG percentage, but none for VHT (the EFT, which i own). I’m curious since i thought that EFT and Admiral were the same class. The capital gains distributions listed are for the actively managed Health Care fund that's been around since 1984. It ...
by stan1
Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thoughts about wearing a "uniform"/same thing everyday?
Replies: 140
Views: 8992

Re: Thouhgts about wearing a "uniform"/same thing everyday?

I think it is viewed by some as an eccentricity. Do you mind if others think you are eccentric? In some careers like academia, science, or tech it's no big deal. If you are working in sales I'd advise against it.
by stan1
Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $23k credit card emergency
Replies: 76
Views: 8100

Re: $23k credit card emergency

Seems like you have too much left out of your budget on "little things" that add up: - gifts (unlikely to be zero) - dining out, coffee, entertainment, clothing (unlikely to be zero) Also I don't see the minimum monthly payments on the credit cards as part of your budget although you say you are put...
by stan1
Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Steam Oven vs Microwave?
Replies: 7
Views: 544

Re: Steam Oven vs Microwave?

There are steam ovens, combi steam ovens (with convection), and convection microwave (speed) ovens. I'd see no reason to get the steam oven by itself. If you want one of these as a second oven I'd get the combi steam/convection oven or a speed oven. Also make sure whatever you buy as a built in oven...