Search found 1443 matches

by rjbraun
Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you carry your passport with you during international travel?
Replies: 105
Views: 7784

Re: Do you carry your passport with you during international travel?

Yes, passport is almost always on me in a secure fashion. Only exception would be if I were swimming or something similar that would prevent me from safely keeping it with me.
by rjbraun
Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff
Replies: 42
Views: 5944

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

I have routinely used the hotel mini bar for personal food items in the past; however, I guess I need to be more careful in the future. We stayed at an Intercontinental earlier this year. I was surprised to come across the following language, which was posted, imo, in rather small type on the mini f...
by rjbraun
Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you wash berries?
Replies: 71
Views: 4134

Re: Do you wash berries?

Definitely wash. But only right before you eat. Washing right after purchase and storing in the refridge shortens the life (they get moldy). Also see: https://www.driscolls.com.au/faqs +1 If find they last much longer if I wait and then wash just the ones I'm using. Guess I'm in a minority here. In...
by rjbraun
Thu Sep 26, 2019 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Planning a Europe trip in Dec 2019 last week. Need advice
Replies: 27
Views: 1628

Re: Planning a Europe trip in Dec 2019 last week. Need advice

We have gone to Rome the past number of years, initially to Rome during the Christmas period but more recently in January. Even at Christmas much to our surprise we did not, in general, find prices particularly inflated. There's a ton of cultural sites to visit in Rome, but other Italian cities are ...
by rjbraun
Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Piano advice
Replies: 9
Views: 675

Re: Piano advice

I suggest you pose the question on Piano World and seek input there as well. http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/forums/1/1/piano-forum.html Eta: I used that forum when I was in the market for a piano, in addition to relying on input from a friend more knowledgeable about pianos than I. In fa...
by rjbraun
Thu Sep 05, 2019 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wedding/Engagement Ring Insurance
Replies: 64
Views: 3816

Re: Wedding/Engagement Ring Insurance

I have a relative with USAA (I am with AMICA) with similar scheduled property coverage and price. Thanks for that info. I don't have a military connection and so presumably would not qualify for USAA coverage, but I will consider AMICA when I do my inevitable comparison shopping after Chubb sends m...
by rjbraun
Thu Sep 05, 2019 1:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are you thinking about having a home healthcare aide instead of moving to a retirement home?
Replies: 33
Views: 2468

Re: Are you thinking about having a home healthcare aide instead of moving to a retirement home?

MIL is 97, in her own home, 24 hour home care. She's happiest in her own home. So, that's the priority for now. j If you know and are willing to divulge, how much does this cost for her care, and in LCOL/HCOL area? M-H COL area. 8-10k/month. Total expenses for everything including home upkeep and h...
by rjbraun
Thu Sep 05, 2019 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are you thinking about having a home healthcare aide instead of moving to a retirement home?
Replies: 33
Views: 2468

Re: Are you thinking about having a home healthcare aide instead of moving to a retirement home?

NYT had article with in-depth coverage of homehealth live-in aide who is on duty 24/7 for 27 days a month caring for an elderly man with dementia and Parkinsons. A colleague provides relief four days per month. Her life seems exhausting and unsustainable. Theoretically she is supposed to have at le...
by rjbraun
Thu Sep 05, 2019 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wedding/Engagement Ring Insurance
Replies: 64
Views: 3816

Re: Wedding/Engagement Ring Insurance

Big difference in cost between a jewelry policy sold by a jewelry store and personal property on a homeowner's / renter's policy. We have $13,500 of listed items and pay $26.40 per year. Imagine if a piece of jewelry simply falls off (necklace breaks). Or stones fall out of a setting. Less than $30...
by rjbraun
Thu Sep 05, 2019 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wedding/Engagement Ring Insurance
Replies: 64
Views: 3816

Re: Wedding/Engagement Ring Insurance

Big difference in cost between a jewelry policy sold by a jewelry store and personal property on a homeowner's / renter's policy. We have $13,500 of listed items and pay $26.40 per year. Imagine if a piece of jewelry simply falls off (necklace breaks). Or stones fall out of a setting. Less than $30...
by rjbraun
Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Entertaining house guests
Replies: 37
Views: 3111

Re: Entertaining house guests

Thanks for the feedback, everybody. For the next few days I’m just muddling through it like I have been. Then I’ll have a few light days as my customers work on hitting a certain deadline for their own clients next week, so I’ll take him to Yellowstone NP for a couple days. Sounds like a good plan....
by rjbraun
Wed Sep 04, 2019 7:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Entertaining house guests
Replies: 37
Views: 3111

Re: Entertaining house guests

Unless I missed it I think some context for the friend's visit would be relevant. Granted, a friend is a friend, but did OP initiate the visit ... "hey, you should come stay with me for a couple of weeks. We'll have a great time, it would be wonderful to spend time catching up, etc." or was it more ...
by rjbraun
Wed Sep 04, 2019 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Italy in September
Replies: 35
Views: 2247

Re: Italy in September

In Rome the subway is a good way to get around town although they are crowded. Unless the third line is now operational in Rome, there are only two lines. Yes, depending on where you're going the subway can be effective for getting around, but, as with other public transit in large cities, it's imp...
by rjbraun
Wed Sep 04, 2019 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First-hand experiences with United Basic Economy for families?
Replies: 180
Views: 7256

Re: First-hand experiences with United Basic Economy for families?

No idea how the seating situation is going to work out for you. I took a United flight a couple of years ago to Narita. Deserted. Literally deserted. Every passenger had a row to themselves. And a lot of rows were empty. Your flight? Maybe busier. If your children are well behaved and have somethin...
by rjbraun
Wed Sep 04, 2019 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First-hand experiences with United Basic Economy for families?
Replies: 180
Views: 7256

Re: First-hand experiences with United Basic Economy for families?

You can save a little by buying 4 regular economy tickets and 1 basic economy ticket. One adult with 3 kids, the other adult alone. Unless the plane configuration is 4-seats across, I don't see how this would work without having at least one kid seated alone. And assuming the parent flying regular ...
by rjbraun
Wed Sep 04, 2019 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First-hand experiences with United Basic Economy for families?
Replies: 180
Views: 7256

Re: First-hand experiences with United Basic Economy for families?

Agree with others, OP should spring for regular economy tickets and get seats assigned in advance. I'm kind of surprised that the airline would even sell basic economy tickets to a group that includes "underage" passengers. By definition, it would seem that any passenger opting for basic economy wou...
by rjbraun
Fri Aug 30, 2019 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your plan for the last few years of a long life?
Replies: 230
Views: 15242

Re: What is your plan for the last few years of a long life?

There is a higher level authority at Vanguard that will allow ALL transactions as if you are owner (“full authority”?) This is what my spouse and I granted each other. Sounds like you may want authority to withdraw. Even with “full authority” Vanguard would not allow me to direct my spouse’s RMD in...
by rjbraun
Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your plan for the last few years of a long life?
Replies: 230
Views: 15242

Re: What is your plan for the last few years of a long life?

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:00 am
People should, to the extent possible, not rush into retirement.
Not sure I get your point. Are you suggesting that one err on the side of caution and work a bit longer to improve the odds of having sufficient funds (or more) in one's later years?
by rjbraun
Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alumni donations to help children get into college
Replies: 64
Views: 5413

Re: Alumni donations to help children get into college

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:19 am
What does HYS stand for?
Most often referred to as HYPMS: Harvard, Yale, Princeton, MIT, Stanford.
Yes -- I meant "Harvard-Yale-Stanford" caliber, of which, fwiw (for what it's worth), I would also include Princeton and MIT.
by rjbraun
Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alumni donations to help children get into college
Replies: 64
Views: 5413

Re: Alumni donations to help children get into college

This thread got me thinking about a former boss, a business owner. He showed me baby pictures of the latest addition to his family. As he put them away he mused that all his hard work was, basically, to enable him to support his family. I was somewhat struck by the comment as he had clearly already ...
by rjbraun
Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Physician quality and experience
Replies: 94
Views: 6056

Re: Physician quality and experience

I rely heavily on where the doc did residency for my choices. How do you find out which are the good residencies for a particular specialty? For example, in my surgical specialty, Harvard is the laughing stock of the USA, although everyone has heard the name Harvard. That is a good point that I had...
by rjbraun
Wed Aug 21, 2019 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: one month apartment rental in NYC
Replies: 12
Views: 1520

Re: one month apartment rental in NYC

Your sense that there may be specific laws or regulations about short-term rentals in NYC is correct. Some of the restrictions are touched on in the thread below. https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=286625&p=4667692#p4667692 Do you have a particular borough in mind? Manhattan, Broo...
by rjbraun
Mon Aug 19, 2019 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for home paper shredder
Replies: 73
Views: 6938

Re: Recommendations for home paper shredder

About a year ago I purchased this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00Q3KG1L8/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1 I am very happy with it. It's a bit more elaborate than the typical home shredder but it has worked out very well for me. I've used all of it's functions including shredding CD...
by rjbraun
Sat Aug 17, 2019 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston
Replies: 53
Views: 2694

Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

We stayed at the Cambridge Doubletree on the river last March. Soldier’s parkway I believe. Full service hotel with decent amenities. Was not within walking distance to anywhere but had a free shuttle service to Harvard, downtown and back bay as well. Under $150/night. Combined with Uber and the tr...
by rjbraun
Sat Aug 17, 2019 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston
Replies: 53
Views: 2694

Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

stumblebum wrote:
Sat Aug 17, 2019 11:09 am
since no car something to be aware of:
https://boston.cbslocal.com/2019/08/12/ ... -proposal/
Many thanks! Was not aware of this and really appreciate the heads-up. Very good to know beforehand.
by rjbraun
Sat Aug 17, 2019 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taking a break in your 50s: Is it the kiss of death?
Replies: 86
Views: 8526

Re: Taking a break in your 50s: Is it the kiss of death?

A lot of good advice already from posters. Your hard-earned savings provide you with financial freedom to explore and consider your life options. I have had several breaks in my career, including in my 50s. In each instance I found another job. It wasn't always easy, but I also tried my best to enjo...
by rjbraun
Fri Aug 16, 2019 3:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston
Replies: 53
Views: 2694

Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

I'd consider staying near Prudential or the Hynes convention center, there's a Hilton and Sheraton there. From there you can hop on the #1 bus on Mass ave. to Cambridge thru MIT to Harvard, and the area is well located within the city. You could stay closer towards Copley as well where there's more...
by rjbraun
Fri Aug 16, 2019 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston
Replies: 53
Views: 2694

Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

I work down the street from 777 Memorial https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/11836087 $1000 for 3 nights, available for Labor Day Weekend. Great location, looks like a nice place We were in Boston a couple months back. After looking at the hotels and what you got for the price, we wound up trying an Air B...
by rjbraun
Fri Aug 16, 2019 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston
Replies: 53
Views: 2694

Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

I love Liberty, but it can be quite expensive. I have also stayed at Le Meridien in Cambridge, but the rooms were tiny and I thought the hotel was underwhelming. Are you willing to take a chance with Hotel Tonight? Not sure how it works for three night stays. Liberty sounded interesting, but some n...
by rjbraun
Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston
Replies: 53
Views: 2694

Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Brand new. Very walkable. http://www.theportersquarehotel.com/rooms-en.html This is a great location, very close to the Porter Square redline, one stop from Harvard Square, one stop from Davis Square. The "cheap" room here are small and oddly shaped, which was fine for my purposes. The hotel restau...
by rjbraun
Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston
Replies: 53
Views: 2694

Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

It's been decades since I lived near Harvard Square, but it's hard to believe there aren't good hotels near there now. 777 Memorial was out in the boonies. Update: not sure why you don't like the Sheraton Commander. Decor seems interesting/appropriate for the area, 4 star reviews, good location. So...
by rjbraun
Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston
Replies: 53
Views: 2694

Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

I work down the street from 777 Memorial https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/11836087 $1000 for 3 nights, available for Labor Day Weekend. Great location, looks like a nice place Thanks for the link. What's the neighborhood around 777 Memorial like? My sense is that there's not a lot in the way of restaur...
by rjbraun
Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston
Replies: 53
Views: 2694

Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Upcoming long weekend visit and having a hard time identifying a decent lodging option. Three nights, 2 people (couple), no car. Initial plan was to stay in Cambridge, where our friend is at Harvard. But all the options I've found just don't seem so great. We don't have a strict budget but something...
by rjbraun
Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacation spots, Christmastime, Eastern/Southern US, Caribbean
Replies: 18
Views: 614

Re: Vacation spots, Christmastime, Eastern/Southern US, Caribbean

NYC: will still have a Christmas holiday vibe to things, but given that it's a large , multi-cultural city it's not as if things really shut down for the holiday. Granted, plenty of places will close Christmas Day but things don't really shut down, completely. Anyway, you're talking about coming aft...
by rjbraun
Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Silicon Valley Interview Attire
Replies: 30
Views: 2660

Re: Silicon Valley Interview Attire

How about Allbirds for shoes?
by rjbraun
Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worth it to upgrade to Main Cabin Extra?
Replies: 76
Views: 4004

Re: Worth it to upgrade to Premium Economy?

Hmm. You might try it on line the next time and judge for yourself. If you can get a seat in the first few rows behind business class this is unlikely to be an issue. Okay, thanks. Will definitely try to evaluate online in the future. I didn't feel that I had the luxury of time, in this last instan...
by rjbraun
Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worth it to upgrade to Main Cabin Extra?
Replies: 76
Views: 4004

Re: Worth it to upgrade to Premium Economy?

My concern was that, while I would enjoy extra legroom I might also be sitting opposite the food prep area, bathroom, bassinet area, or similar, which would thereby negate for me any benefit to having more room. For what it's worth, perhaps the best flight experience I've had was all the way in the...
by rjbraun
Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worth it to upgrade to Main Cabin Extra?
Replies: 76
Views: 4004

Re: Worth it to upgrade to Main Cabin Extra?

I called the AA rep this morning and he found a discounted premium economy seat for $174. I immediately upgraded my seat. I think is a good deal. I see the difference now. Unfortunately the discounted rate was only for the return flight. The outbound flight was a difference of $1100. Not doing that...
by rjbraun
Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worth it to upgrade to Main Cabin Extra?
Replies: 76
Views: 4004

Re: Worth it to upgrade to Premium Economy?

I would consider upgrading to Premium Economy but not "main cabin extra". I paid to upgrade to what I think was about the equivalent of main cabin extra on Cathay Pacific but then changed my mind and got a refund. My concern was that, while I would enjoy extra legroom I might also be sitting opposi...
by rjbraun
Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worth it to upgrade to Main Cabin Extra?
Replies: 76
Views: 4004

Re: Worth it to upgrade to Premium Economy?

I recently flew on BA with basic economy for a total of 15 hours one way (in 2 legs). I am 6'1". I had no problem. I was thinking to upgrade to premium economy for couple of inches in leg room and I am glad I did not do it. Interesting. Did anyone in the seat section ahead of you recline their seat...
by rjbraun
Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worth it to upgrade to Main Cabin Extra?
Replies: 76
Views: 4004

Re: Worth it to upgrade to Premium Economy?

I would consider upgrading to Premium Economy but not "main cabin extra". I paid to upgrade to what I think was about the equivalent of main cabin extra on Cathay Pacific but then changed my mind and got a refund. My concern was that, while I would enjoy extra legroom I might also be sitting opposit...
by rjbraun
Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Three or four-day Fall Getaways (Northeast US)
Replies: 19
Views: 1500

Re: Three or four-day Fall Getaways (Northeast US)

bumping this for more advice. so far it seems Finger Lakes and Northern Vermont are the two front runners. anyone know if Maine is manageable driving from Central NJ and Westchester NY? what about places where a quick flight makes sense? doesn't *NEED* to be fall-related. thinking maybe Bermuda or ...
by rjbraun
Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amtrak sale: "40% off Northeast Travel" -- LAST DAY today (August 1)
Replies: 2
Views: 467

Re: Amtrak sale: "40% off Northeast Travel" -- LAST DAY today (August 1)

I was actually able to book Friday early afternoon departures in a number of cases. I think these were instances where "Saver" fares were unavailable earlier so I had booked the pricier "Value" fares. Pleasantly surprised to see that Saver fares were not only available now but at least $10 off prior...
by rjbraun
Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amtrak sale: "40% off Northeast Travel" -- LAST DAY today (August 1)
Replies: 2
Views: 467

Amtrak sale: "40% off Northeast Travel" -- LAST DAY today (August 1)

Excellent prices for travel August 11 to January 31, 2020 -- must book by today.

Seems to be very good availability from what I can tell.

https://m.amtrak.com/h5/r/www.amtrak.co ... R-FareSale
by rjbraun
Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's your Uber passenger rating?
Replies: 118
Views: 6302

Re: What's your Uber passenger rating?

4.91 as a passenger. 4.98 as a driver. https://i.imgur.com/SMN5SHQ_d.jpg?maxwidth=640&shape=thumb&fidelity=medium Riders with a rating of 4.80 and above will have no trouble getting rides. Picky drivers will hesistate accepting passengers with ratings in the 4.7 range and below, especially when it’...
by rjbraun
Mon Jul 29, 2019 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Three or four-day Fall Getaways (Northeast US)
Replies: 19
Views: 1500

Re: Three or four-day Fall Getaways (Northeast US)

Montreal? We visited in the summer, but I would think October would be pleasant. Actual airtime from NYC is under an hour (~90 minutes with takeoff and landing), so it's a manageable enough trip but with a change in culture, if that's what you're looking for.
by rjbraun
Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Accomodation options for NY visit
Replies: 25
Views: 1827

Re: Accomodation options for NY visit

If you don't need privacy, do an airbnb room rental where owner is present (this setup is NOT illegal) with lots of good reviews in Sunnyside, Woodside or Jackson Heights within a few blocks of the 7 train. Airbnb rentals of full apartments in 2-family homes (such rowhouses are common in queens) ar...
by rjbraun
Sat Jul 27, 2019 7:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Accomodation options for NY visit
Replies: 25
Views: 1827

Re: Accomodation options for NY visit

No hotels, then you are left with Airbnb and couchsurfing. Lots of choices, get a hotel room or use Airbnb. www.booking.com www.airbnb.com Best to avoid short-term rentals through Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway or similar. Unless the host will be present or one plans to stay over 30 days, it's probably an ...
by rjbraun
Sat Jul 27, 2019 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Accomodation options for NY visit
Replies: 25
Views: 1827

Re: Accomodation options for NY visit

KSOC wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 10:35 am
Daughter lives in Queens. Our hotel has been Fairfield Inn Long Island City. 2 blocks from trains E-M-R-7-N-W. Decent free breakfast,clean. Some decent eats a few blocks NE near 36th & 35th.
That hotel should position OP well for access to US Open, if it is on the 7 subway line.
by rjbraun
Sat Jul 27, 2019 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Accomodation options for NY visit
Replies: 25
Views: 1827

Re: Accomodation options for NY visit

No hotels, then you are left with Airbnb and couchsurfing. I was also searching online, what about hostels? I wasn't aware of this, is that a good option? What is couchsurfing, how can I know how much this option costs? Thanks. There's a hostel located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. I've not ...