Search found 1186 matches

by obgraham
Mon May 20, 2019 8:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken: Windows to Mac
Replies: 14
Views: 805

Quicken: Windows to Mac

OK Quicken fans, I know this has been discussed but it is still confusing: Long time Quicken fan here. 20 years or so. But I despise the "subscription" mode, so I am using an old edition of Quicken, actually 2009. Works well for what I need -- running the checkbook, generating tax reports (I don't d...
by obgraham
Mon May 20, 2019 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Opening a Pediatric practice as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Replies: 66
Views: 4527

Re: Opening a Pediatric practice as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Indeed. The overhead will kill you. Health care has moved beyond the small private practice model. Efficiency snd volume are now key. As a small practice, you may well enjoy it more, but it is going to be tough to make it an economic success. That said there is probably a place for the "niche" or co...
by obgraham
Tue May 14, 2019 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I really do not like using credit cards. Do any of you have a good credit score with no credit cards?
Replies: 58
Views: 4015

Re: I really do not like using credit cards. Do any of you have a good credit score with no credit cards?

How do you Uber without a credit card?

When I looked this up just now the alternatives are simply credit card workarounds -- like paypal or cryptocash. I don;t really see the difference.
by obgraham
Tue May 14, 2019 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay myself for pilot training or invest them?
Replies: 18
Views: 1223

Re: Pay myself for pilot training or invest them?

OP, since your immediate concern seems to be whether you really can complete a flying license, I suggest you simply start in on PPL training. That is not a 50K prospect, and by the time you are 20-30 hours in you will have a better idea of how you are taking to it, and your prospects for finishing u...
by obgraham
Mon May 13, 2019 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When did you realize it wasn't enough?
Replies: 33
Views: 7239

Re: When did you realize it wasn't enough?

There are a few benefits that come with getting old. One is the realization that we can, and once did, live a very active lifestyle on a whole lot less income than we have today. Even taking inflation into account. And as is often pointed out, millions of retirees survive on little more than their S...
by obgraham
Thu May 02, 2019 2:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Should We Do With Excess Cash Each Month?
Replies: 17
Views: 2599

Re: What Should We Do With Excess Cash Each Month?

When the next correction hits, I don't want to see half of my market value go up in smoke like it did in 2009. This is just a normal part of the "buy and hold" strategy of investing. If you avoid the stock market, you miss out on the only proven way to accumulate wealth in the long term. What goes ...
by obgraham
Tue Apr 30, 2019 11:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chiropracter career no longer lucrative...what other job options are there?
Replies: 41
Views: 5350

Re: Chiropracter career no longer lucrative...what other job options are there?

What specifically would the person OP is dealing with do with an "online master's degree in health administration"? I doubt that this is a marketable credential.
by obgraham
Sat Apr 27, 2019 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is ACH Billpay risky?
Replies: 41
Views: 3085

Re: Is ACH Billpay risky?

At least 15 years in, I've never seen a problem with pull payments. I'm dealing with reputable companies. If there was an error and they somehow drew an excess or double payment, the chain of data is very clear, and I'm sure they would resolve it quickly. As others point out, though, it is important...
by obgraham
Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Standard Deduction vs Itemizing - Experience this year
Replies: 52
Views: 5278

Re: Standard Deduction vs Itemizing - Experience this year

Always itemized till 2018, when standard deduction was a better choice. The SALT does not apply to us, and bunching taxes isn't possible with the schedules of our places. That leaves charitables as the only way to work the system.

I guess we'll be standard deduction hereafter.
by obgraham
Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How's Ally Checking Billpay features?
Replies: 6
Views: 731

Re: How's Ally Checking Billpay features?

It comes out of mine on the day Ally predicts they receive the check. CapOne was when they cashed the check.

It is the one issue I have with Ally.
by obgraham
Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Delta skymiles Amex gold
Replies: 21
Views: 1423

Re: Delta skymiles Amex gold

I've had this card for some years, because Delta goes where we go, and we fly about a half dozen times a year. The free baggage justifies the annual fee for me. But if I didn't use Delta much, I would see no great love for this card. The number of miles required to get a free flight are often very h...
by obgraham
Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any *disadvantages* to citizenship?
Replies: 74
Views: 3777

Re: Any *disadvantages* to citizenship?

I was personally in the exact same position OP refers to. After 25 years working in the US as a Canuck with a green card, when we sat down with our estate lawyers there is a very clear benefit. A noncitizen who inherits the estate of a citizen partner (and in my community property state that is auto...
by obgraham
Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to get cash quickly
Replies: 102
Views: 6535

Re: How to get cash quickly

Though it wouldn't help in OP's specific case, this is why I keep a HELOC loan going.

If i need cash, I can transfer it into checkng online. Then wire it, or walk in and get Benjamins.
by obgraham
Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How often do you check your net worth?
Replies: 257
Views: 14568

Re: How often do you check your net worth?

Twice a year. With a separate number for "liquid" net worth. That gets around the issue of not having a clear value of the house, as it is not on the market now. And I do not value our "stuff" except for vehicles. Nobody wants our "stuff" that we think is so valuable!
by obgraham
Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sell our condo or rent it out?
Replies: 17
Views: 1316

Re: Sell our condo or rent it out?

Sell it. Being a landlord is a thankless task, unless you make a career of it.

A tenant wants everything fixed NOW, whereas when you live in it you put up with some stuff that doesn't quite work right "till you get around to fixing it". Just not worth the hassle for a few dollars of possible profit.
by obgraham
Sat Mar 23, 2019 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Foreign Currency
Replies: 25
Views: 1284

Re: Need Foreign Currency

My last bit on this topic: when you leave the country you visit, drop that extra local currency, bills and coins, into a charity box, usually found at the airport. Better than just bringing it home and looking at it for a year or two.
by obgraham
Fri Mar 22, 2019 6:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Foreign Currency
Replies: 25
Views: 1284

Re: Need Foreign Currency

Small denomination US $ (clean ones preferred) got me everything I needed below credit card level in most every Central American country.
by obgraham
Fri Mar 22, 2019 12:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How detailed is your review of your tax return when prepared by a professional?
Replies: 9
Views: 1132

Re: How detailed is your review of your tax return when prepared by a professional?

I don't understand anyone not wanting to "review" their own tax return. It's YOUR money, not theirs. I think OP will discover that most of those 180 pages are insignificant, but they merit at least a onceover. In our case, after using an accountant for many years, Mrs O became a CPA and worked for s...
by obgraham
Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying cash for a vehicle
Replies: 51
Views: 4401

Re: Paying cash for a vehicle

To me, replacing an old car whose history I know well, with another old car (well not quite as old) whose history is unknown, is not something I'd go for.

Both are at the "drive till they die" stage. I'd keep my 10k.
by obgraham
Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Setting up Joint/Individual Accounts with Spouse
Replies: 27
Views: 1982

Re: Setting up Joint/Individual Accounts with Spouse

We were long time BOA customers. Ran our business through there, too. Got all the perks of "personal banker" etc. Once retired, and the cash flow amounts dropped, they lost interest in me and tacked on a bunch of fees. They have no loyalty to their customer, so I see no reason, OP, why you feel the ...
by obgraham
Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Airline travel and economy: pay $$ to pick seats
Replies: 116
Views: 7486

Re: Airline travel and economy: pay $$ to pick seats

but according the seating chart, the plane is 2 seats on either side of the aisle. No middle seat.
Either a Canadair?Bombardier Regional Jet or an Embraer ERJ. On there aircraft there is usually little difference between the various economy-class seats.
by obgraham
Sat Mar 09, 2019 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Airline travel and economy: pay $$ to pick seats
Replies: 116
Views: 7486

Re: Airline travel and economy: pay $$ to pick seats

I see this happen often. A couple or family, near the last to board, wants me to switch seats so they can "sit together". Having booked early snd selected my seat with care, I usually refuse, prompting the "stink eye" look the rest of the way. Sorry, OP, don't expect the rest of us to fix your lack ...
by obgraham
Sun Mar 03, 2019 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Looking to switch my banking. Any suggestions?
Replies: 10
Views: 891

Re: Looking to switch my banking. Any suggestions?

Switching banks is a big deal to me, but I think it's time! It shouldn't be. Banks these days have no loyalty to you, so there is no reason for you to reciprocate. Switch to get the service you need. I was pleased with ING/CapOne for years. Then their web site removed some features I liked. Now I'm...
by obgraham
Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do others dislike Vanguard's new website as much as me?
Replies: 151
Views: 10993

Re: Do others dislike Vanguard's new website as much as me?

I find when I deal with a company thru their "app" I often have to change the way I do stuff to fit with their ways.
But when I simpy go to their website, it is usually easier to use my own ways.

Vanguard is like that. So is Ally.
by obgraham
Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why efile if you owe?
Replies: 47
Views: 4411

Re: Why efile if you owe?

Write a check? What's that? We efile every year as soon as we have the documentation together, and schedule the payment April 15. IRS pulls it usually at midnite + 1 minute! I look at OP's question the other way: Why NOT efile? That way I know they got it, odds of a manual looky might be less, and i...
by obgraham
Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How will you spend your retirement money?
Replies: 86
Views: 9677

Re: How will you spend your retirement money?

Right now I am spending mine by posting this from a cruise ship in the Indian Ocean. Trying to decide which of 3 venues to go to for dinner tonight.

It's a tough life, but I will persist.
by obgraham
Tue Jan 22, 2019 7:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it ever worth purchasing an extended warranty for a vehicle?
Replies: 90
Views: 5003

Re: Is it ever worth purchasing an extended warranty for a vehicle?

The whole logic of the Extended Warranty pitch has always escaped me. First they sell you a car, during which the friendly salesman emphasizes over and over how reliable and trouble free his cars are, and what a wonderful product it is compared to the competition. Then you get sent into the Finance ...
by obgraham
Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying Property in Northwest USA - Advice?
Replies: 18
Views: 2073

Re: Buying Property in Northwest USA - Advice?

Eastern Washington resident here, for 40 years. TriCities (Richland,Pasco,Kennewick) has doubled its population in the past 20 years or so, now 260k. Lots of retirees. Fortunately, the California and Seattle types think it is godawful here. Pros: desert climate, nice spring and fall, mild winter, ho...
by obgraham
Sun Jan 20, 2019 5:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cruise to China, Japan and South Korea— ship tours or booking private tours
Replies: 8
Views: 734

Re: Cruise to China, Japan and South Korea— ship tours or booking private tours

I think it depends on your priorities. We are just today embarking on a month-long cruise, Africa and Indian Ocean. Having paid a lot for ship-organized tours before, I spent some time looking for private tours. And indeed I booked a couple, mainly just a private driver to tour the city at the port ...
by obgraham
Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which iPad?
Replies: 19
Views: 1196

Re: Which iPad?

As far as I know, iPad memory cannot be supplemented by the user. So get the model with the highest amount of memory you might use. In my case a year or so back that was 256G. I never thought I would need that, till loading it up with movies for an upcoming trip, and using virtually all that 256. If...
by obgraham
Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone ever buy Hilton's Timeshares (HGVC)?
Replies: 51
Views: 9682

Re: Anyone ever buy Hilton's Timeshares (HGVC)?

Interesting to resurrect this thread after a couple of years. Just sat through the HGVC spiel in Las Vegas. What a slick bunch of operators. Smooth talking salesman, more aggressive "manager" (aka the Closer!), and finally brusque final manager to shuffle you out if you don't buy. Where else would f...
by obgraham
Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel Companies Similar to "Road Scholar"?
Replies: 21
Views: 1596

Re: Travel Companies Similar to "Road Scholar"?

I had the opposite problem with RS. Trip to Rome, art focus. RS cancelled the trip 30 days out, due to not enough signups.
Since I had booked a private week in Florence after it, I was not happy. Lost my deposit for that sector. RS claimed not their problem, please see the fine print.
by obgraham
Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: world war one research
Replies: 7
Views: 720

Re: world war one research

Probably a lot of information in the vaults in Salt Lake City. They are very good at letting anyone have access to their records.
by obgraham
Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard Statements - Print or Electronic
Replies: 47
Views: 2797

Re: Vanguard Statements - Print or Electronic

I can't see why anyone would insist on mailed statements, even just the year end. They are all there on the website for me. I download and/or make a pdf of them. That copy is in a well organized computer folder, just like a paper copy used to be. In the unlikely event that I need one, print a copy t...
by obgraham
Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Road Scholar" Travel
Replies: 18
Views: 2361

Re: "Road Scholar" Travel

We've done a couple of RS overseas trips, and feel about the same as Allocationist posted below. They really do look out for the people on their trips, and they keep the group size to a manageable amount -- usually not a 35-busfiller. The pace of the trips is geared to older folks -- for some that i...
by obgraham
Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: keeping warm in outside windy, freezing temperature and also inside office
Replies: 35
Views: 2204

Re: keeping warm in outside windy, freezing temperature and also inside office

Spent all my young years in cold places. Practicality over-rules style. You wear what it takes to stay warm. When you get where you are going (school, work, whatever) you take off the heavy stuff. Everyone else does the same. Nobody worries about looking nifty.
by obgraham
Tue Jan 01, 2019 9:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Save expired passports?
Replies: 26
Views: 2228

Re: Save expired passports?

I scan mine, as I like to rummage through them periodically, and since I carry all my documents with me on a usb drive, I could produce a copy of an old one any time. Interestingly, an expired US passport does not meet the requirements for TSA. And also, after some discussion, I was told that some v...
by obgraham
Fri Dec 28, 2018 11:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pre Cruise Ft Lauderdale Hotel
Replies: 29
Views: 1379

Re: Pre Cruise Ft Lauderdale Hotel

Being west coasters, we have to go to eastern cruise ports the day before. We dont think high end hotels are worth it for a precruise night. So contrary to my agent's advice we stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Cruiseport before a recent cruise out of FLL. It was fine. Clean room, nice bed, several ...
by obgraham
Sun Dec 23, 2018 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scissor recommendation
Replies: 11
Views: 1366

Re: Scissor recommendation

Scissors sold as “bandage scissors” are generally useless in my opinion. That knob on the end just gets in the way, especially if you are a lefty. Check with a medical supply place, online, and get a Mayo scissor. Good handy size and shape. Available in varying qualities and prices. I have several f...
by obgraham
Sat Dec 22, 2018 1:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric scooter for 10y old?
Replies: 17
Views: 778

Re: Electric scooter for 10y old?

My daughter the ER doc tells me these things are great for her business.
by obgraham
Sat Dec 22, 2018 1:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Earbud or Headphone Recommendation
Replies: 6
Views: 970

Re: Earbud or Headphone Recommendation

By coincidence with OP, I just received a set of Senso Wireless Blutooth S-250 Active Buds. I was tired of getting wound up in the cords. They were $30 a set on Amazon. I have weird earholes, and most earbuds, including everything Apple sells, will not fit in my ears. My Bose in-ear noise cancelling...
by obgraham
Tue Dec 18, 2018 7:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Azamara Cruises
Replies: 10
Views: 887

Re: Azamara Cruises

I suppose it's really the entertainment factor I'm trying to get a sense of. My wife and I really enjoy live music; at home we probably get out twice a week for blues, jazz, rock, opera, symphony, etc. On a cruise ship, we've really enjoyed hanging out in various lounges with live music, but have f...
by obgraham
Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Azamara Cruises
Replies: 10
Views: 887

Re: Azamara Cruises

We are great fans of tbe R ships. Originally with Princess, and now with Oceania several times. About to head off with Oceania for 30 days. We like the size, the amenities, and the avoidance of tbe huge crowds. The cabins are nothing much, but we just sleep there. The suites are nicer, but not in ou...
by obgraham
Sat Dec 08, 2018 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist
Replies: 47
Views: 3737

Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

There’s the “good ol days” and there’s these days. I had a root canal by a young general dentist 50 years ago. He capped it with a gold “partial onlay”. Every dentist who sees it calls it a true dental work of art. I have had several since then, mostly all sent to endodontist. Last one very nicely d...
by obgraham
Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quicken 2006
Replies: 7
Views: 751

Re: Quicken 2006

I use Quicken the old manual way also. No downloading. I use Quicken 2009 because I have the disc and can install it on any new computer without difficulty. Works fine. Why use it? Number 1 reason is that's where I keep track and be sure my bills are paid on time and that I have enough in my checkin...
by obgraham
Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Want to do non-religious, short-term medical volunteer work outside the US
Replies: 13
Views: 1849

Re: Want to do non-religious, short-term medical volunteer work outside the US

Sometimes volunteers without medical credentials can be of great assistance as part of groups doing this work. They can often help if they have language skills of the local populations and with organizing the clinics. This assistance can allow the medical folks to see and treat more patients and be...
by obgraham
Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for a nice travel watch... recommendations?
Replies: 41
Views: 2475

Re: Looking for a nice travel watch... recommendations?

Never been a watch person in particular, but Mrs Ob gave me a nice watch recently for our 50th. I wear it every day now. Nowhere near a Rolex, but too nice to wear on cruise excursions. We leave for a month-long cruise in the New Year. My plan is to get a walmart watch for under $15 for the cruise. ...
by obgraham
Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Want to do non-religious, short-term medical volunteer work outside the US
Replies: 13
Views: 1849

Re: Want to do non-religious, short-term medical volunteer work outside the US

OP, I speak from experience, having done some 15 such trips. The large outfits like MSF are bureaucracies, given to meetings about everything. The most effective overseas work has been with small agencies, often run by a handful of people. They can make all the needed arragements, you the doc just g...
by obgraham
Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:40 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: US->Canada Money Transfer
Replies: 5
Views: 545

Re: US->Canada Money Transfer

I recently had such a need, and after researching the options decided that carrying the Benjamins across the border myself was the best way. Keeping in mind the regulations regarding cash across borders. (In fact I had to report to the CDN side, and they were very efficient and above board about it.)
by obgraham
Sat Dec 01, 2018 3:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Restaurant Budget
Replies: 113
Views: 6969

Re: Restaurant Budget

What an interesting topic -- it really gets to the heart of how people vary in their evaluation of the things in their life. Work through the thread and we see a real spread from "I never eat out" to "I never eat at home". I suspect most of us here support the opinion that a person should spend his ...