Search found 1246 matches

by obgraham
Wed May 06, 2020 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should you tip landscapers?
Replies: 51
Views: 3222

Re: Should you tip landscapers?

I agree with "Tim" just below me. I recently had the landscape rock replaced in my Arizona condo. Hard and dirty work, and not something I'm able to do any more. Three guys shifted the full 2 truckloads in one long day's work. $100 wasn't a lot to me, but those guys certainly were appreciative.
by obgraham
Mon Apr 13, 2020 7:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How did your spending change when your kids left the house?
Replies: 41
Views: 2891

Re: How did your spending change when your kids left the house?

It was a good 15 years after the last one left the house before we were no longer contributing to their support. And one of the three is still not past looking for the occasional handout.
In other words.....it never ends!
by obgraham
Wed Mar 25, 2020 10:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital One Online Check Deposit Question
Replies: 5
Views: 396

Re: Capital One Online Check Deposit Question

You can deposit acheck at Cap One, or Ally, via their web site.

What varies is the length of time they hold the funds before they are available to you. Personal checks get held longer. Sometimes a week.

Easier to link your local acct to your online acct and make the transfer that way. Faster, too.
by obgraham
Tue Mar 17, 2020 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll - Coronavirus - How much cash do you keep home?
Replies: 21
Views: 1120

Re: Poll - Coronavirus - How much cash do you keep home?

D
Most of it in the form of pristine cash I hang onto for when I travel to undeveloped countries.

(As if that will happen soon!)
by obgraham
Sun Mar 15, 2020 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How accurate are bank appraisals?
Replies: 17
Views: 1248

Re: How accurate are bank appraisals?

My history of bank appraisals has been that they have always been low. Perhaps that is because my houses have usually had some unusual (call that "expensive") upgrades or design features. Banks are happiest appraising a house that looks and behaves like all its neighbors.
by obgraham
Sun Mar 15, 2020 3:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recommendations for regular saving account
Replies: 4
Views: 351

Re: Recommendations for regular saving account

Ally has worked better than a brick bank for me. Never had an issue. Savings rate is okay, perhaps not the very highest available.
by obgraham
Sat Mar 14, 2020 12:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recent Early Retirees How are You Coping?
Replies: 29
Views: 3849

Re: Recent Early Retirees How are You Coping?

Been retired for almost 20 years. So we've seen this scenario before. If you are living off your IRA, as we are, it is always stressful to watch it plummet. IMHO anyone who denies that is just blowing smoke. I found 2008 much worse, because I was 70/30 in equities. As a result, I've changed to 40/60...
by obgraham
Fri Mar 13, 2020 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Princess Cruise: Take Cash or Greater Future Credit
Replies: 23
Views: 2090

Re: Princess Cruise: Take Cash or Greater Future Credit

Contrarian, as usual.

If you like the Princess product, take the bonus. One way or another they will be back in business eventually. Hopefully!
by obgraham
Mon Mar 09, 2020 11:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cruise Cancellation
Replies: 62
Views: 6197

Re: Cruise Cancellation

Well I'll tell you what we are doing: We have a Rhine River cruise booked May 14. Cruise line (upper end type) made the same deal -- cancel up till 7 days before with no penalty, as long as you book something else by the end of 2022. Seems fair. I'm prepared to change the plan up till May 7, but We'...
by obgraham
Thu Mar 05, 2020 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Interviewing for a new job (Anesthesiologists) any tips etc.
Replies: 24
Views: 2930

Re: Interviewing for a new job (Anesthesiologists) any tips etc.

I think your story reflects the state of the business of medicine in the US today. Across all specialties and in all sorts of communities.

The best thing you have accomplished is to work out a plan for exiting the profession. Sadly.
by obgraham
Wed Mar 04, 2020 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coronavirus: Why Are People Buying Water?
Replies: 61
Views: 4283

Re: Coronavirus: Why Are People Buying Water?

camillus wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 1:14 pm
Luke Duke wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:57 am
Yet another reason to get a bidet.
That's what I was going to say. The ultimate survival tool.
I have a tree in my back yard. And a shovel. My toiletry needs are taken care of.
by obgraham
Thu Feb 27, 2020 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Interviewing for a new job (Anesthesiologists) any tips etc.
Replies: 24
Views: 2930

Re: Interviewing for a new job (Anesthesiologists) any tips etc.

Working as I did on the other side of the ether screen, I might suggest that the best anesthesiologists to work with were the ones that were reliable, responded when asked to, didn't think the world revolved around them (that's reserved for the surgeon!) and were pleasant and competent in dealing wi...
by obgraham
Sat Feb 22, 2020 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How quickly did you receive your 2019 tax refund?
Replies: 111
Views: 8249

Re: How quickly did you receive your 2019 tax refund?

This year we hand a refund -- the first in 42 years. I mis-estimated the withholding.

Since we are living out of our IRA now, the easiest is to apply any refund to the next year's taxes, then withhold that much less from the next IRA withdrawal. So it is almost an immediate refund.
by obgraham
Thu Feb 20, 2020 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Many Accounts for Cash?
Replies: 52
Views: 3943

Re: How Many Accounts for Cash?

We travel a fair amount, often out of country. I've had occasions where one card will not work, but another does. So we have two cash accounts,separate institutions. But one is just for "emergency backup", small balance only.
by obgraham
Sun Feb 16, 2020 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio mix-retirement
Replies: 11
Views: 881

Re: Portfolio mix-retirement

If you want to be 100% in equities, why consider those bond funds? Also, to me, you have a bunch of duplications, and sectors of the market funds. Are you trying to time things? You could simplify and still be where you wish to be. Finally, heavy as you are in stocks, you need to accept that the dow...
by obgraham
Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employer refuses to put holiday gift on W-2
Replies: 60
Views: 5183

Re: Employer refuses to put holiday gift on W-2

As one of the business owners many years ago, I learned in a similar situation that no good deed goes unpunished. When we gave a little christmas cash gift,$50 or so, it provoked nothing but trouble. Higher paid staff claimed they deserved the same percentage as lower paid. Some debated this very sa...
by obgraham
Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Online bank recommendations
Replies: 22
Views: 1684

Re: Online bank recommendations

If you want to be a true Boglehead, you should drive a Subaru, invest at Vanguard (except for the $100,000 you keep at Merrill Edge so you can enjoy high Bank of America credit card rewards), and use Ally as your online bank. Hmmmm. I fit the bill there for 3 out of 4. I'll look into that Merrill E...
by obgraham
Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wife's oncologist has stopped treatment, is recommending hospice
Replies: 93
Views: 14793

Re: Wife's oncologist has stopped treatment, is recommending hospice

It sounds to me, OP, that she has reached the stage where she snd you should be planning the quality of her remaining days, rather than focusing in the quantity.

This is what hospice does. Usually quite well.
by obgraham
Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Deduction with no records
Replies: 7
Views: 720

Re: Deduction with no records

Take the deduction. What's to lose? You would have to be audited, odds of which are not high.
If you are, and they disallow, you are back where you began.

It's not a jailable offense!
by obgraham
Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is Rebalancing Necessary?
Replies: 30
Views: 2713

Re: Is Rebalancing Necessary?

I started investing in the 90s and have never rebalanced Well when you reach the stage where you are living off that portfolio, you might not be as happy with the AA. Especially if the market does a 2008-9 on you. So then, It is only necessary when the risk ratio escapes your acceptable parameters ...
by obgraham
Tue Jan 28, 2020 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is the best path to get into MED School for a high school senior?
Replies: 72
Views: 6392

Re: What is the best path to get into MED School for a high school senior?

Speaking as a now-retired MD, with a daughter who is an ER doc, 2007 graduate. I'm a bit of a cynic when it comes to med school admissions. I think all the schools have their own distinct way of picking their entrants (given that pool has loads of applicants with high GPAs and MCATs). In my part of ...
by obgraham
Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question for Older Retirees, In Hindsight Would You Retire Earlier with Reduced Income/Savings?
Replies: 35
Views: 4322

Re: Question for Older Retirees, In Hindsight Would You Retire Earlier with Reduced Income/Savings?

Well I for one did exactly what OP contemplates. Retired at 55, realizing I had adequate but not luxurious assets, but also realized that our lifestyle does not require luxurious living. Absolutely correct decision. Now at 74, net worth is just about the same as at retirement. Spent 15 years doing o...
by obgraham
Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial planner/ retirement planning for parents
Replies: 11
Views: 612

Re: Financial planner/ retirement planning for parents

I'm missing something here: Why not find a "Fee Only" FP charging either by the hour for time spent or a flat rate, rather than a percentage of the portfolio?
by obgraham
Tue Dec 31, 2019 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need advice on Parents' dire financial situation
Replies: 39
Views: 3785

Re: Need advice on Parents' dire financial situation

Are they healthy?
Do they currently have health insurance? What is their plan for that until Medicare kicks in?
by obgraham
Wed Dec 25, 2019 4:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: White Coat Investor: Enough is Enough!
Replies: 289
Views: 31271

Re: White Coat Investor: Enough is Enough!

And I’d rather have someone who saves too much than someone who spends too much. The latter can become a burden to family and society. If everyone were a miserly saver the economy would come crashing to a halt and our stocks would drop to zero. We need more compulsive spenders, not fewer. The probl...
by obgraham
Wed Dec 25, 2019 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: White Coat Investor: Enough is Enough!
Replies: 289
Views: 31271

Re: White Coat Investor: Enough is Enough!

Interesting thread. What I don't quite understand is why folks think that once you "have enough" you would suddenly change your living habits and start spending money lavishly. Most of us are creatures of habit. If I have put enough aside to fund the same life style in retirement hat I enjoyed while...
by obgraham
Thu Dec 19, 2019 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Traveling to South Africa - money tips
Replies: 14
Views: 819

Re: Traveling to South Africa - money tips

My experience was a bit different....In SA out of big cities, and in the other countries up the East of Africa, cash was much preferred, and cc often refused. This for small purchases, refreshments, etc. So yes, get some rand at the ATM. At home when I come across a clean USNote (1-5-10) I toss it i...
by obgraham
Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Check Cashing Business
Replies: 40
Views: 2321

Re: Check Cashing Business

You deal with a segment of the population I'd just as soon avoid.
by obgraham
Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Opening a HELOC. Wise or not?
Replies: 19
Views: 1309

Re: Opening a HELOC. Wise or not?

I have a fee-free heloc, and I have used it several times: buying a vehicle where I worked a quick bargain, buying a snowbird place, etc.

No downside that I see.
by obgraham
Tue Dec 10, 2019 4:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tips on medical practice partnership buy-in?
Replies: 55
Views: 2784

Re: Tips on medical practice partnership buy-in?

Speaking only for my own case: Our CCorp distributed everything at year end. So Cap Gain did not apply. The building was separate, and there it did. But curious -- if you are not buying a share of equipment or building, what are you getting for that big buyin? Equal share of the A/R? IMHO "goodwill"...
by obgraham
Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why I love banks
Replies: 79
Views: 10327

Re: Why I love banks

I've often wondered why we get obsessed with "free notary when you need it" as a reason to keep a big bank balance at sub-par rates.

I might need a notary once in 5-10 years.

MailStop or UPS store. $10. Big deal!
by obgraham
Fri Nov 22, 2019 6:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where/how to keep cash on hand or equivalent?
Replies: 55
Views: 4457

Re: Where/how to keep cash on hand or equivalent?

flossy21 wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:58 pm
Hide it in a hole in the top of several doors in the house.

https://freshome.com/2011/03/16/how-to- ... h-project/
My Dad did exactly that. For months afterward, rolled up $100's showed up in some very remote spots around the house.
by obgraham
Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: OB/GYN Prepayment?
Replies: 20
Views: 1340

Re: OB/GYN Prepayment?

Obviously times have changed since I did this line of work, but I can assure OP that unless the practice is a bunch of crooks, anything that turns out to be an overpayment will be refunded. This was a monthly task at my practice, and involved every refund down to $1.00.
by obgraham
Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tale of 2 doctor job opportunities
Replies: 41
Views: 3902

Re: Tale of 2 doctor job opportunities

Couple of issues I learned, sometimes the hard way, about group practices. You want to be clear up front about the issues: Who pays the tail policy if you leave the group before becoming partner? If pay is determined in part or all by production, is it "billed" or "Collected" production? What happen...
by obgraham
Sat Nov 02, 2019 12:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how does Personal Umbrella Insurance work?
Replies: 28
Views: 2974

Re: how does Personal Umbrella Insurance work?

I suspect the vast majority of high dollar payouts come after significant litigation. The main thing about umbrella insurance is that they provide your defense, as it is in their interest to minimize your liability losses. What you have to find out is if your policy has a "right to settle" clause, o...
by obgraham
Thu Oct 31, 2019 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: paying foreign medical bill - after the fact:( back from vacation
Replies: 30
Views: 3257

Re: paying foreign medical bill - after the fact:( back from vacation

I know I'm just old fashioned, but I tend to look at a situation like this as "did the seller provide the service for which they sent me a bill?" So in this case, the Italian hospital did indeed provide service, and without knowing the details, the bill sounds reasonable. (Now if this involved a qui...
by obgraham
Sat Oct 26, 2019 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Flagship clients no longer have a personal rep
Replies: 48
Views: 4943

Re: Flagship clients no longer have a personal rep

Indeed, I had a "personal rep" for many years. Never actually managed to speak to her/him. It was always "so and so can help you today".

I dont think the new situation is really any different.
by obgraham
Wed Oct 23, 2019 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you plan to actually spend down your portfolio?
Replies: 353
Views: 29597

Re: Do you plan to actually spend down your portfolio?

I guess I am the exception here: I am spending mine. That is what it is for. Having been self employed, there is no pension, just what is in the IRA and SS.

It is all about how fast I spend it. 18 years into retirement, it certainly looks like it will last me!
by obgraham
Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Malpractice Tail Coverage - Difficult Decision?
Replies: 9
Views: 1103

Re: Malpractice Tail Coverage - Difficult Decision?

Apparently medical professional negligence tail is different than legal professional negligence tail… FWIW as a retired lawyer I have tail coverage at no additional cost because my former firm has continuous coverage through its same insurer and under that policy all current and former lawyers are ...
by obgraham
Sun Oct 06, 2019 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Document Storage: what format? (paper, fiche, scan,..?)
Replies: 43
Views: 4220

Re: Document Storage: what format? (paper, fiche, scan,..?)

Like some others here, I keep no paper at all except house deeds and vehicle titles. Started in 2005 and very pleased. Organization is key.
I have some OCD tendencies so I like to check "what that gas bill was like in 2011", so I keep my statements, in pdf. Very little effort required.
by obgraham
Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Part D advise
Replies: 33
Views: 3301

Re: Medicare Part D advise

It's pretty hard to beat the Humana Walmart plan at $160 a year.Gill Depends on the state. In mine it is $32 a month. Dropping to $30.40 in 2020. That is probably the Humana Basic Rx plan and not the new Humana Walmart Value Rx plan which will be $13.20/month nationwide. You are correct. My error!
by obgraham
Fri Oct 04, 2019 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Part D advise
Replies: 33
Views: 3301

Re: Medicare Part D advise

I try to get the most rock bottom plan I can. I rarely use any Rx; I've been tempted to skip Part D altogether. My current plan bumped the rate but also in the fine print, jacked up the deductible and copayments. I plan to shop around. I may still decide to go without and pay the penalty later if I...
by obgraham
Tue Aug 27, 2019 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: US citizens moving to the UK - hopefully less complex than recent posts but woudl like your advise
Replies: 7
Views: 716

Re: US citizens moving to the UK - hopefully less complex than recent posts but woudl like your advise

In line with what JJ mentioned, I think the biggest issue is to be clear about the inheritance rules, for both the US and the UK. Especially if your plan is to leave assets to heirs, but also clarifying what will happen when one of you dies and wants to leave the estate to the other. You'll need exp...
by obgraham
Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ally bank app vs Bank of America app
Replies: 8
Views: 904

Re: Ally bank app vs Bank of America app

All I can add is that the Ally app is clear, simple, and works well.

My experience with BOA is that they don't see value in such.
by obgraham
Sat Aug 17, 2019 10:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aliens have captured my husband [wants to buy a Porsche]
Replies: 138
Views: 11880

Re: Aliens have captured my husband [wants to buy a Porsche]

Practicality be hanged. He should buy the Porsche.
by obgraham
Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving from Canada -> USA tax implications
Replies: 19
Views: 1305

Re: Moving from Canada -> USA tax implications

No comment on the prime questions here, but just pointing out that if you are paying only $140 monthly for health care insurance you are getting a VERY bare bones coverage. You'll be a cash payer for 90% of your medical encounters. Then you'll be charged top dollar, not what everyone else's insuranc...
by obgraham
Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Emergency medical insurance (Helicopter transport, etc)
Replies: 32
Views: 3561

Re: Emergency medical insurance (Helicopter transport, etc)

Look at MedJetAssist for your long distance or international coverage.

Not sure how they would handle hauling you from a highway wreck to a hospital 4 miles away.
by obgraham
Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relocated, No Bank Branch, and Need Earnest Money Check
Replies: 13
Views: 769

Re: Relocated, No Bank Branch, and Need Earnest Money Check

If you are going to have a regular bank, this is an argument for a local community bank. I had this problem, buying a place on the otherside of the country. Got on the phone, talked to the manager at my home bank, told her the problem, and she had the solution (wired funds) in short order. Megabanks...
by obgraham
Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse
Replies: 79
Views: 7789

Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

You can take this security obsession to the point where it is nearly impossible to get anything done easily. My passwords are on an excel sheet. A paper copy of said sheet is in a notebook. Mrs. O knows where both those items are, readily available to her when I croak. If the Russians break into my ...
by obgraham
Wed Jun 19, 2019 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how do you manage your cash flow in retirement
Replies: 28
Views: 3835

Re: how do you manage your cash flow in retirement

I have spent down our taxable accounts so everything is in IRA, now consolidated at Vanguard. Checking and a small savings amount in Ally online, all bills paid from there, mostly autopay. About every 2 months, sell some Vanguard, direct deposit to Ally, shows up in 2 days. We do maintain a small ac...