Search found 1260 matches

by obgraham
Wed Sep 23, 2020 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retired physicians (but others ok too. ;))
Replies: 28
Views: 3149

Re: Retired physicians (but others ok too. ;))

Retired now for 20 years. I then did a fair bit of overseas mission medicine, for which I needed a valid license, but the "retired-active" category in my state worked fine for that. Only $100 every 2 years. Otherwise, bagged the DEA registration, and converted specialty memberships to "life" or "ret...
by obgraham
Mon Sep 21, 2020 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any retirees thought about cutting spending in March 2020?
Replies: 53
Views: 3678

Re: Any retirees thought about cutting spending in March 2020?

Another aspect to this discussion: though it surely sounds like most retirees spent less just because the opportunity to spend declined. However, I bet most of us at least thought about the decline in portfolio/IRA value, and the economy in general. In our case it served to remind us that we do inde...
by obgraham
Sun Sep 20, 2020 1:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any retirees thought about cutting spending in March 2020?
Replies: 53
Views: 3678

Re: Any retirees thought about cutting spending in March 2020?

We have left our "daily living" expenses about the same since the virus. But we canceled all our travel. That was our major expense beyond daily living. So our IRA withdrawals (thats what we live on) are markedly down this year. That's probably good for our net worth, but it is certainly damaging to...
by obgraham
Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you estimate post-retirement income tax?
Replies: 21
Views: 1949

Re: How do you estimate post-retirement income tax?

For me it is simple. We live off our IRA. (that is its purpose). So it is taxable, same as when we earned by working. So is a good chunk of Social Security. So whatever income level you are planning, look up the tax at any online bracket chart, and there you go. For most of us (not all, I know!) in ...
by obgraham
Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: To architect or not to architect?
Replies: 21
Views: 2086

Re: To architect or not to architect?

We built our dream home years sgo, using an architect from original planning through final occupancy. My builder was unfamiliar with working with an architect, so there was some learning to be done. We were very pleased with how it turned out. But yes, it was expensive, perhaps 25% of the final cost...
by obgraham
Thu Sep 10, 2020 6:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Old friend joined Northwestern Mutual -- how to politely explain they're awful
Replies: 87
Views: 6678

Re: Old friend joined Northwestern Mutual -- how to politiely explain they're awful

Lets compare this to another field: I'm a retired doctor. I knew a lot of doctors when I was in practice. Lots of them were my friends (still are). I also knew that a bunch of them were not very good at what they did. But they remained my friends, and I never got into discussions about their abiliti...
by obgraham
Mon Aug 24, 2020 2:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cancelling upcoming trip
Replies: 43
Views: 4994

Re: Cancelling upcoming trip

I learned a hard lesson this spring. I will never again book hotels through consolidators or 3rd party websites. Only direct to the hotel. And no more prepaid bookings. I lost about $1000 of hotel bookings in Europe for May and June. Sure, sometimes they had a no-cancel stipulation, so I haven't a l...
by obgraham
Fri Aug 21, 2020 11:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is pursing a higher credit line with BofA a waste of time?
Replies: 10
Views: 963

Re: Is pursing a higher credit line with BofA a waste of time?

I'm a little surprised by OP's experience with BofA. When I was running a business and banking through them they bent over backwards, yes sir yes sir, private banker, skip the lines, plenty of credit (don't know about 250K -- out of my league!) But once I slowed down and headed to retirement they dr...
by obgraham
Sat Aug 08, 2020 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Access to e-bills in joint checking: separate logins
Replies: 24
Views: 1229

Re: Access to e-bills in joint checking: separate logins

This is why we keep a rostersheet of our logins--when it is necessary we use the other's.
The h*** with their "rules". It is my money.
by obgraham
Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thinking of buying a vacation home in NC mountains and doing Airbnb. Bad idea?
Replies: 66
Views: 6820

Re: Thinking of buying a vacation home in NC mountains and doing Airbnb. Bad idea?

AirBnB VRBO You will need someone to clean and restore/reset and inventory the unit after each rental which can be anywhere from 1 day to a week most often. Rentals will be seasonal at variable rates with fees. Have you calculated AirB and VRBO fees and cut? Indeed. An acquaintance of mine has 3 VR...
by obgraham
Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Convenience Fee For Mortgage Payment?
Replies: 22
Views: 1934

Re: Convenience Fee For Mortgage Payment?

They must be the only remaining mortgage lender to discourage electronic payment.

Makes me wonder what else they're behind the times at.
by obgraham
Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have I reach the Need for an Umbrella Policy?
Replies: 24
Views: 1995

Re: Have I reach the Need for an Umbrella Policy?

One of the main benefits of the umbrella coverage is that you will get insurance company lawyers on real cases This point is valid, regardless of whether some disagree with part of the post. When I was sued some years back, the large company where I have all my insurance jumped right in, took the c...
by obgraham
Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Based on neighborhood fireworks how is your local economy doing?
Replies: 55
Views: 4117

Re: Based on neighborhood fireworks how is your local economy doing?

People love their fireworks. So do I.

It makes no sense to ban them.
by obgraham
Thu May 28, 2020 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Capital One 360 bank account OK?
Replies: 35
Views: 2346

Re: Is Capital One 360 bank account OK?

I was with CapOne for years, then switched to Ally. I'd say they are pretty much equal. Never had a problem with customer service with either outfit. I changed when CapOne changed their web site layout and it wouldn't let me do a couple of things I wanted to. As long as you can get done what you wan...
by obgraham
Wed May 06, 2020 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should you tip landscapers?
Replies: 51
Views: 4731

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: 2992

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: 399

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: 1166

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: 1275

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: 366

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: 3931

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: 2129

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: 6258

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: 2959

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: 4406

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 amYet 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: 2959

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: 8618

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: 4062

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: 927

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: 5270

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: 32
Views: 2948

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: 15063

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: 734

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: 2913

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: 6553

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: 4370

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: 618

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: 3928

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: 31475

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: 31475

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: 835

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: 2391

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: 1322

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: 2867

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: 10390

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: 4515

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: 1402

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: 3945

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: 3093

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: 3275

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...