Search found 125 matches

by cyclist
Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on WiFi vs. Wired at Home?
Replies: 34
Views: 2150

Re: Advice on WiFi vs. Wired at Home?

WiFi is great, but it’s wise to be sure that at a minimum you have Ethernet runs in place for potential expansion in far-flung areas of the house. If the router is upstairs you might want a Ethernet switch or a network extender in a downstairs office, for example. (That’s exactly our situation a FIO...
by cyclist
Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Erie insurance - experience?
Replies: 16
Views: 912

Re: Erie insurance - experience?

Been with them for decades. Excellent service. We’ve had home and auto claims, and have been happy with the results. We did have an issue some years ago when what they offered for our totaled Prius was too low. We followed advice we found online, identified all of the options on our car, the differe...
by cyclist
Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: If I add a ST TIPS fund to our 3 fund portfolio...?
Replies: 38
Views: 2002

Re: If I add a ST TIPS fund to our 3 fund portfolio...?

gr7070 wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:10 am
I had a recent thread on TIPS in retirement that might have some worthwhile discussion to you, as well.

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=316036
Thanks. Lots to think about!

Cyclist
by cyclist
Mon Jun 22, 2020 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: If I add a ST TIPS fund to our 3 fund portfolio...?
Replies: 38
Views: 2002

Re: If I add a ST TIPS fund to our 3 fund portfolio...?

My expectation is to add/glide into TIPS as I near retirement. So, yes, I would agree that having TIPS in retirement is generally a good idea. Having said that, having no TIPS isn't your biggest inflation concern/risk; I'd think a 20% AA in cash is your biggest issue with regard to inflation. Addit...
by cyclist
Sun Jun 21, 2020 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: If I add a ST TIPS fund to our 3 fund portfolio...?
Replies: 38
Views: 2002

If I add a ST TIPS fund to our 3 fund portfolio...?

I'm considering adding short-term TIPS to our classic 3-fund portfolio to guard against inflation a bit. We're recently retired and at 45% stock (80% of that in Total Stock Fund, 20% of it in Total International Stock Fund), 34% Total Bond fund, 21% CDs and cash. All of the FI is in tax-deferred acc...
by cyclist
Fri Jun 12, 2020 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: caulk puncture tool ?
Replies: 71
Views: 3768

Re: caulk puncture tool ?

Spare long screw, or a spare bike spike, or...

Cyclist
by cyclist
Sat Jun 06, 2020 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: E-Bike recommendations
Replies: 108
Views: 7122

Re: E-Bike recommendations

Unless you enjoy tinkering, what you buy is less important than who you buy it from. With rare exceptions, most of the motors and electronics are imported from China. They have great value for what they cost, but quality control can be uneven. If the price seems too good to be true... you know how t...
by cyclist
Sat Jun 06, 2020 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a Bike - What Should I Choose?
Replies: 14
Views: 1487

Re: Buying a Bike - What Should I Choose?

On the flip side, it's an excellent time to dust off that unused bike in your garage or shed and post it on Craigslist.

I've been amazed at the response I've gotten and at the prices I've received for unused bikes, both newish and quite old.

Cyclist
by cyclist
Tue Jun 02, 2020 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Install MOCA for fios speed?
Replies: 27
Views: 1212

Re: Anyone Install MOCA for fios speed?

There's also the option of the matching Verizon FIOS "extender" - itself a MOCA device - that will mate seamlessly with the device that you already have. Just get the correct extender to mate with the FIOS router you have now. (The black extenders, for example, don't work with the white routers, and...
by cyclist
Tue Jun 02, 2020 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bicycle Recommendation?
Replies: 49
Views: 4498

Re: Bicycle Recommendation?

As it usually it, it's the right horse for the right course... I got plenty of exercise with e-assisted cycling as a commuter going to work. I'd never have ridden as frequently without the motor, and I'd have been a lot less likely to ride on muggy mornings without the motor. (I also got to work a h...
by cyclist
Thu May 28, 2020 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Update current laptop or buy new one?
Replies: 58
Views: 3928

Re: Update current laptop or buy new one?

It's all about how you feel about investing the time. Replacing batteries and upgrading to SSDs is not typically very challenging. I'm typing this on a 7 year old HP laptop that I got for a song from DW's former employer. Maxing out the RAM, upgrading to SSD, and later replacing the battery resulted...
by cyclist
Thu May 28, 2020 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car won't start
Replies: 31
Views: 1422

Re: Car won't start

Don't assume that the battery itself is bad unless you know it's really old, or unless it's been tested and you know it's bad.

Get the jump start, then drive it for 20 minutes or more to let your alternator recharge the battery as it usually does.\\

Cyclist
by cyclist
Tue May 26, 2020 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Vehicle: Forester or Rav4 for boglehead couple
Replies: 88
Views: 5671

Re: New Vehicle: Forester or Rav4 for boglehead couple

You’re going to have to sit in them. My daughter thought she’d buy a Forester, but ended up with an Outback instead. We both found the Outback much, much more comfortable.

Put on your mask, grab the hand sanitizer, and try them. The Internet can’t tell you which one will feel right to you.

Cyclist
by cyclist
Fri May 01, 2020 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: A dollar in Roth vs a dollar to reduce our mortgage?
Replies: 10
Views: 935

Re: A dollar in Roth vs a dollar to reduce our mortgage?

I have made way too many assumptions here, that may or may not be quite applicable to the OP, in my recommendation/statement. 1. Roth assets, given that they provide tax-free growth, are assumed to be 100% stocks or close to it (may be 90:10) 2. All bonds in the portfolio, as recommended by tax-eff...
by cyclist
Fri May 01, 2020 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: A dollar in Roth vs a dollar to reduce our mortgage?
Replies: 10
Views: 935

Re: A dollar in Roth vs a dollar to reduce our mortgage?

January 15, 2019 was the day. That was my last day in the office. :happy I will have limited opportunities to do Roth conversions between Medicare and taking Social Security at 70, and I’ll plan to maximize them. At the margin, though, any dollar I pull out of our Roth accounts to reduce our mortga...
by cyclist
Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:44 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: A dollar in Roth vs a dollar to reduce our mortgage?
Replies: 10
Views: 935

Re: A dollar in Roth vs a dollar to reduce our mortgage?

Well, I'm obviously going to have to listen to David Jay - if memory serves, we retired at the same time with very similar approaches to things.

Cyclist
by cyclist
Thu Apr 30, 2020 7:52 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: A dollar in Roth vs a dollar to reduce our mortgage?
Replies: 10
Views: 935

A dollar in Roth vs a dollar to reduce our mortgage?

We’re recently retired and at 44/56 in a reasonable approximation of the 3-fund portfolio. 90% of our assets are in tax-deferred and 7% in Roth IRAs. We have just enough after-tax assets to carry us past the ACA cliff. Our plan is to let our equity percentage float upwards slowly over time towards 6...
by cyclist
Tue Apr 21, 2020 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it cheaper to ship to/from a UPS/Fedex access point?
Replies: 9
Views: 722

Re: Is it cheaper to ship to/from a UPS/Fedex access point?

I've also had good experience with, of all things, ShipBikes.com. You can ship most anything, not just bikes.

They're just a cheaper way of generating a FedEx mailing label. Highly recommended.

Cyclist
by cyclist
Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stimulus Charity?
Replies: 28
Views: 1631

Re: Stimulus Charity?

Food banks, for sure.

That’s what we did.

Cyclists
by cyclist
Tue Apr 14, 2020 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How many paid for kids' college?
Replies: 282
Views: 13954

Re: How many paid for kids' college?

Partly it's about resources, but for us it's mostly about values. We paid the costs for excellent private collage educations for both of our kids. (Grandparents provided some seed money for the college funds, but they couldn't have imagined how high the costs would grow.) 529s all the way. Our kids ...
by cyclist
Wed Apr 08, 2020 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Having internet connectivity issues during the workday
Replies: 51
Views: 2922

Re: Having internet connectivity issues during the workday

That’s the way cable works - unlike FIOS the system architecture isn’t symmetrical. There’s more downstream capacity in the pipe than upstream, and it sounds like the upstream capacity on your street is just overbooked during the day. If it helps any, your neighbors (and quite a few other folks thes...
by cyclist
Mon Apr 06, 2020 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Comparing ACA Options in Maryland
Replies: 5
Views: 336

Re: Comparing ACA Options in Maryland

We joined Kaiser when we started our ACA coverage in Maryland. Our cost after Premium Tax Credits is about half of the cost of a decent Carefirst plan. So far our experience has been pretty good - not perfect, but refreshing in the smoothly-integrated services, and in their careful and comprehensive...
by cyclist
Sat Apr 04, 2020 8:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First-timer facing ACA cliff for 2020: any penalties (or opinions)?
Replies: 12
Views: 950

Re: First-timer facing ACA cliff for 2020: any penalties (or opinions)?

Be aware that state income tax refunds (if income tax was deducted in prior year) also get added into your ACA MAGI... Can you expand on that a little? I’m prepared to believe that may be true under some circumstances, but it wasn’t for us in 2019. (We made a large 2019 estimated tax payment in Jan...
by cyclist
Fri Apr 03, 2020 5:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I withdraw my kids from summer camp?
Replies: 43
Views: 2817

Re: Should I withdraw my kids from summer camp?

Opinions clearly vary on whether the peak will have passed... but the virus and the risks it presents are very, very unlikely to have gone out of circulation. Even if the crush of very sick people ebbs the virus will still be around and transmitted. Camp is a great way for your kids to bring it home...
by cyclist
Tue Mar 31, 2020 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is there a reliable indicator for price movement of VBTLX Vanguard Total Bond Index Admiral
Replies: 5
Views: 575

Re: Is there a reliable indicator for price movement of VBTLX Vanguard Total Bond Index Admiral

I confess that I was watching BND as an indicator of how things might go if I sold some shares of VBTLX Vanguard Total Bond fund (which I'll need to do at some point this year.) I'd been nervous about instability in bond pricing but things were looking much better over the last few trading days. I h...
by cyclist
Mon Mar 30, 2020 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I think I may Cut the Cord - help me with phone
Replies: 16
Views: 982

Re: I think I may Cut the Cord - help me with phone

You can do this by porting your landline number to a throwaway cellular SIM and then again to Google Voice. (You can’t port a landline directly to Google Voice.) An inexpensive Obihai device will make your existing landline phones work again via Google Voice. Google voice DOES NOT support 911, but t...
by cyclist
Sat Mar 28, 2020 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How are you going to use your stimulus money?
Replies: 222
Views: 12798

Re: How are you going to use your stimulus money?

Capital Area Food Bank.

We qualify because we’ve arranged our finances to limit our income for ACA subsidy purposes, but there are rather a lot more people whose income is suddenly well more limited right now.

Cyclist
by cyclist
Sat Mar 28, 2020 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stimulus check from pandemic 2020
Replies: 37
Views: 3221

Re: Stimulus check from pandemic 2020

More interesting to me is the question of whether the checks will affect ACA cliff calculations. If it’s true that they’re really advance credits for 2020 then it would appear that they don’t matter for the ACA, but it sure would be nice to get confirmation about that before I make my final IRA with...
by cyclist
Sun Mar 22, 2020 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA subsidy optimization and COVID-19
Replies: 3
Views: 309

ACA subsidy optimization and COVID-19

Two observations for the current moment: 1. If you're strictly limiting your income to avoid the ACA cliff, I do hope you haven't cut things so close that any COVID-19 stimulus checks that might appear will push you over the cliff! 2. Tax loss harvesting might not be for you. I almost went there bef...
by cyclist
Fri Mar 13, 2020 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cancel flights due to coronavirus concerns?
Replies: 76
Views: 7856

Re: Cancel flights due to coronavirus concerns?

Anthony Fauci of the CDC made clear in an interview today that although he would travel for his public health work if it were necessary, there is no way he would get on a plane for recreational travel.

FWIW, he says he's 79 years old and in good health.

Cyclist
by cyclist
Fri Mar 13, 2020 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Census 2020 question
Replies: 27
Views: 2462

Re: Census 2020 question

Or you could skip the census and take your chances. You do know that electoral representation and the allocation of lots of federal dollars are based on census counts, right? If lots of people in your community do this, your community will be disadvantaged compared to others where people do respond...
by cyclist
Mon Mar 02, 2020 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Password Manager Risk Protection
Replies: 16
Views: 1180

Re: Password Manager Risk Protection

+1 for 1Password.

Cyclist
by cyclist
Fri Feb 28, 2020 2:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Re-assessing risk tolerance if near/in retirement
Replies: 50
Views: 2607

Re: Re-assessing risk tolerance if near/in retirement

DW and I both retired within the last 2 years. My IPS says 45-50% stock. We were pushing 50%, now we’re not. We’re still about 7 years from collecting Social Security. We’ve got about 10 years of spending in FI and cash, and we like that reassurance. My challenge will be deciding how much (if any) I...
by cyclist
Wed Feb 19, 2020 5:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying High Mileage Truck to Haul Mountain Bikes
Replies: 26
Views: 2196

Re: Buying High Mileage Truck to Haul Mountain Bikes

I don’t drive much but my car, our second, is a Honda Odyssey minivan precisely because it can handle tandem bikes, 2-wheeled recumbents, a pair of recumbent trikes, etc. Surely several regular bikes would fit too ;) We bought it used. On occasion we actually put lots of people in it instead. Most o...
by cyclist
Mon Feb 17, 2020 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Blacklight and invisible ink for password
Replies: 32
Views: 2400

Re: Blacklight and invisible ink for password

+1 for 1Password. Get an inexpensive family subscription. Each member of your family can have their own secured “vault”, and you can set up shared vaults so your significant others can access the passwords you want to share with them. Everyone should use a “diceware” style master password that is we...
by cyclist
Sun Feb 16, 2020 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When will 5G be available in Rural US?
Replies: 70
Views: 4612

Re: When will 5G be available in Rural US?

I had the opportunity to read a detailed analysis a couple of years ago by a consultant working for the 5G providers. The report looked at the economics of rolling out 5G from the perspective of the provider. The bottom line was that high-speed 5G service is a very short-range technology, there are ...
by cyclist
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does anyone bypass insurance for primary care?
Replies: 108
Views: 6892

Re: Does anyone bypass insurance for primary care?

We're recently retired and not yet eligible for Medicare. The cost to us (after premium tax credits) of the best HMO plan available through our state's exchange was about half of the cost of a good PPO plan, but DW has long-term relationships with some of her docs. It was cheaper for us to go the HM...
by cyclist
Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Verizon Fios AutoPay Bad Idea?
Replies: 51
Views: 3358

Re: Verizon Fios AutoPay Bad Idea?

We just switched successfully to DW’s account from mine and got new customer pricing. We got the last of the traditional bundles available to new customers in the DC market; those bundles remain available to existing customers. We kept our long-standing landline # by porting it to a throw-away mobi...
by cyclist
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Verizon Fios AutoPay Bad Idea?
Replies: 51
Views: 3358

Re: Verizon Fios AutoPay Bad Idea?

We just switched successfully to DW’s account from mine and got new customer pricing. We got the last of the traditional bundles available to new customers in the DC market; those bundles remain available to existing customers. We kept our long-standing landline # by porting it to a throw-away mobil...
by cyclist
Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Ally 13 month CD 2.10% (offer good through 3/31/20)
Replies: 22
Views: 3617

Re: Ally 13 month CD 2.10% (offer good through 3/31/20)

Thanks to the several folks who pointed out that I can open a CD at the end of March while the promo rate is good and then fund it April 1 when my current CD expires!

Cyclist
by cyclist
Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:27 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Ally 13 month CD 2.10% (offer good through 3/31/20)
Replies: 22
Views: 3617

Re: Ally 13 month CD 2.10% (offer good through 3/31/20)

Figures that my CD will be up for renewal 4/1, the day after that offer expires.

Cyclist
by cyclist
Sun Feb 02, 2020 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can I get the new customer rate from Verizon Fios? Or should I switch to Spectrum?
Replies: 52
Views: 5570

Swapped FIOS accounts AND retained our phone #!

Success! (Finally!) After years of FIOS triple-play service with prices only going up, we followed this path to get new customer pricing and the discount for combining wireless + residential service, and we kept our phone number. It did take a while. Separate your landline phone # from your Verizon ...
by cyclist
Thu Jan 30, 2020 6:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric Scooters
Replies: 25
Views: 1849

Re: Electric Scooters

There are lots of different kinds of folding bikes. For the most compact quality folder you probably want a Brompton. It’ll fit under your desk and anywhere else, and it folds and unfolds reasonably quickly. That, and super bright lights. The Dinotte Quad Red tail light is incredibly bright, very ex...
by cyclist
Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Another TIPS-for-recent-retirees question from a 3 fund guy
Replies: 11
Views: 1283

Another TIPS-for-recent-retirees question from a 3 fund guy

DW and I recently retired. We're currently 63 and 62, planning to defer SS to 70. We have no pensions. Most of our assets are tax-deferred, but we have enough in taxable to stay below the ACA cliff until Medicare. Our investments are close to the classic 3 fund portfolio. Our AA is currently 49:51 s...
by cyclist
Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Helping mom ditch her advisor
Replies: 14
Views: 1346

Re: Helping mom ditch her advisor

Thanks all. She’s only pulling 5% a year, slightly above her dividend yield.

I really appreciate the advice to look beyond the wasted fees and wait for more important matters to tackle.

What a terrific community this is!

Cyclist
by cyclist
Thu Jan 23, 2020 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Helping mom ditch her advisor
Replies: 14
Views: 1346

Re: Helping mom ditch her advisor

In addition to fee/performance issues, I think what really concerns me is that I know she’s extremely conservative and that I don’t think she’d accept the risk implied by her AA. If anything, I feel like I’m acting against my own interests. It looks to me like the advisor is accepting more risk than...
by cyclist
Thu Jan 23, 2020 5:27 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Helping mom ditch her advisor
Replies: 14
Views: 1346

Helping mom ditch her advisor

"He's such a nice young man. And my portfolio has done so well!" He is, but I've reviewed his annual report and performance lags a standard Boglehead 3-fund portfolio by good measure. (He's also got an 88 year old with 66% stock and only about 7 years of current spending outside of her stock holding...
by cyclist
Fri Jan 17, 2020 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cheap-o rental car chains
Replies: 46
Views: 3095

Re: cheap-o rental car chains

If you don’t much care which of the major brands you rent from, Hotwire can work quite well. (You find out who you have booked with after you have paid.) We’ve found it to be well less expensive than booking directly. It can also help eliminate up selling at the counter.

Cyclist (and sometime driver)