Search found 348 matches

by dowse
Sat Nov 10, 2018 4:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Planet Fitness etc.,
Replies: 51
Views: 4324

Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

I have belonged to PF for 5+ years. My local one was 3 mi. away, then moved 3 mi. farther away. I still go about 4 times a week. The new location took over a former hardware store location and rebuilt the inside from scratch. I've noticed that they have a pretty high turnover rate for employees. Nev...
by dowse
Wed Oct 31, 2018 8:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If On Medicare Before SS, How Do You Pay?
Replies: 40
Views: 3162

Re: If On Medicare Before SS, How Do You Pay?

A question for those who went on Easy Pay initially, but had Medicare premium withheld automatically from SS later: How long did it take for the SSA/CMS to reimburse you for double dipping? Nothing to worry about as others have mentioned. In my case, I just put the blinders on and paid what I was b...
by dowse
Mon Oct 08, 2018 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Former Employer Contracting Opportunity - Share Your Thoughts
Replies: 29
Views: 1577

Re: Former Employer Contracting Opportunity - Share Your Thoughts

Update - I figured those who have contributed to the thread and others following would appreciate an update. The company came back and agreed to the 2x rate. Lots of assurances on respecting my requirements for flexibility, minimum commuting, low pressure, etc. I agreed to approx. a 2-mo. duration, ...
by dowse
Mon Oct 08, 2018 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Former Employer Contracting Opportunity - Share Your Thoughts
Replies: 29
Views: 1577

Re: Former Employer Contracting Opportunity - Share Your Thoughts

All that matters if you submit an invoice and get paid (or not get paid). Put the (reasonable) numbers down. If they pay then you're good. It's work for money- beyond that it doesn't matter. It's not like they are hiring someone unskilled here. Doesn't sound like there will be any invoicing going o...
by dowse
Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Former Employer Contracting Opportunity - Share Your Thoughts
Replies: 29
Views: 1577

Re: Former Employer Contracting Opportunity - Share Your Thoughts

Thanks, all, for the thoughtful responses. Let me address tibbitts' question: I think a lot of the responses aren't addressing the actual situation, which is that you will be a W2 employee. So you have to include any benefits there - 401k, etc. Also when you compare what you used to make are you ass...
by dowse
Sat Oct 06, 2018 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Former Employer Contracting Opportunity - Share Your Thoughts
Replies: 29
Views: 1577

Re: Former Employer Contracting Opportunity - Share Your Thoughts

If you get 2x, then contracting company is getting something for their expense and trouble, so company is probably paying 3x or something like that to the firm. That may be too rich for your company. OTOH, you do not need the work, so you are in a no lose situation. However, if you are truly intere...
by dowse
Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Former Employer Contracting Opportunity - Share Your Thoughts
Replies: 29
Views: 1577

Re: Former Employer Contracting Opportunity - Share Your Thoughts

I was in a position very similar to what you describe. My former boss brought me in as a contractor through another engineering firm for 2.5 times my former salary divided by 2080 hours/year. The engineering firm takes 20% of that but pays the employer half of FICA taxes and covers liability. My ho...
by dowse
Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Former Employer Contracting Opportunity - Share Your Thoughts
Replies: 29
Views: 1577

Re: Former Employer Contracting Opportunity - Share Your Thoughts

cheese_breath wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 10:32 am
Could you break this up into several paragraphs? I doubt many people will read it the way it is now. I know I won't.
Done. Should have done it in the first place. Thanks.
by dowse
Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Former Employer Contracting Opportunity - Share Your Thoughts
Replies: 29
Views: 1577

Former Employer Contracting Opportunity - Share Your Thoughts

I am a retired engineer for 2.5 years now from Mediumcorp (almost, but not quite Megacorp). The other day, I get a message from a VP asking if I would be interested in helping them out on a project. I am comfortably retired and don't need the extra money, so anything I earn would be "fun money". I w...
by dowse
Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ripped off by a locksmith
Replies: 75
Views: 5767

Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Does anyone else believe that a tip for a locksmith (or any other type of service provider) is inappropriate regardless of the quality of service? It would never occur to me to tip.
by dowse
Sat Sep 22, 2018 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WSJ print edition renwal time - any discounts?
Replies: 68
Views: 4644

Re: WSJ print edition renwal time - any discounts?

TnGuy wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:31 pm
I went ahead and did the gaschoolstore @ $198/year. We'll see what happens.

Thank you all for replying. And, thanks to "123" for posting the gaschoolstore info in the thread.


David
Did you select New or Renewal?
by dowse
Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WSJ print edition renwal time - any discounts?
Replies: 68
Views: 4644

Re: WSJ print edition renwal time - any discounts?

You can support a local school, or one you may have attended years ago, by subscribing to the WSJ (print & digital) for $198 (305 issues) at https://gaschoolstore.com/ You can usually find a participating school group by putting in the name of a city in the school name and city fields and then addi...
by dowse
Sat Sep 15, 2018 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hurricane Florence - survival guide
Replies: 87
Views: 6700

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

If you are a ham radio operator, get your gear ready and batteries charged. If you know a ham radio operator, know how to find him when communications go down. If you want to become one, it's not hard to get a basic technician level license (for the next time). Ham radio networks are one of the last...
by dowse
Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dental Coverage Feedback
Replies: 13
Views: 1078

Re: Dental Coverage Feedback

Look into the Cigna Dental Savings Plan - not insurance, but you pay an annual fee of about $200 for discounted dental services at participating dentists. In most cases, you are better off with this plan as compared with paying premiums for insurance and being subject to caps. https://www.cignadenta...
by dowse
Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home-spun Weed Killers
Replies: 21
Views: 1592

Home-spun Weed Killers

I just relearned the effectiveness of vinegar and water as weed killer. Years ago, I foolishly dumped the discharge from descaling our coffee maker with vinegar and water on the lawn. Naturally, that killed the grass and created a big bare spot. Recently, I was trying to kill some moss in a walkway ...
by dowse
Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I want to pry my friend away from Edward Jones
Replies: 71
Views: 7797

Re: I want to pry my friend away from Edward Jones

I agree with others who recommend that you avoid giving advice that is not solicited. There are so many folks who are just not comfortable managing their own investments and feel that they need "a guy" with some sort of "credentials". Unfortunately, EJ fits this bill for so many people. I have had s...
by dowse
Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gentlemen: underwear shopping question
Replies: 35
Views: 4055

Re: Gentlemen: underwear shopping question

Wouldn't the Boglehead approach to this be to own fewer pairs? After all, one can get four days use per pair - frontwards, backwards, turn inside out and repeat! :D
by dowse
Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip to Maine
Replies: 38
Views: 3635

Re: Trip to Maine

Don't miss Nubble Lighthouse in York, ME. Also, don't miss Portland Head Light, located in a beautiful park with pleasant walking trails. I haven't been to any breweries in Portland, but I do like Allagash White a lot in the summer. While walking around the shops in the Old Port in Portland, Cabot's...
by dowse
Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's the reason you would buy reading glasses at...
Replies: 42
Views: 2614

Re: What's the reason you would buy reading glasses at...

When I first started needing reading glasses, my long distance vision was fine. I went with computer glasses, but I had to remove them when viewing from a distance. I kept misplacing them, losing them when they fell out of my pocket, etc. Also, it drove me crazy having to take them on and off all th...
by dowse
Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cleaning gas grill
Replies: 40
Views: 3634

Re: Cleaning gas grill

See this:

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=222527

For those who say it is not necessary to clean after every use, that does not apply in bear country!
by dowse
Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Maui Hawaii Trip - How to save money?
Replies: 52
Views: 5157

Re: Maui Hawaii Trip - How to save money?

Similar to others, we usually bring along a soft cooler, which collapses for easy packing. We also bring along some ziplock bags and some plastic silverware we have saved. We collect napkins as we visit coffee shops, fast food places, etc. If we are going to be out for a day trip, we will fill a zip...
by dowse
Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Maui Hawaii Trip - How to save money?
Replies: 52
Views: 5157

Re: Maui Hawaii Trip - How to save money?

+1 on Safeway. Get the Safeway card on the first visit. Significant discounts with the card.
by dowse
Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing pilot light in gas boiler with electronic ignition? (HVAC/furnace question.)
Replies: 9
Views: 630

Re: Replacing pilot light in gas boiler with electronic ignition? (HVAC/furnace question.)

The burner I have with pilot has the advantage that the boiler will still function during a power outage. That would not be the case if I were to replace it with one having electronic ignition. Because of this, and by manually opening valves in my hydronic heating system, I have been able to keep th...
by dowse
Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engineers come in.
Replies: 108
Views: 8336

Re: Engineers come in.

Retired EE here. Over the course of a 40+ year career in hardware design of electronics, I can say that I could probably count on one hand the number of times I directly used calculus to solve a problem. On the other hand, I relied on it quite often in an indirect manner in order to gain insight int...
by dowse
Sun Jul 22, 2018 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High voltage powerlines near house
Replies: 72
Views: 5521

Re: High voltage powelines near house

As another poster mentioned, I think the biggest negative is the potential impact on resale value due to the irrational fears of future prospective buyers. Another potential (rational) issue is that the high voltage lines can cause interference with radio reception, especially AM radio. That's not a...
by dowse
Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Irrevocable Trust Final Year Tax Question
Replies: 2
Views: 290

Re: Irrevocable Trust Final Year Tax Question

It says "Upon the termination of the trust* the trustee shall distribute the trust principal and all accrued and undistributed income to my son ...".

*The trust terminates upon the death of my step-mother. She was co-trustee with me.
by dowse
Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Irrevocable Trust Final Year Tax Question
Replies: 2
Views: 290

Irrevocable Trust Final Year Tax Question

I am the final beneficiary of an irrevocable trust that my late father set up to benefit my step-mother, who just passed. The trust document says that the trust now terminate and all assets are to be distributed to me. The trust was unable to distribute all of the required income to the beneficiary ...
by dowse
Sun Jul 01, 2018 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filing Restricted SS Application - Language Check
Replies: 45
Views: 4896

Re: Filing Restricted SS Application - Language Check

My wife will be filing for restricted benefits shortly at her FRA of 66. I am already receiving my benefits and have reached FRA. Currently, my wife's medicare charges are auto deducted from our checking account. I have seen others posting about the transition from paying quarterly. Just wanted to ...
by dowse
Wed Jun 27, 2018 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Distribute Trust Assets After Death of Beneficiary
Replies: 7
Views: 758

Re: Distribute Trust Assets After Death of Beneficiary

Why would your portion be zero but not that of the co-beneficiaries? Were you left a specific amount under certain conditions, then the daughters each get 50% of the remainder? (Doesn't sound like you are a "remainder beneficiary".) If the trust was originally a joint trust for your stepmother with...
by dowse
Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Distribute Trust Assets After Death of Beneficiary
Replies: 7
Views: 758

Re: Distribute Trust Assets After Death of Beneficiary

It is up to the beneficiary whether to mingle the funds with her spouse, not you. I am not sure I understand your question about capital gains. The step-up occurs and the capital gains/losses from any future sales are determined using the step-up. The question about capital gains is whether the ste...
by dowse
Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Distribute Trust Assets After Death of Beneficiary
Replies: 7
Views: 758

Re: Distribute Trust Assets After Death of Beneficiary

Pajamas wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:15 am
Why not simply make the distributions by checks payable to the beneficiaries? That's what I have always observed.
Yes, of course that would be the way to do it. Should have thought of that.
by dowse
Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Distribute Trust Assets After Death of Beneficiary
Replies: 7
Views: 758

Distribute Trust Assets After Death of Beneficiary

I am co-trustee for a revocable trust, along with my stepmother, who just passed away. I am named as one of the remainder beneficiaries, along with her two daughters. Due to a greater than expected draw-down to pay her expenses, my portion no longer exists, but I still have the responsibility to dis...
by dowse
Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: dryer vent cleaning--your thoughts?
Replies: 44
Views: 6836

Re: dryer vent cleaning--your thoughts?

Had been putting this off for longer than I care to admit. Low, first floor access to outdoor vent. There are a total of 3 90-deg. bends in the run due to an addition that forced some rerouting. There is an upright section from the dryer to the ceiling, where the remainder of the run is about 10 ft....
by dowse
Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Learning how to fix/repair things
Replies: 29
Views: 2564

Re: Book learning

This book was famous in its day: https://www.amazon.com/Readers-Digest-Complete-Yourself-Manual/dp/0895770105/ There are newer replacements. I own a copy of that, and I still refer to it occasionally. It was a great resource in the days before the internet and YouTube. YouTube is a great resource i...
by dowse
Thu Jun 07, 2018 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip to Hawaii - what do I need to know
Replies: 54
Views: 6911

Re: Trip to Hawaii - what do I need to know

Any suggestions on helicopter tour companies on the Big Island? Heading there in July, of course want to see the active lava flows. I would highly recommend Blue Hawaiian. Not sure how close they can get to the lava flows right now. Not sure if they are still doing DVD's, but in 2010, they would re...
by dowse
Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sherwin Williams paint
Replies: 52
Views: 3972

Re: Sherwin Williams paint

We have had two houses painted recently in two different states by two different painters, both interior and exterior. The painters definitely both recommended Sherwin Williams purchased at the SW store and NOT from Lowes (don't think Home Depot carries it). They claim that the formulations for Lowe...
by dowse
Thu May 31, 2018 9:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Europe- Zurich<->Paris- 10 days
Replies: 34
Views: 2885

Re: Europe- Zurich<->Paris- 10 days

As others have mentioned, Lucerne is a beautiful place to visit. The Mt. Pilatus tour, also previously mentioned, can be done with a "Golden Pass", if memory serves. It is a combination of gondola lifts to the summit, cog railway down to the lake, boat cruise across the lake back to the city. It can...
by dowse
Thu May 24, 2018 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Florida Living
Replies: 49
Views: 6190

Re: Florida Living

Consider Fernandina Beach/Amelia Island near Jacksonville. Seems to meet most of your criteria. Very laid back atmosphere. Very friendly people. Quaint, historic downtown with great restaurant scene. Great access to beaches. Scenic area. Less expensive than some of the other areas being considered. ...
by dowse
Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Downloadable Social Security Benefit Estimator (repost)
Replies: 86
Views: 10880

Re: Downloadable Social Security Benefit Estimator (repost)

Thanks for providing this. It's quite useful in my case, because I recently took advantage of the restricted application strategy and am collecting a spousal benefit with the intention of switching to my own benefit at age 70. Because I am already collecting, SSA will no longer produce a benefits es...
by dowse
Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Freakonomics Podcast on Indexing with Jack Bogle Interview
Replies: 2
Views: 753

Freakonomics Podcast on Indexing with Jack Bogle Interview

Just finished listening to an excellent podcast from Freakonimics: http://freakonomics.com/podcast/stupide ... broadcast/.
Includes an interview with John Bogle. I think many bogleheads will enjoy it.
by dowse
Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Name something you had to have and now you regret purchasing it?
Replies: 387
Views: 46962

Re: Name something you had to have and now you regret purchasing it?

A Hot Tub. Fine for a couple of years, but broke down and has languished for years. Jets broke, cover saturated with chemicals and now too heavy to lift, pump failed. Just let it all go due to repair costs. Now it will probably cost me money to get rid of it.
by dowse
Fri Mar 30, 2018 9:28 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Engineered Portfolio
Replies: 14
Views: 2146

Re: Engineered Portfolio

Bonds I just want to correct the original post in this thread Interestingly, their portfolios only include bond funds if the time horizon is 2-3 years. That's not true - our 5 year portfolio has 30% bonds and 10% gold. It's only when someone is able to truly put the blinders on for a full 10 years ...
by dowse
Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cosign college loan for sibling?
Replies: 87
Views: 4955

Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

The vast majority of financial articles I've read on this topic advise never to co-sign any loan for any reason. There was one exception I recall reading about. I can't recall the details, but the point of it was that the writer also believed this, but was willing to make an exception when he knew s...
by dowse
Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:38 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Engineered Portfolio
Replies: 14
Views: 2146

Engineered Portfolio

I'm curious what folks here think about the blog "Engineered Portfolio", https://engineeredportfolio.com/ mentioned in another thread. I'm intrigued by the portfolios they came up with based on extensive numerical analysis. Of course, it's all in the underlying assumptions and choice of data set. In...
by dowse
Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Trying to sort out all the portfolio advice
Replies: 14
Views: 1626

Re: Trying to sort out all the portfolio advice

I'm interested in the BH take on the blog overall, and particularly on the "engineered portfolios" . I think I'll start a new topic on it.
by dowse
Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Spousal Social Security
Replies: 14
Views: 1818

Re: Spousal Social Security

I think all those who choose to file online will still get an opportunity to interact with a real person. Within a few days of submitting my application, I got a call from a social security worker to confirm what I had submitted was what I wanted. The worker also wanted to speak to my wife to confir...
by dowse
Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Spousal Social Security
Replies: 14
Views: 1818

Re: Spousal Social Security

It's a good plan on its face. I'm assuming you have a plan to manage cashflow to age 70. There have been some discussions here about potential/actual problems in getting SSA to properly execute the restricted filing. It may be safest to actually go to a social security office in person (both of you...
by dowse
Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Deciding between Pathfinder, Highlander and Pilot
Replies: 21
Views: 2701

Re: Deciding between Pathfinder, Highlander and Pilot

I owned a 1996 Pathfinder. Ran it into the ground at close to 200k miles. Great for rough, muddy or snowy roads. Rode a little rough. Overall reliable. I currently own a 2006 Pilot with 225K miles. It's been a great car. Very reliable. Relatively little trouble. I am about to buy a newer 2015 one an...
by dowse
Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House Hunting Concerns With Well
Replies: 41
Views: 3978

Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Is there anything in there about a pumping test. That is the most useful info IMO. They run the pump for a designated period of time (24 hrs around) and measure the impact on the aquifer. A 2 gpm well is not great but if it is reliable and matches the use pattern of the home or can match the use wi...
by dowse
Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House Hunting Concerns With Well
Replies: 41
Views: 3978

Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

Well, it looks like the issue may have become moot with respect to this house. Word was received that an offer is in hand from another buyer. Of course, it could be rejected or fall through. Anyway, this has been a very educational thread. Let me summarize what I have learned, and please critique an...