Search found 1345 matches

by GerryL
Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using a broker for a Supplemental Medicare Plan?
Replies: 17
Views: 394

Re: Using a broker for a Supplemental Medicare Plan?

Brokers will (generally) not cover every available insurance provider -- or even all the plans. The other day I ended up talking with a broker for Medigap plans. She had written a useful article about Medigap, so I thought I would see if she could recommend any other F-high deductible plan providers...
by GerryL
Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how long did it take to get used to retirement
Replies: 77
Views: 4957

Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

In the years leading up to retirement I started making a list of things I might want to do so that if I got bored I could look at the list and pick out an activity. Everything from clean up garage to take a geology class to planning African safari. When I actually retired -- a year earlier than plan...
by GerryL
Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you buy in Asian food stores?
Replies: 86
Views: 5238

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

I always keep furikake (dry rice topping generally in a small shaker jar) on hand in my cupboard. And I often run into a local Asian market to buy takuan (pickled Japanese radish). Just had both with my dinner. When I buy those things I will stroll the aisles and look for other items, but those two ...
by GerryL
Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I start investing?
Replies: 19
Views: 1057

Re: Should I start investing?

You didn't ask, but I'm going to offer you a tip about that car. Okay, you made the decision to purchase a $33+k car and you don't want to trade it in because you really, really like it. So, take good care of it and seriously plan on driving it for at least 10 years -- or even more. But after you ha...
by GerryL
Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:48 am
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2018!
Replies: 27
Views: 4130

Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2018!

Congratulations to all of the incoming class. Or is that outgoing? Anyway. Something to think about when deciding on your exact retirement date, especially if you are not yet Medicare eligible: Consider whether you would be better off picking a date at the beginning of the month so that your employe...
by GerryL
Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Quicken 2017 Update
Replies: 4
Views: 533

Re: Quicken 2017 Update

I updated my login credentials a few months before finally doing my upgrade to Quicken 2017 (from 2015) this weekend. I received the scary warnings a while back and decided to do it well before the last minute since I was going to be travelling. BTW, I actually read most of the EULA when doing the u...
by GerryL
Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Social Security announces 2.0% benefit increase for 2018]
Replies: 26
Views: 3207

Re: [Social Security announces 2.0% benefit increase for 2018]

For most SS recipients the hold harmless rule will ensure that SS checks will not decrease :sharebeer But I can appreciate the IRMMA "got cha" trap; Waiting until 70 to receive SS combined with IRA RMDs will snare so me folks. I anticipate using QCDs to manage my income and keep it below the IRMAA ...
by GerryL
Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Questions - Please Help
Replies: 24
Views: 1356

Re: Medicare Questions - Please Help

Not all MA plans offer dental and vision, and those that do may not be the best for you in other way (e.g., physician network). You might want to consider the other pros and cons of original Medicare and MA. I opted for original Medicare with Medigap (F-HD) and I get vision and dental insurance sepa...
by GerryL
Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Advantage vs. Supplemental
Replies: 40
Views: 2383

Re: Medicare Advantage vs. Supplemental

Thanks very much, everyone, for your thoughtful responses. Here are my takeaways ... 1. I'm more likely to have more choice in providers with Medigap (vs. Medicare Advantage). Though I've called every doctor I've seen in the last years, including 4 specialists, and they all take the United Healthca...
by GerryL
Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help with family financial situation - sheltering money / medicaid
Replies: 22
Views: 2097

Re: Need help with family financial situation - sheltering money / medicaid

I'll try to keep my advice focused on a few "next steps" since you have a complex situation: Make sure you fully understand the VA benefits before you make any other decision. Make sure your dad does not have any medical conditions that would qualify him for hospice care. You said he is in great ph...
by GerryL
Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First Winter (Dec/Jan) Vacation in Europe. Any suggestions please!
Replies: 26
Views: 1750

Re: First Winter (Dec/Jan) Vacation in Europe. Any suggestions please!

I'd be sure to pack some lightweight long underwear -- even if you don't plan to ski.
by GerryL
Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Circumstances in which a freeze needs to be lifted
Replies: 34
Views: 2403

Re: Circumstances in which a freeze needs to be lifted

This last time I tried to get one of my reports, however, I was told I could not get it online and would have to apply for it through snail mail. Now I'm wondering if the companies are tightening up. (Or maybe figure they have found a way to make a few bucks from the free credit report requirement ...
by GerryL
Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Going First Class
Replies: 42
Views: 2341

Re: Going First Class

It all depends on the value you put on something, doesn't it? I am now able to afford to pay $100 for a nice blouse, but I would never spend that kind of money on clothing. The other day I finally bit the bullet and paid almost $100 for a good seat at a musical I've been wanting to see. I've been pa...
by GerryL
Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Too old to invest at 70+ years?
Replies: 32
Views: 2407

Re: Too old to invest at 70+ years?

If you're considering investing in the stock market, remember that is really for money that won't be needed for at least 8-10 years. Too much risk of a loss that can't be recovered if it hits at the wrong time. So maybe the question to start with is how long do they want/expect their money to last. ...
by GerryL
Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Circumstances in which a freeze needs to be lifted
Replies: 34
Views: 2403

Re: Circumstances in which a freeze needs to be lifted

Can someone clarify this: I've seen some articles/people say that if you have freezes, it prevents anyone from accessing your credit report-- even you . It's the "even you" part I'd like clarity on. If you have freezes in place, should you still be able to get your reports from annualcreditreport.c...
by GerryL
Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Card - Should I get a Replacement
Replies: 47
Views: 2548

Re: Social Security Card - Should I get a Replacement

In late August I tried to get my free annual credit report, which I do every 4 months. Never had a problem before. This time I was denied online delivery and told I had to fill out and mail in a form. Along with the form I need to supply a copy of my SS card, a pay stub with my SS #, or a W2 form. I...
by GerryL
Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare High Earner Premium
Replies: 15
Views: 2245

Re: Medicare High Earner Premium

Thank you for the SSA-44 form. I will sign up for Medicare in late 2018 for the first time (retired in 2017). I believe that means my initial IRMAA fee will be based on 2016 tax information. Since I am not collecting SS, I assume I will not be pre-notified about the IRMAA fee. Couple questions plea...
by GerryL
Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money
Replies: 34
Views: 2581

Re: Cheapest thing you ever heard of to save money

My mother -- a child of the depression -- would hang up tea bags (like Lipton or Red Rose) and then use them again. We often used the ring-twice and hang up to prompt a call from home. No caller ID in those days. Later used it as a signal to my mom that I was about to call. She was in the midst of a...
by GerryL
Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare High Earner Premium
Replies: 15
Views: 2245

Re: Medicare High Earner Premium

DH retired in 2016 and sold his business that year as well. Earnings were around 35K salary and mid six figures for sale of his business. He is enrolling for Medicare for the first time in 2018. It is my understanding they will look back at 1040 for 2018 to the 2016 year. So I guess he will have to...
by GerryL
Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare High Earner Premium
Replies: 15
Views: 2245

Re: Medicare High Earner Premium

Yes. They do revisit. A one-time event like the sale of a business should only affect your premium(s) for one year.
Sometimes it is hard to get a straight answer from SS Admin on IRMAA questions.
by GerryL
Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Asking for discounts
Replies: 59
Views: 6321

Re: Asking for discounts

The killer is when you discover that a local store or restaurant has routinely been giving you the senior discount -- and you didn't even know to ask for it. :shock: I was recently travelling in France. At most places there you need a state-issued senior card to get any age-related discount, but I a...
by GerryL
Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is inflation so low? Moore's law?
Replies: 23
Views: 2875

Re: Why is inflation so low? Moore's law?

I always thought that Moore's law had to do with transistors. From the wiki - Moore's law is the observation that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years. The observation is named after Gordon Moore, the co-founder of Fairchild Semiconductor and...
by GerryL
Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Has your "risk tolerance" been tested?
Replies: 97
Views: 5142

Re: Has your "risk tolerance" been tested?

By 2008 I had built up a nice 401K and IRA and was also contributing to a taxable account. Wasn't very informed about AA, but did have my investments divided among bonds and equities, including some international. Not a lot of rhyme or reason. When 2008 hit and the quarterly statements weren't as pr...
by GerryL
Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do you do with your empty inkjet cartridges?
Replies: 22
Views: 1488

Re: What do you do with your empty inkjet cartridges?

I have a Brother laser printer. When I order a new toner cartridge it comes with a postage-paid sticker to return the empty cartridge. I can't recall what I used to do with ink-jet cartridges when I used them because I got them through no-name mail order on the web. Our regional government sponsors ...
by GerryL
Sun Oct 08, 2017 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Change for a $20 requires ID!!
Replies: 22
Views: 2274

Re: Change for a $20 requires ID!!

First time I ran into this rule at local bank....is it new? Can I get a $10 and two $5's for this $20? No, not without proper ID Wow, part of the know if your customer is laundering money This story would be more interesting if you had just withdrawn $20 from your account, then asked to change that...
by GerryL
Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life
Replies: 43
Views: 3507

Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

In late August, just before I headed out of the country on vacation, I went to AnnualCreditReport.com to get my credit report from Equifax. I pull a report every 4 months, and Equifax was up. I filled out the form and answered all the questions, but when I clicked to see the report, I was told they ...
by GerryL
Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I'm thinking about cashing completely out of equites....
Replies: 75
Views: 8064

Re: I'm thinking about cashing completely out of equites....

To paraphrase: I'm >56 years old and I have all the money I will ever need based on my lifestyle (boring). I have a 60/40 AA. (Actually more like 65/35 when my taxable account is included.) No thought of cashing out. If my net worth continues to rise, that's more money I can give to charity. If the ...
by GerryL
Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medicare versus Medicare Advantage for 2018
Replies: 19
Views: 1845

Re: Medicare versus Medicare Advantage for 2018

There is no single "best" option for everyone. It will depend on your circumstances. I always recommend the book Medicare for Dummies for help in navigating the complexity of Medicare. Borrow a copy of the book from the library. (I liked it so much I bought my own copy.) Then when you understand eno...
by GerryL
Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Circumstances in which a freeze needs to be lifted
Replies: 34
Views: 2403

Re: Circumstances in which a freeze needs to be lifted

I've had my credit frozen for years. Have only had to unfreeze 3 times, but I don't do it until the company that wants to see my report tells me which agency they are checking. First time I was switching cell phone providers and it never occurred to me a credit check would be required. The transacti...
by GerryL
Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How many money accounts do you have? And how do you Keep track of them?
Replies: 28
Views: 2404

Re: How many money accounts do you have? And how do you Keep track of them?

I have been using Quicken for years, so the transactions and totals are all in one place. I reconcile routinely monthly. The issue is not so much how many accounts, but how many financial institutions you need to keep track of. Since retiring I have consolidated my investments at Vanguard and deal w...
by GerryL
Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting Paris - should we buy tickets in advance?
Replies: 37
Views: 1613

Re: Visiting Paris - should we buy tickets in advance?

Also, for exploring some Paris neighborhoods, check out Discover Walks (https://www.discoverwalks.com/city/paris-walking-tours/). They advertise FREE English-language tours, but they operate on tips. They offer daily tours of several popular neighborhoods. The guides are college students. I took a c...
by GerryL
Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting Paris - should we buy tickets in advance?
Replies: 37
Views: 1613

Re: Visiting Paris - should we buy tickets in advance?

I had a Visa chip and pin card from BofA. Verified before leaving that it was true chip&pin. Used it everywhere, but I was never given the opportunity to put in my pin. Even with the ticket kiosks at CDG, Paris and Lyon. Sometimes I would be prompted to enter my pin, but before I could get past the ...
by GerryL
Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting Paris - should we buy tickets in advance?
Replies: 37
Views: 1613

Re: Visiting Paris - should we buy tickets in advance?

If you're going to get a Paris City Pass, be sure to consider which days you intend to use it to see which sights. In France, most museums are closed on Monday or Tuesday. The City Pass website may have that info for each museum so you can make a list ahead of time. A guide book can also provide tha...
by GerryL
Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life
Replies: 43
Views: 3507

Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

From what I understand, states can decide whether and how much (up to the max) consumers will be required to pay for credit freezes. Residents of several states are not charged. Residents of Oregon can be charged the max ($10? or is it now $15?). If this is the case, we should all be lobbying our st...
by GerryL
Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 3 stages of Financial Independence
Replies: 63
Views: 7017

Re: 3 stages of Financial Independence

I claim that #3 has no practical limit and that implies nobody ever believes that they have reached #3 stage. I feel like I am at a comfortable stage 3 now, but it took an "embarrassment of riches" to make it so. I feel I am at stage 3, and was stunned when I realized it. But of course, one's lifes...
by GerryL
Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oregon road trip help
Replies: 85
Views: 5494

Re: Oregon road trip help

Well we are at the airport waiting to come home.Portland has the nicest airport I have seen. The coast was awesome.The waterfalls were great on the way to Hood River. ... Driving around Portland is a nightmare.The traffic is worse than the Bay Area.I never associated Oregon with traffic.Portland it...
by GerryL
Thu Aug 31, 2017 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you reverse a lifetime of frugality and learn to spend some money?
Replies: 59
Views: 6401

Re: How do you reverse a lifetime of frugality and learn to spend some money?

Lots of good advice above. Pick out what works for you. I was also very frugal all through my early years and even through my 2+ decades making a very good corporate salary. In fact, I was thrown off kilter a couple of years before I retired when I had a financial planner look at my situation and I ...
by GerryL
Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:55 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: [Are the Bogleheads] getting less interesting?
Replies: 255
Views: 16954

Re: Is Bogelheads getting less interesting?

Many people come here to get answers. Once they get the knowledge they need over a span of time, they may find the forum less engaging and drift away. Some may stick around and continue to read and comment. I keep an eye out for topics that I'm still preparing for (e.g., RMDs and QCDs, taxes in reti...
by GerryL
Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Learning from loss
Replies: 23
Views: 2856

Re: Learning from loss

As far as I know, I haven't had any SIGNIFICANT investment losses. That's largely because once I execute on a decision, I don't bother going back and worrying about what might have been if only .... One experience: I had company stock that was up to $80/share. Had never executed a stock trade and wa...
by GerryL
Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: First article I've read against indexing that seems convincing
Replies: 40
Views: 5749

Re: First article I've read against indexing that seems convincing

Correlation does not imply causation. (See this: http://www.tylervigen.com/spurious-correlations) The article did not prove that the issues observed (like lower IPOs or R&D spending) were caused by higher levels of indexing in the market. It certainly did not, but correlations can make for decent h...
by GerryL
Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: QCDs from Vanguard
Replies: 38
Views: 2443

Re: QCDs from Vanguard

From what I can figure, QCDs don't really work well with automatic distributions, especially when the QCD amount/percentage from year to year may be variable. For this reason, I am not planning to take advantage of Vanguard's automatic distribution feature. (Two years from now I expect to be executi...
by GerryL
Mon Aug 28, 2017 3:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Starting a Roth IRA for a 9 year old
Replies: 20
Views: 2460

Re: Starting a Roth IRA for a 9 year old

My brother, who has his own business, started my nephew on an IRA when he was 9. (His work involved helping put out the monthly newsletter back when paper was still a thing.) My nephew is now 26 and very fiscally responsible. He lives with his parents but owns (with mortgage) two rental properties.
by GerryL
Sun Aug 27, 2017 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Self insure vs Medigap when on "traditional" Medicare
Replies: 73
Views: 4781

Re: Self insure vs Medigap when on "traditional" Medicare

We have high deductible Medigap plans. So we self insure for out of pocket costs of up to $2200 each per year. These seems like a more rational solution than self insuring for unlimited medical expenses. plannerman Agree. We have the Plan F high deductible at a total cost for two of about $2,300. I...
by GerryL
Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What do you do with RMD money you don't need?
Replies: 51
Views: 4243

Re: What do you do with RMD money you don't need?

I'm still about 2 years away from RMD #1, but I have already created a simple spreadsheet with a pie chart that I intend to use each year to plan and visualize how to divide my RMD pie among Cash, Reinvest and QCD each year. Long-term goal is to prevent MAGI from reaching $85k, so I won't hit the IR...
by GerryL
Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your Movie Collection?
Replies: 43
Views: 3504

Re: Your Movie Collection?

I just had another defective dvd from the library - Cesar , the third film of Marcel Pagnol's Fanny Trilogy , aka The Marseille Trilogy . The library has a machine it uses to buff dvds, and sometimes this takes care of scratches if not too severe. Hopefully the machine will prevail, and I'll be abl...
by GerryL
Tue Aug 22, 2017 5:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying for Medicare when not collecting Social Security
Replies: 17
Views: 1415

Re: Paying for Medicare when not collecting Social Security

I've been paying it automatically from my checking account for the last three plus years. While I get a monthly bill in the mail, it's noted that the payment will come out of my checking on the 20th. I don't put it on a card since I don't want to write a check or use a stamp. - Ron Same here. It co...
by GerryL
Tue Aug 22, 2017 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Eclipse Traffic: predictions vs reality?
Replies: 64
Views: 4834

Re: Eclipse Traffic: predictions vs reality?

Someone told me about driving from Silverton, OR back home to Happy Valley. They waited a few hours to avoid the rush. The drive took more than twice as long as usual. Meanwhile, here in Portland, the anticipated problems with traffic on Hwy 26 and mass transit woes did not materialize. In fact, par...
by GerryL
Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?
Replies: 259
Views: 14912

Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

99% totality here in PDX. I stood at the chimp exhibit for an hour recording activity at 5 minute intervals. Chimps were not impressed. Well, our male was impressed by the fact that several female keepers were out watching and recording him and ... something in the sky, apparently. From what I heard...
by GerryL
Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?
Replies: 259
Views: 14912

Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

From Woodburn to Junction City, I wonder how the authorities are going to enforce the peak ecilpse 10:00-10:30? The next day I asked someone in Woodburn about the orange barrels. They said there has been repaving going on at night. My mistake. News about how police managed the traffic during the ev...
by GerryL
Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?
Replies: 259
Views: 14912

Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

Drove up I-5 today from Woodburn (north of Salem) toward Portland. Noticed that the highway is lined with orange construction barrels. I'm guessing that they are being deployed to prevent drivers from pulling onto the shoulder to watch the eclipse. Locals have been warned that stopping along the hig...