Search found 281 matches

by gardemanger
Thu May 19, 2016 7:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice w/ 62YO Mom Moving In - Rent? Resentment? Plans? (Update, Pg 3)
Replies: 123
Views: 16153

Re: Advice w/ 62YO Mom Moving In - Rent? Resentment? Plans?

She has worked hard her entire life, often having multiple jobs at the same time, never having a break, both physically and mentally. She raised all of us children, while working and without help, and she was a caretaker for many years as well. She is exhausted. Life is short and if my mother only ...
by gardemanger
Sun Feb 21, 2016 10:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Engagement Ring Saving
Replies: 68
Views: 7075

Re: Engagement Ring Saving

The "two months salary" guideline was a marketing slogan created by the De Beers diamond cartel in the 1980s. There is no deeper "tradition" behind this "guideline": it's just an instruction for good little consumers. http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/money/a32609/two-months-salary-engagement-rin...
by gardemanger
Sun Feb 21, 2016 10:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sickened by Dole Salad Mix
Replies: 78
Views: 7256

Re: Sickened by Dole Salad Mix

And I know it seems like packaged foods have lots of problems, but people are still more likely to contaminate foods in their own kitchen. It is a little like the difference between airplane crashes and car crashes. I don't know of any evidence to support this claim. Do you have research you can ci...
by gardemanger
Sun Feb 21, 2016 9:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sickened by Dole Salad Mix
Replies: 78
Views: 7256

Re: Sickened by Dole Salad Mix

Avoiding pre-cut, pre-processed veggies is not a guarantee, but it does reduce the risk of contamination considerably. I like convenience as much as the next person, but when I look at chopped prepared bags of greens, they usually look so depressingly limp that I can't bring myself to buy them anywa...
by gardemanger
Thu Feb 18, 2016 7:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have banks or CUs ever historically blocked early withdrawals from CDs?
Replies: 10
Views: 1241

Re: Have banks or CUs ever historically blocked early withdrawals from CDs?

That is my gut feeling, too. It's just that it doesn't look like even IndyMac or Washington Mutual did this during their financial crisis bank runs. If there were examples of banks doing this during previous rising rate periods, even when they were healthy, I'd steer clear of longer term CDs. I've ...
by gardemanger
Tue Jan 19, 2016 8:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do retirees care about their credit score?
Replies: 35
Views: 3269

Re: Do retirees care about their credit score?

...and in case anyone has been following me closely (I can't think why, you'd die of boredom) yes, I am fixing to buy a condo, and yes, I was asking on these boards a while ago about mortgages and if my credit score was high enough. (A seeming humblebrag; it's high.) As it turns out, I am not gettin...
by gardemanger
Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do retirees care about their credit score?
Replies: 35
Views: 3269

Re: Do retirees care about their credit score?

I'm not a retiree, I'm disabled, so this sort of applies to me and sort of doesn't. To the extent that a good credit score is the natural result of having and using credit responsibly, I'm glad to have a good one even if I don't "need" it for any immediate or obvious reason. Although I have no plans...
by gardemanger
Sat Jan 16, 2016 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much House can I afford with an income of $98,000? My husband gave me a bizarre number
Replies: 110
Views: 19532

Re: How much House can I afford with an income of $98,000? My husband gave me a bizarre number

Is the issue that the OP and her husband disagree about how much new house to buy, or that they disagree about whether to buy a new house at all? There is a current house that the family is living in, but no information about why a new house is needed or desired. The poster also says "I" want to buy...
by gardemanger
Wed Jan 13, 2016 7:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a condo - Tough questions to ask?
Replies: 32
Views: 5277

Re: Buying a condo - Tough questions to ask?

OK, so resale value isn't terribly high on my list of priorities, but I'd be a fool not to consider it. Ideally I'm looking for a very long-term home, but Life Happens (quite a lot of it seems to have happened to me already) and I also don't want to be burdened with a difficult-to-sell property if/w...
by gardemanger
Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a condo - Tough questions to ask?
Replies: 32
Views: 5277

Re: Buying a condo - Tough questions to ask?

I live in a major city. There are several universities and colleges and plenty of students here but most of the areas I'm looking at aren't directly campus-adjacent. Despite this, the apartment I currently live in is afflicted with either students or 20somethings who party hard on the weekends. Not ...
by gardemanger
Tue Jan 12, 2016 6:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Saving for the future vs you only live once
Replies: 72
Views: 11974

Re: Saving for the future vs you only live once

Hmm. I think learning to enjoy yourself with what you have, and not continually focus on that thing you don't have (yet) that would theoretically make you happy if only you have it, is something that either happens along the way or doesn't. You don't reach that goal and THEN learn to enjoy yourself....
by gardemanger
Tue Jan 12, 2016 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a condo - Tough questions to ask?
Replies: 32
Views: 5277

Re: Buying a condo - Tough questions to ask?

I have been to a couple open houses, still mostly as a looky-loo, since none of the units seemed perfect on paper. It is interesting to talk to the real estate agents. I learned a few helpful things - but also learned that the agents often have *no idea* of the answer to questions like "How is the o...
by gardemanger
Tue Jan 12, 2016 8:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Heart Monitor (Exercise type)
Replies: 25
Views: 2568

Re: Best Heart Monitor (Exercise type)

Year after year, they keep trying to make wrist-worn HRM's accurate, and they keep falling short. I'm not doing it at the moment, but I have spent weeks on end wearing a heart rate monitor all the time (for medical monitoring, not for exercise tracking) and the chest strap is still a necessity if yo...
by gardemanger
Mon Jan 11, 2016 8:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vision - problems seeing things up-close
Replies: 24
Views: 2418

Re: Vision - problems seeing things up-close

I breezed right into progressive lenses just as soon as I started needing a reading prescription. I never had the slightest bit of trouble with them. From the experiences of people I know who are older and younger than myself, it seems to be somewhat harder to adjust to progressives if you don't sta...
by gardemanger
Sun Jan 10, 2016 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lottery Win...Could a Boglehead handle it?
Replies: 79
Views: 7181

Re: Lottery Win...Could a Boglehead handle it?

Being a billionaire strikes me as a lot of work. Having it happen overnight strikes me as a HELL of a lot of work. Not to mention essentially having to go into hiding as everyone you've ever known and every remote relative plus a huge collection of strangers comes after you with their hands out. Wha...
by gardemanger
Sat Jan 09, 2016 9:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a condo - Tough questions to ask?
Replies: 32
Views: 5277

Re: Buying a condo - Tough questions to ask?

Since I live in a dense, old city core, there are very few multi-unit buildings with greater than 50 or 100 units. There are some, but extremely few buildings with units available that meet all my other requirements, are in my price range, and do not charge astronomical condo fees to boot. I certain...
by gardemanger
Wed Jan 06, 2016 10:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a condo - Tough questions to ask?
Replies: 32
Views: 5277

Re: Buying a condo - Tough questions to ask?

The current HOA fees are stated in the real estate listings.
by gardemanger
Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Come Laugh at my Investment Decisions and help me improve!
Replies: 21
Views: 3032

Re: Come Laugh at my Investment Decisions and help me improve!

Why not just put your entire stock allocation in Total Market Index? That would simplify things greatly.

House downpayment money should be in a bank or credit union account that is federally insured.

You mentioned that you are married without children but not whether children are planned.
by gardemanger
Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a condo - Tough questions to ask?
Replies: 32
Views: 5277

Re: Buying a condo - Tough questions to ask?

Hmm. Some of these buildings I'm looking at have between three and eight units total (former row houses carved up into apartments).
by gardemanger
Wed Jan 06, 2016 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a condo - Tough questions to ask?
Replies: 32
Views: 5277

Buying a condo - Tough questions to ask?

Unlike many Bogleheads, I've been a renter all my adult life, but the time has come when I'm going to be making the leap to home ownership. I used to live in a city where home ownership was far out of reach, but where I live now I can manage it, if I go for a condo. I'm looking for a place in my imm...
by gardemanger
Wed Jan 06, 2016 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How often does your credit card # get stolen?
Replies: 73
Views: 6325

Re: How often does your credit card # get stolen?

Three times that I can think of in a 30 year credit history. The first was in my 20s and I know exactly how it happened - dumb mistake on my part in not properly disposing of a carbon (remember those? still run across them now and again.) Second was a restaurant. Third was more recently and I'm pret...
by gardemanger
Thu Dec 31, 2015 7:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Losses at Betterment.com ... HELP!
Replies: 81
Views: 10268

Re: Losses at Betterment.com ... HELP!

When I was first starting out with investing, it helped me that I firmly established in my mind that a change in the value of my investments is NOT the same thing as "losing money." I would certainly be upset if I looked at my checking or savings accounts and found there was money missing from them!...
by gardemanger
Thu Dec 31, 2015 7:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Disability Insurance - Employer vs. Private Plan
Replies: 13
Views: 1432

Re: Disability Insurance - Employer vs. Private Plan

Regarding some of the riders you selected - I chose not to get the catastrophic rider. The vast majority of disabilities are temporary and partial. I think most things that would leave me "catastrophically" disabled would also leave me with a significantly reduced life expectancy. So I opted not to...
by gardemanger
Tue Dec 29, 2015 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (Book)
Replies: 86
Views: 14052

Re: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (Book)

Interestingly, the Marie Kondo book completely fails to address consuming, shopping, acquiring habits. Most decluttering/organizing books at least nod in the direction of this topic, but Kondo never discusses it at all. You might argue that her "gives you joy" standard could be used when deciding to...
by gardemanger
Tue Dec 29, 2015 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (Book)
Replies: 86
Views: 14052

Re: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (Book)

I've been somewhat surprised to see how long this book has been popular. I've just come from holidays with relatives where they have been talking about the book, someone had a copy of it, and then I picked up a magazine and saw an ad for the book and two new, little add-on books that are coming out:...
by gardemanger
Mon Dec 28, 2015 10:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Disability Insurance - Employer vs. Private Plan
Replies: 13
Views: 1432

Re: Disability Insurance - Employer vs. Private Plan

There is another significant drawback to employer-provided ERISA plans: they can make it very difficult to win benefits, more difficult than with SSDI or private insurance. Specifically, you are limited in the type of evidence you can present to make your case, and you are limited in your ability to...
by gardemanger
Wed Dec 16, 2015 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My credit score is 808
Replies: 37
Views: 8845

Re: My credit score is 808

In Credit Karma, under "What can impact my score", there are 6 categories. I score "excellent" on 5 of them and "poor" on 1 of them. (Total Accounts) when I clicked on the link "see details" I find that I need 21 or more accounts to get an "excellent" on the Total Accounts category. I'm sure there ...
by gardemanger
Wed Dec 16, 2015 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need indoor "orthotic" shoes/slippers
Replies: 27
Views: 2916

Re: Need indoor "orthotic" shoes/slippers

Are Superfeet up to $50 by now? If so I must revise my former post. It has been quite a while since I've looked at retail inserts. That is getting into the territory where I'd want a money back guarantee, because the drawer museum of failed inserts just goes into the trash in the end. This is one of...
by gardemanger
Wed Dec 16, 2015 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on Selling Engagement Ring
Replies: 73
Views: 7250

Re: Advice on Selling Engagement Ring

Is it not the case that diamond retail prices are kept artifically high by cartel control, which is why their resale values are pitifully low? The 10k offer actually sounds a little too good to be true, so much so that I'd scrutinize the offeror carefully and make sure I got cash. If it's a Craigsli...
by gardemanger
Wed Dec 16, 2015 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My credit score is 808
Replies: 37
Views: 8845

Re: My credit score is 808

Hee! No, I'm not humblebragging: there are other aspects of my financial situation that are hardly enviable, so I need all the advantages I can get. On the whole, I'd really rather have the $3 million, because then I wouldn't need to borrow money from ANYone. I've always been above 790 on credit sco...
by gardemanger
Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need indoor "orthotic" shoes/slippers
Replies: 27
Views: 2916

Re: Need indoor "orthotic" shoes/slippers

I have had foot issues of long standing and went to custom orthotics after many, many tries with all the over-the-counter inserts known to Man. Custom orthotics are awesome and worth every penny. Mine were prescribed by a podiatrist - the podiatrist consult was covered under my health insurance & id...
by gardemanger
Tue Dec 15, 2015 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My credit score is 808
Replies: 37
Views: 8845

My credit score is 808

I plan to buy a home in the new year. I'm 47. I ran my free credit reports and paid the few bucks extra for the FICO score. My credit life has been really, really boring for a long time. (Yes, I fully realize that this is the GOOD kind of boring!) My oldest car loan was paid off more than 10 years a...
by gardemanger
Thu Dec 10, 2015 10:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Holiday tipping: letter carriers
Replies: 120
Views: 11952

Re: Holiday tipping: letter carriers

We tip our carrier $50 every year*. We've had the same guy for years, and he goes out of his way to provide top notch service. I run a small business from my house that uses USPS to deliver several hundred Priority Mail packages each year. If I forget to schedule a pickup, he'll walk up the steps t...
by gardemanger
Tue Dec 08, 2015 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Holiday tipping: letter carriers
Replies: 120
Views: 11952

Re: Holiday tipping: letter carriers

Goodness, a lot of strong opinions here. Tipping is endlessly, endlessly socially awkward, and I'm sure that's why it makes people so uncomfortable - and, often, defensive. Nobody wants to spend their time and energy figuring out exactly what's the appropriate, expected, and/or generous thing to do ...
by gardemanger
Sat Dec 05, 2015 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Writing checks - a Bogleheads thing to do?
Replies: 117
Views: 11937

Re: Writing checks - a Bogleheads thing to do?

My bank doesn't require deposit slips for depositing checks at the ATM. Another outdated piece of paper to not have to hassle with.

(Technically, it doesn't even require going to the ATM, since I can deposit checks via app, but I've found the app to be unreliable.)
by gardemanger
Sat Dec 05, 2015 5:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Writing checks - a Bogleheads thing to do?
Replies: 117
Views: 11937

Re: Writing checks - a Bogleheads thing to do?

I used to have to write checks for the rent, but since I moved, the new landlord does auto-debit. I have no regularly recurring expenses left for which I must write a check. In the days long ago where I had to use checks, I sort of enjoyed the ritual of writing them and feel a tiny bit sentimental a...
by gardemanger
Tue Dec 01, 2015 4:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donor advised funds
Replies: 20
Views: 2053

Re: Donor advised funds

It's not just a question of being able to "afford" Vanguard. The minimum grant recommendations are also higher for Vanguard so I find that Fidelity is just plain more useful. If I want to make a $100 grant recommendation, no problem; you can't do that with Vanguard. I should have been more explicit...
by gardemanger
Tue Dec 01, 2015 7:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donor advised funds
Replies: 20
Views: 2053

Re: Donor advised funds

We can't all afford Vanguard's minimums, for starters.

I would also add that when I opened my DAF (2004) Vanguard did not offer a DAF yet. I don't think Fidelity had theirs yet either (I may be remembering wrong). I opened mine at T. Rowe Price and there it still sits.
by gardemanger
Tue Dec 01, 2015 7:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The end of our Teflon pans is near...now what do we buy?
Replies: 63
Views: 10203

Re: The end of our Teflon pans is near...now what do we buy?

I am working with severely limited storage space, so naturally I agree with the advice not to buy a set containing extraneous pans, but only the fewest number of most versatile pans that you will actually use. I too get by without a stock pot, since I own a very good pressure cooker which is large a...
by gardemanger
Sun Nov 29, 2015 11:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The end of our Teflon pans is near...now what do we buy?
Replies: 63
Views: 10203

Re: The end of our Teflon pans is near...now what do we buy?

I'm afraid I'd have no upper body strength at all if it were not for my cast iron fry pan! Granted mine is only a 9" skillet and if I had a bigger one, I'd certainly have trouble. I also have a glass cooktop (not by choice) and I have klutzy hands that don't grip well, so I do fear that one day I mi...
by gardemanger
Sun Nov 29, 2015 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with My Credit Card Strategy
Replies: 11
Views: 2245

Re: Help with My Credit Card Strategy

I've had the same three credit cards for donkey's years now - an Optima/Amex, Visa (Amazon Rewards), and Discover. I go round and sign up for whatever the 5% back deal of the quarter is for Discover. Doesn't help me much when the category is "gas and transportation" since I sold my car. These three ...
by gardemanger
Sat Nov 28, 2015 1:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Too much in tax-advantaged accounts?
Replies: 115
Views: 14661

Re: Too much in tax-advantaged accounts?

If you fall ill in the sense of permanent disability, you can also access your tax-advantaged accounts without penalty. Hopefully this will never befall you, but knowing it's an option in that particular emergency might help you feel better about fully stocking your tax-advantaged accounts. http://w...
by gardemanger
Tue Nov 24, 2015 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trying to get out of house
Replies: 24
Views: 3775

Re: Trying to get out of house

I agree that at the very least, you should not let your impatience to "get out" of the house impair your strategy about the best way to do it. First and most obvious, trying to sell at the worst time of year when people are not house hunting.
by gardemanger
Thu Nov 19, 2015 7:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are individual stocks really a bad idea?
Replies: 55
Views: 9935

Re: Are individual stocks really a bad idea?

bottlecap wrote:It's not a good idea. You're taking uncompensated risk. It may turn out okay, or it may not. You likely won't lose your shirt, but it's not smart, either.

JT
Or, if you do lose your shirt, make sure you have a significant position in Under Armor!




Seriously, Under Armor???
by gardemanger
Sat Nov 14, 2015 10:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: we have a [feral or stray] cat - need help
Replies: 67
Views: 6895

Re: we have a cat - need help

That very thing happened to one of our family cats when I was a kid - it climbed up into our car's engine compartment and got injured when the car started up. Fortunately it was only cuts and abrasions with no serious damage, perhaps an ear nick, if I can remember back that far. But it's not a chanc...
by gardemanger
Mon Nov 02, 2015 10:18 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: November I Bond Interest Rate Thread! [fixed goes from 0% to 0.10%]
Replies: 43
Views: 5461

Series I Savings Bond fixed rate raised to 0.1%

http://tipswatch.com/2015/11/02/treasur ... te-to-0-1/
The US Treasury just announced that it is raising the the fixed rate on Series I Savings Bonds to 0.1%, up from 0.0%. This creates a composite rate of 1.64% for I Bonds purchased from today through April 30, 2016.
by gardemanger
Sun Nov 01, 2015 9:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teaching at a local Community College
Replies: 19
Views: 2888

Re: Teaching at a local Community College

There may be opportunities for the OP to teach other than at community college, such as professional training programs. It may be worth checking job listings, or even taking a course yourself in one of those programs in order to get to know what they are like and start making connections.
by gardemanger
Wed Oct 28, 2015 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS Disability and SS Retiremet
Replies: 4
Views: 984

Re: SS Disability and SS Retiremet

If a person is approved for Social Security disability payments at age 62 (assume person is not taking early retirement benefit at 62), will those payments convert to Social Security retirement payments at FRA (which would be higher $ than the disability benefit) or does the person receive the disa...
by gardemanger
Tue Oct 27, 2015 1:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: ACA Health Care Subsidy Dilemma
Replies: 18
Views: 2245

Re: ACA Health Care Subsidy Dilemma

Wow, it sure would be handy to know exactly when a future expensive chronic condition will kick in! It makes planning so much easier! :oops: