Search found 101 matches

by Marylander1
Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lowering federal taxes with extra estimated state payment?
Replies: 1
Views: 188

Lowering federal taxes with extra estimated state payment?

Someone else's TV today had CNBC financial porn coverage of the tax bill*. They mentioned an actionable strategy for those of us in states with higher income tax rates: pre-pay 2017 taxes with an additional estimated payment. Money we send in 2017 to our state tax collector remains deductible on our...
by Marylander1
Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: carry on luggage, 4 wheel spinner or 2 wheel rollaboard?
Replies: 29
Views: 1743

Re: carry on luggage, 4 wheel spinner or 2 wheel rollaboard?

If you get a "smart bag" note you'll likely have to remove the battery when you check it, negating most of the "smart": http://news.aa.com/press-releases/press-release-details/2017/Travel-smart-with-smart-bags/ Other airlines will probably follow American Airlines' safety protocol rather than risk b...
by Marylander1
Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax Deluxe Online for 2017
Replies: 12
Views: 1690

Re: TurboTax Deluxe Online for 2017

You got screwed by TurboTax. Exactly. Turbotax is the slimiest software company I've seen. I switched to H&R Block when they they dropped key forms to force customers to pay more, and decided that you had to give Intuit a copy of your tax return even to print it--on your own printer! H&R Block is j...
by Marylander1
Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any websites to help find a great doctor?
Replies: 36
Views: 2444

Re: Any websites to help find a great doctor?

Why not go see one, if you don't like her, go see a different one? The likelihood of you not getting a good one within the first couple of tries is pretty darn low That is "depressing" :( With the kind(s) of things urologists do (and have done to me) - I would not want a "bad experience" with the f...
by Marylander1
Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do I convince my employees to invest more?
Replies: 92
Views: 5160

Re: How do I convince my employees to invest more?

Default Enrollment is probably the most effective option. A few will opt out, but those who avoid thinking about retirement for now will find they've already started saving later.

-Marylander1
by Marylander1
Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: bitcoin - is there any real value here or is it a pure Ponzi scam?
Replies: 236
Views: 19479

Re: bitcoin - is there any real value here or is it a pure Ponzi scam?

Because suddenly there will be millions of more millionaires all chasing a limited supply of goods and services. Hyperinflation would impact only Bitcoin, not more stable currencies. As long as the newly created value remains in Bitcoin , that additional "wealth" can appear stable. But whenever any...
by Marylander1
Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: bitcoin - is there any real value here or is it a pure Ponzi scam?
Replies: 236
Views: 19479

Re: bitcoin - is there any real value here or is it a pure Ponzi scam?

I found this article in this weekend's Economist very helpful to understand the evidence that Bitcoin is a bubble:

The Economist | A lot of zeros http://www.economist.com/news/finance-a ... rsc=dg%7Ce

-Marylander1
by Marylander1
Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any websites to help find a great doctor?
Replies: 36
Views: 2444

Re: Any websites to help find a great doctor?

Consumers Checkbook is a subscription service that provides ratings of docs by speciality (among many other occupations they rate). The specialists are rated by other docs. SF is an area that they cover. I concur. I saw a few hours ago that the latest edition includes ratings of medical specialists...
by Marylander1
Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Which crash have you seen it before it is coming?
Replies: 134
Views: 9643

Re: Which crash have you seen it before it is coming?

I worked for a dot-com in the late 1990s. Everything was early on the way up and up, and Kozmo.com was eagerly sending out messengers to deliver investor-subsidized stuff within an hour. The day the massage therapist arrived as full-time employee #25 or so, I told my peers "When that person is laid ...
by Marylander1
Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Do You Stay Current With Music?
Replies: 111
Views: 5169

Re: How Do You Stay Current With Popular Music?

We listen to WTMD 89.7 Baltimore, often online. It's one of the few actual radio stations with human DJs among the vast wasteland of cloned commercial junk stations. Princeton NJ also has a great station.

Marylander1
by Marylander1
Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moto X4 through google fi offering $100 credit
Replies: 11
Views: 977

Re: Moto X4 through google fi offering $100 credit

I am not sold on Project FI. I prefer to stay on Verizon or AT&T due to coverage gaps. Yup. FI uses a combination of T-Mobile and Sprint Towers. If you live in areas where neither network is good, FI isn't a great idea. Your information seems long out of date. Fi added US Cellular to T-Mobile and S...
by Marylander1
Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The fallacy of spending money on "experiences" vs hard assets
Replies: 336
Views: 17429

Re: The fallacy of spending money on "experiences" vs hard assets

Logical fallacy alert! Some in favor of "hard assets" on this thread seem to first conflate an "experience" with a "vacation", then attack the straw man of things they dislike about that "vacation". "Experiences" are far more diverse than vacations. Experiences include being there to help when a fri...
by Marylander1
Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are there any unspoken rules to "keep in touch" with previous boss?
Replies: 21
Views: 2540

Re: Are there ant unspoken rules to "keep in touch" with previous boss?

Until retirement, you should always maintain a list of people who will provide a positive job reference (especially former supervisors). It's also wise to keep in touch if that person might ever be hiring and you might ever want to work for them, whether at their current or future employer. -Marylan...
by Marylander1
Fri Nov 24, 2017 2:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block Software
Replies: 128
Views: 10383

Re: H&R Block Software: now $23.90 at Amazon!

It's now $23.90 at Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/Block-Software-D ... B075XZZQ4D
(Friday afternoon, 2:20pm EST; I was tipped off by CamelCamelCamel)

-Marylander1
by Marylander1
Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frontier Flight Fees
Replies: 17
Views: 1244

Re: Frontier Flight Fees

Frontier has some flights I'm interested in for $91 / ticket. Other flights that day are ~$300 / ticket. But Frontier almost seems like a scam... You are correct. I used to fly Frontier when they were a competent airline. Now their service is terrible and their fares are only an opening bid, onto w...
by Marylander1
Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Auto Insruance Payment
Replies: 29
Views: 1603

Re: Auto Insurance Payment

I've always paid in full. My insurer charges $1 per payment if you don't pay in full. But far more important, they also give a discount on the whole bill if you do. As I understand it, people who pay in full are actually correlated with having an actuarially lower risk of claims. Traveler's claims u...
by Marylander1
Sun Oct 29, 2017 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Interesting twist to "Free 2-day shipping" at Walmart
Replies: 49
Views: 4812

Re: Interesting twist to "Free 2-day shipping" at Walmart

Since various prices are all FREE, they could give more options: $5.56 for FREE in-store pickup $6.64 for FREE 2-day delivery $12.89 for FREE 1-day delivery $38.89 for FREE 4-hour delivery $298.44 for FREE delivery by zeppelin courier $999.99 for FREE delivery by zeppelin courier with marching band ...
by Marylander1
Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How did you rise into the Executive Ranks?
Replies: 19
Views: 4058

Re: How did you rise into the Executive Ranks?

About a month into a new job, I felt so confident I told my boss, "If you ever have a project that's on fire, I want you to think of me." Three months later, my wish came true and I thoroughly enjoyed turning around a high-visibility project that had been marching straight to failure, giving it a su...
by Marylander1
Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Florida Over, 2017
Replies: 48
Views: 6106

Re: Is Florida Over, 2017

If you are youngish, you may see the impact in your lifetime, if you are in your late 50s you might be long gone before it gets bad. Who knows? There are coasts already being abandoned due to flooding. Just like stock prices for a company going under, the loss tends to happen slowly, then all at on...
by Marylander1
Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime - Decline in Delivery Service?
Replies: 60
Views: 5120

Re: Amazon Prime - Decline in Delivery Service?

Has anyone noticed Amazon losing it's ability to deliver as promised? Yes. This week I had a package that didn't even ship until the day after it's "guaranteed arrival" date. Amazon's website said the not-yet-shipped package was going to arrive in the past. The "guarantee" in this case meant they'd...
by Marylander1
Wed Sep 27, 2017 6:51 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Which is better a Cryptocurrency or Gold?
Replies: 99
Views: 6763

Re: Which is better a Cryptocurrency or Gold?

We live in a digital world. What Netflix did to Blockbuster. What Amazon is doing to retail. What Uber did to the taxi industry. We are witnessing legacy systems disrupted by more efficient digital systems. Bitcoin will disrupt the banking/financial industry. Ethereum will be internet 2.0. Your lis...
by Marylander1
Sun Sep 24, 2017 7:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Expert's Dilemma - How can I know I'm getting a good physician without being one myself?
Replies: 125
Views: 8932

Re: The Expert's Dilemma - How can I know I'm getting a good physician without being one myself?

Online reviews arent really helpful because they seem more to focus on mannerism's and bedside manner than competence. There's a myth of the cowboy surgeon who is horrible to patients yet somehow the best at medicine. It's just a myth. Medicine requires communication. Communication requires listeni...
by Marylander1
Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Online Bill Pay Security: Push or Pull?
Replies: 102
Views: 4975

Re: Online Bill Pay Security: Push or Pull?

The only bill I allow to pull is at an entity where I know the CFO. If there were a problem, I'm confident I could visit him within hours to sort it out. I push for all others. I once received a water bill exceeding $18,000. More than once my credit card bill has included large bogus charges. I don'...
by Marylander1
Sat Aug 05, 2017 11:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations on stackable washer/dryer
Replies: 28
Views: 1978

Re: Recommendations on stackable washer/dryer

We are interested in a new washer/dryer combo. Front loading stackable (full size) is necessary due to space. Any recommendations on models to look into or stay away from? Based on reliability and quality determined by Consumer Reports, we bought a stacking front-loader set made by LG from Costco j...
by Marylander1
Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rent in safer neighborhood or buy in less safe one?
Replies: 67
Views: 5259

Re: Rent in safer neighborhood or buy in less safe one?

However, consider carefully whether a neighborhood is actually safe or not...Looking only at violent crime statistics might be more meaningful. You also shouldn't make certain conclusions about the crime rate in a neighborhood just because of who lives there or what it looks like. You might be surp...
by Marylander1
Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap eggs... how bad?
Replies: 82
Views: 7468

Re: Cheap eggs... how bad?

Anyone who says there's no difference between any eggs has not had good eggs. +1! Our eggs come from our friends' pasture (where we help when we visit). Compared to real eggs from healthy chickens, lowest-bidder discount eggs are pale, runny imitations with flimsy shells. A friend visiting from Eur...
by Marylander1
Sun Jul 02, 2017 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Sam's Club, Costco, BJ's, and other wholesaler clubs]
Replies: 274
Views: 16686

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

I would still like to see links to actual, everyday products that are better quality than what Sam's Club offers. Researcher, here 3 more leads for your research: Costco toilet paper is 4.5-inches wide, like all toilet paper used to be. Sams toilet paper is just 4 inches wide. Costco's Kirkland tun...
by Marylander1
Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Surge Protector for Refrigerator
Replies: 36
Views: 3741

Re: Surge Protector for Refrigerator

We got this after our second refrigerator circuitboard fried seven years ago, and it hasn't gone bad since:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00006BBAB/

-Marylander1
by Marylander1
Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google Fi? pros/cons? anyone using it?
Replies: 53
Views: 5523

Re: Google Fi? pros/cons? anyone using it?

Google Fi uses the following carrier networks: - Sprint - T Mobile - US Cellular If you install the Phono app, you'll see an icon with the network you're currently using that changes as you move about. On the east coast, US Cellular roams to AT&T, so my phone spends time on T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT...
by Marylander1
Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LG washer and dryer "NFC tag on" feature
Replies: 30
Views: 3591

Re: LG washer and dryer "NFC tag on" feature

The Android link says the app is not available in my country. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lg.apps.lglaundry&hl=en I'm in the USA and receive the same message. However, I have the app installed. I find it readily in the Google Play store when I search for "SmartThinQ". You may ...
by Marylander1
Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alternatives to Amazon
Replies: 76
Views: 6455

Re: Alternatives to Amazon

Recently we've noticed Amazon has started using an "uber-like" model for their deliveries with some scary looking individuals in their personal vehicles delivering packages to our front door without any identifiable markings, id's, signage, etc....Curious what people like/don't like as an alternati...
by Marylander1
Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why do we need an emergency fund?
Replies: 70
Views: 5337

Re: Why do we need an emergency fund?

Very sad story, not so sure how it is relevant. Does anybody keep an emergency fund of $450k? That isn't really possible for the overwhelming majority of the workforce. You can't plan for things like that. It isn't paying for the medical care, but paying your basic bills like rent and food when you...
by Marylander1
Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why do we need an emergency fund?
Replies: 70
Views: 5337

Re: Why do we need an emergency fund?

I have a really "un-bogleheading" and stupid question: why we need an emergency fund? Or, in which case an emergency fund is used? Here's a scenario: you get the flu around Thanksgiving, and somehow it doesn't go away through the New Year. It turns into a sinus infection, and threatens to become pn...
by Marylander1
Sun May 28, 2017 8:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How many investment companies to have money in?
Replies: 41
Views: 4083

Re: How many investment companies to have money in?

Brokerage accounts are only insured per SIPC to $500,000 plus they usually have extended insurance above that usually detailed in an "Account Protection" info box. It's not just insuring the money, it's access to the money. During the Maryland savings & loan crisis, I lost access to my fully-insure...
by Marylander1
Sat Apr 29, 2017 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Southwest] Airlines Rapid Rewards Dining
Replies: 11
Views: 1197

Re: [Southwest] Airlines Rapid Rewards Dining

Back when I had a stash of United Airlines miles, their credit card dining program was extremely helpful for preserving the points until I was able to redeem them. (Since United has fallen from a high-quality airline to a low-quality, "we charge extra for everything" airline, I've stopped using them...
by Marylander1
Fri Apr 14, 2017 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Washer/dryer suggestions?
Replies: 43
Views: 3875

Re: Washer/dryer suggestions?

Our LG front-loader washer & dryer are fabulous, have never smelled, and are trivial to clean. We wipe down the seal once every few weeks to remove bits of hair & fur. Moisture doesn't accumulate because the door closes with a "soft-latch" that leaves an air gap so it dries thoroughly between loads....
by Marylander1
Sat Apr 01, 2017 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unemployed for 2-3 days- potential benefits
Replies: 24
Views: 2489

Re: Unemployed for 2-3 days- potential benefits

Has anybody ever had the need to "collect" on the retro-active policy? As it is dealing with insurance company is a hassle and I suspect this would end up magnitude higher than normal. I faced a near-worst case scenario: complex surgery was scheduled months in advance, then my project was suddenly ...
by Marylander1
Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is 130k a good salary in IT?.
Replies: 40
Views: 7605

Re: Is 130k a good salary in IT?.

This salary survey can provide a moderately detailed answer:
https://www.roberthalf.com/technology/s ... fessionals

Note that you need to add the local differential.

-Tom
by Marylander1
Sun Feb 12, 2017 8:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why do you go to restaurants?
Replies: 229
Views: 19856

Re: Why do you go to restaurants?

We go out for experiences we can't get at home. Our favorite local restaurant has great live music most nights and many of our friends are also regulars.

-Marylander1
by Marylander1
Sun Feb 12, 2017 8:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: IT salary
Replies: 4
Views: 1124

Re: Poll: IT salary

You should also ask for location, as CS grad salaries vary dramatically between San Francisco and Muncie.

-Marylander1
by Marylander1
Wed Jan 25, 2017 8:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Refusing to sign or altering hospital billing admission forms?
Replies: 79
Views: 6752

Re: Refusing to sign or altering hospital billing admission forms?

...Two reasons are that there's not likely to be much of a difference between the forms and that in many (but not all) ER situations you're not going to have a choice of hospitals. I almost always read doctor and hospital paperwork and can't recall seeing any substantial differences in recent years...
by Marylander1
Sat Jan 21, 2017 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much is your cell phone bill?
Replies: 263
Views: 29289

Re: How much is your cell phone bill?

Phones are kinda like insurance plans in many ways. If you've ever stood in an ER or along the roadside frantically trying to call family/friends or doctors etc or access the Internet to look up X,Y or Z in an emergency, a 'cheap' plan isn't what you want that's for sure. In this regard, having som...
by Marylander1
Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family ski trip without breaking the bank
Replies: 39
Views: 4178

Re: Family ski trip without breaking the bank

Copper Mountain is a good value. I was at Copper last week. One of Copper's best deals--the Four Pack--is available through tomorrow. (The best deal for less than a season pass is to buy the four pack the previous spring, when it adds a fifth day for free.) There's fairly cheap competitive lodging ...
by Marylander1
Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why do reviewers love the Dell XPS 13 but users don't?
Replies: 67
Views: 9806

Re: Why do reviewers love the Dell XPS 13 but users don't?

I found support for my Ideapad (original model Yoga 13 purchased early 2013) to be horrible. Though I had a Thinkpad from around 2004-2010 and support was quite good back then. That is encouraging that you found Thinkpad support good. Thinkpad is Lenovo's flagship business brand. Ideapad is their d...
by Marylander1
Tue Nov 29, 2016 4:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why do reviewers love the Dell XPS 13 but users don't?
Replies: 67
Views: 9806

Re: Why do reviewers love the Dell XPS 13 but users don't?

I have an XPS 13 for work, with the super high resolution touch screen. It's gorgeous (especially the screen), but the keyboard slows my typing considerably, with shallow travel and missing keys (compared to my personal Lenovo X260). The Dell TrackPad is a disaster, crude and imprecise (not just for...
by Marylander1
Sat Nov 26, 2016 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block Tax Software for 2016
Replies: 76
Views: 9368

Re: H&R Block Tax Software for 2016

Inframan4712 wrote:Mac version on sale for 29.95 right now. Just downloaded it. Deluxe Fed + State.


Windows version is also back down to $29.95 at the link above https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MDO3TEG

-Marylander1
by Marylander1
Sat Sep 24, 2016 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cancun, Grand Cayman or Other Caribbean Islands
Replies: 28
Views: 2976

Re: Cancun, Grand Cayman or Other Caribbean Islands

Puerto Rico is beautiful. The Waldorf-Astoria El Conquistador on the eastern coast is a bargain through Costco Travel. It has a beach island just off shore accessible by a high-speed catamaran, and a moderately big but very uncrowded water park, both included free through Costco's prices. It's inclu...
by Marylander1
Fri Jul 08, 2016 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can I get a little house or townhouse for under $400K in Maryland or Virginia?
Replies: 112
Views: 11291

Re: Can I get a little house or townhouse for under $400K in Maryland or Virginia?

There are neighborhoods close to the Maryland Beltway and Metro with costs <$400k. These are older houses in College Park, and new townhouses including these: http://www.ryanhomes.com/find-your-home ... -metro-sfa

-Marylander1
by Marylander1
Sun May 29, 2016 8:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is Maryland state pension a good idea for me?
Replies: 6
Views: 1462

Is Maryland state pension a good idea for me?

I recently started employment with the University of Maryland. With little time to research, I had to choose whether to join the defined-benefit State Retirement and Pension System ("SRPS Reformed") or the defined-contribution Optional Retirement Program (ORP). I know a lot about 401ks and...
by Marylander1
Sat May 21, 2016 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon has no head to head competitors?
Replies: 71
Views: 6076

Re: Amazon has no head to head competitors?

We've seen a steep dropoff in Amazon quality the past 2 years. It used to be that if you ignored Amazon's "3rd party" sellers and bought directly from Amazon (for a higher price), you would get quality items at great prices. Now even when I order directly from Amazon I often receive used i...