Search found 71 matches

by thursdaysd
Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you afford to travel?
Replies: 116
Views: 16012

Re: How do you afford to travel?

We go cheap on food and hotel. We will splurge for a meal or two, but We are there for the sights, not the food or hotel. Ideally, we just sleep at the hotel, and we don't spend a long time eating, because we want to be out looking around. How does the cheap hotel work out? I find that cheap hotels...
by thursdaysd
Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are you a "solo ager?"
Replies: 133
Views: 17903

Re: Are you a "solo ager?"

A solo ager with financial means should certainly consider a CCRC. Not only do they offer the opportunity to live in the circumstances that you need as you age, but there are medical personnel and social workers to make determinations when you should make transitions to higher levels of care. The s...
by thursdaysd
Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you afford to travel?
Replies: 116
Views: 16012

Re: How do you afford to travel?

It is useless to listen to people's posts about using FF miles earned on someone else's dime if you don't have that.
No it isn't. It is advice to get yourself a credit card that offers miles or points. Affinity cards usually come with a hefty sign up bonus.
by thursdaysd
Sun Jul 28, 2019 8:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: RESOLVED: Smart Home = Dumb Idea due to potential security breaches and exploits?
Replies: 42
Views: 4019

Re: Smart Home = Dumb Idea due to potential security breaches and exploits?

I highly recommend reading Zuboff's "Age of Surveillance Capitalism": https://shoshanazuboff.com/ Or if you don't want to read it (it is dense) listen to some interviews with her. (e.g. https://www.talkingpoliticspodcast.com/blog/2019/144-the-nightmare-of-surveillance-capitalism?rq=zuboff ) I put a ...
by thursdaysd
Sun Jul 28, 2019 7:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Accomodation options for NY visit
Replies: 25
Views: 1832

Re: Accomodation options for NY visit

Another vote for the Jane. Well located, minimal but clean and comfortable. Never had to wait for the shared bathrooms.

Another cheap option in more or less the same area is the Chelsea Inn, but I've never stayed at that one: https://chelseainn.com/
by thursdaysd
Wed May 16, 2018 1:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical Insurance for visiting the US
Replies: 10
Views: 1709

Re: Medical Insurance for visiting the US

I have used Seven Corners traveling from the US, imagine they would be fine going the other way. I would also look at World Nomads. I agree that it makes more sense to buy travel insurance in the country of your residence, especially as you should include evacuation/repatriation coverage. Given the ...
by thursdaysd
Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:45 am
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Transferring assets to UK...
Replies: 8
Views: 972

Re: Transferring assets to UK...

for UK citizens, US IRAs are taxable only to the UK, and only on withdrawals. I was reading from the perspective of a US citizen - I have dual UK-US citizenship. And I was considering accumulation, I was expecting to be taxed on withdrawals. I moved back to the UK and was able to keep my Vanguard U...
by thursdaysd
Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:59 am
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Transferring assets to UK...
Replies: 8
Views: 972

Re: Transferring assets to UK...

Vanguard US usually won't open new accounts for non-residents -- the exception might be inherited IRAs I asked Vanguard this specific question as several of my beneficiaries are UK citizens and the answer was that they would open accounts for them. I also checked the Tax Treaty between the UK and t...
by thursdaysd
Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security: Collecting at 70
Replies: 17
Views: 2518

Re: Social Security: Collecting at 70

I just did this. Yes, you need to contact SS. I applied in mid-March to start the benefit in August, and just got the approval. However, I have a very small pension from a UK company, if you have no complications it should be faster.
by thursdaysd
Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Self insuring LTC
Replies: 15
Views: 1962

Re: Self insuring LTC

My wife and I found this article helpful in thinking through whether or not to buy LTCi http://skloff.com/insure-or-self-insure ... ty-081515/ Hope you also get some added insight from it. Any article on LTCi that includes (two!) very large "Click here" buttons labelled "Click Here for Your Long Te...
by thursdaysd
Tue Jul 11, 2017 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Beware of retroactive payments when claiming SS
Replies: 13
Views: 2056

Re: Beware of retroactive payments when claiming SS

I was surprised by the initial post - hadn't come across that possibility. I just switched from ex-spousal benefits to my own - I turn 70 at the end of this month. I applied in the middle of March, and discovered it was no longer possible to meet with an actual live person at my local SS office. How...
by thursdaysd
Wed Jul 05, 2017 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Supplement Policies?
Replies: 56
Views: 7470

Re: Medicare Supplement Policies?

Folks on Medicare need to be careful when asking if a Dr. takes Medicare (most do). Rather than ask if they take Medicare, you have to ask if the take Medicare Assignment. Huge difference. My current PCP does not take Medicare assignment. However, since I have Medigap Plan F this is really irreleva...
by thursdaysd
Tue Jul 04, 2017 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Supplement Policies?
Replies: 56
Views: 7470

Re: Medicare Supplement Policies?

I object to Medicare Advantage on philosophical grounds, as having grown up in England I am a big proponent of single payer. However, I have not found being on Medicare makes it difficult to find doctors in my area. I am currently looking for a new PCP and all the doctors I have considered take Medi...
by thursdaysd
Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy health insurance for one week in Cancun?
Replies: 12
Views: 1844

Re: Buy health insurance for one week in Cancun?

Don't overlook the risk that a serious illness or injury might mean that you can't take a regular commercial flight back to the US and have to be medically evacuated. Buy a good travel insurance policy that covers trip cancellation, medical expenses, and medical evacuation. +1 Make sure that the po...
by thursdaysd
Mon Jul 03, 2017 8:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unfounded Fear?
Replies: 16
Views: 1999

Re: Unfounded Fear?

What are your alternatives?

Note that if they are on H-2B visas those are tied to a particular employer. Not sure how easy it would be to get a green card with that visa, either.
by thursdaysd
Sun Jul 02, 2017 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Supplement Policies?
Replies: 56
Views: 7470

Re: Medicare Supplement Policies?

I wound up choosing between BlueCross/BlueShield and AARP UnitedHealth. I went with the latter because I could not get a straight answer out of BCBS about what happened if I moved to a different state. I currently have Plan F but may see about moving once it is closed to new applicants.
by thursdaysd
Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thinking about the death thing for taking SS
Replies: 17
Views: 2152

Re: Thinking about the death thing for taking SS

I look at SS as inflation protection, particularly important for me as my pension has no COLA. If you don't need the money I see no reason to take it early. But then I really don't care whether I come out "ahead" or not. Paying into SS was essentially buying insurance for me, as with all insurance i...
by thursdaysd
Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Coverage - COBRA & ACA
Replies: 16
Views: 1562

Re: Health Coverage - COBRA & ACA

If you are traveling abroad you, and anyone traveling with you, should have medical insurance and medical evacuation and repatriation insurance. I buy mine from Seven Corners, but you can compare polices at insuremytrip.com or squaremouth.com. Some employer plans provide coverage abroad, but not usu...
by thursdaysd
Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trip to Ireland/Amex/Visa/Do I need a card with no foreign tx fee?
Replies: 22
Views: 2054

Re: Trip to Ireland/Amex/Visa/Do I need a card with no foreign tx fee?

Of course you do know that you can navigate using your phone without using data.
Yes, I do, but since the data is free and I am often using the phone for tracking buses I have never bothered. For some reason, while it is good with buses, metro and regular trains, it knows nothing about ferries!
by thursdaysd
Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trip to Ireland/Amex/Visa/Do I need a card with no foreign tx fee?
Replies: 22
Views: 2054

Re: Trip to Ireland/Amex/Visa/Do I need a card with no foreign tx fee?

However I don't keep my phone on while travelling outside the US so the Cap One card with texting each charge would be useless. I "assumed" that you only got one call or text at the beginning of the trip! I have a month-by-month T-Mobile plan for my phone, that offers free texts and free low speed ...
by thursdaysd
Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trip to Ireland/Amex/Visa/Do I need a card with no foreign tx fee?
Replies: 22
Views: 2054

Re: Trip to Ireland/Amex/Visa/Do I need a card with no foreign tx fee?

Well, that's very annoying of them. Of course, it was already annoying that you could only specify 60 days at a time. However, I also have a PenFed card with no fees and a PIN for the chip, and a credit union card with 1% foreign conversion fee. I take all of them...
by thursdaysd
Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Collecting Canada Pension, will Social Security benefits be reduced?
Replies: 3
Views: 820

Re: Collecting Canada Pension, will Social Security benefits be reduced?

See: https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10045.pdf

When you apply for benefits you will be asked about payments from other countries. At least I was - maybe it was the English accent...
by thursdaysd
Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trip to Ireland/Amex/Visa/Do I need a card with no foreign tx fee?
Replies: 22
Views: 2054

Re: Trip to Ireland/Amex/Visa/Do I need a card with no foreign tx fee?

I agree that you are likely to get a bad exchange rate, or pay a high fee, or both, if you change USD for euros in the US. (You can check the exchange rate at xe.com). If it really makes you feel better to arrive with euros, you could exchange 100 USD, but there will be ATMs in Dublin airport. I hav...
by thursdaysd
Sun May 21, 2017 8:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical Insurance for visiting the US
Replies: 10
Views: 1709

Re: Medical Insurance for visiting the US

You might look into this:

https://www.roughguides.com/travel-insurance/

I haven't used them because they would be secondary, but should be reputable.
by thursdaysd
Sun May 14, 2017 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Regret early retirement/downsizing
Replies: 230
Views: 53904

Re: Regret early retirement/downsizing

No regrets! I retired in 2000 at age 53, although I did part time contract work off and on for the next three years. I think it helps to transition rather than going cold turkey. I was a very techie techie with a megacorp, and while the first 25 years had been great the last five the job became less...
by thursdaysd
Fri May 12, 2017 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experiences/vacations - how much do people do
Replies: 24
Views: 2877

Re: Experiences/vacations - how much do people do

I have never been much interested in "stuff", but I have been doing a lot of travel. I heard too many stories of people who were going to travel when they retired, and then didn't make it. I took early retirement specifically so I could travel before I got too decrepit. That was in 2000. I have now ...
by thursdaysd
Mon May 01, 2017 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When spousal benefits stop
Replies: 15
Views: 4937

Re: When spousal benefits stop

I truly had no luck calling the Social Security office. When I called to start my spousal benefits, they said that it didn't exist. Did you call your local office? I called the 1-800 number, and had no difficulties. The first time I called I was told that as a divorced spouse I had to wait until FR...
by thursdaysd
Mon May 01, 2017 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When spousal benefits stop
Replies: 15
Views: 4937

Re: When spousal benefits stop

Did you call from home? Well, yes, I'm retired, where else? However, I called on my cell phone, so I could have been anywhere. Do you know if it can be done on their website since I applied for spousal support right on their website? I would expect so, but I didn't look at the website. I thought ta...
by thursdaysd
Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When spousal benefits stop
Replies: 15
Views: 4937

Re: When spousal benefits stop

I have been receiving spousal benefits, and did not receive such a letter. However, I turn 70 this July and have just applied for benefits on my own record. I called to make an appointment at my local office, which is what I did when i applied for spousal benefits. I was told I could have a phone in...
by thursdaysd
Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block Computer Glitch
Replies: 7
Views: 1845

Re: H&R Block Computer Glitch

I just ran into the same problem (hadn't seen this thread). I sold stock last year for which Vanguard knew neither the basis nor the acquisition dates. I imported the data to HRB and when prompted entered VAR-L as instructed for various dates, long term. The tax due came to more than I expected, but...
by thursdaysd
Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirees: How much do you rely on investment income?
Replies: 31
Views: 5819

Re: Retires: How much do you rely on investment income?

Varies. A couple of years back I renovated my house, and it was 4% that year. It was running about 1% until I started SS. I have a pension, but no COLA. The investments are to make up for the lack of COLA.
by thursdaysd
Wed Jan 07, 2015 8:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Calling all blog and website authors
Replies: 44
Views: 13122

Re: Calling all blog and website authors

I have a travel blog for my trips from 2009 on at: http://mytimetotravel.wordpress.com

Trips from 2001 to 2006 are at: http://wilhelmswords.com
by thursdaysd
Wed Jan 07, 2015 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Many Credit Cards do you have?
Replies: 101
Views: 1251103

Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

wasting your life away with paperwork What paperwork? All my non-investment finances are on Quicken. I download the credit card info directly into Quicken, no paper, no typing. I do check the downloaded data against my receipts, but that's the same amount of work for one card or multiples. Actually...
by thursdaysd
Tue Jan 06, 2015 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you generally spend more when using credit cards?
Replies: 71
Views: 4898

Re: Do you generally spend more when using credit cards?

Gave this some more thought. I recently spent a couple of months in Europe. I visited eight countries, using mostly cash in some and mostly CCs in others. What I spent had nothing to do with how I was paying, and everything to do with how much things cost. For example, in Romania, where I mostly spe...
by thursdaysd
Tue Jan 06, 2015 2:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you generally spend more when using credit cards?
Replies: 71
Views: 4898

Re: Do you generally spend more when using credit cards?

I have no idea, since I can't remember the last time I used actual cash for anything other than coffee, and recently I've been buying that with my CC too. I write three or four checks a month (cleaners, chiropractor, lawn service) and everything else is CC or bank draft. I do keep an eye on my month...
by thursdaysd
Tue Jan 06, 2015 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Many Credit Cards do you have?
Replies: 101
Views: 1251103

Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Total five more or less active. I think I may have an Amex blue around that's still valid. Main card in the US: Citi for AA miles. Every year I call to cancel and every year they waive the fee and throw in a sweetener. I use the miles for RTW biz class tickets. Main card abroad: was Cap One, to avoi...
by thursdaysd
Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:58 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Question about Vanguard ETFs for non-US investors
Replies: 6
Views: 1178

Re: Question about Vanguard ETFs for non-US investors

I don't see how such an investment would benefit a non-US person.
It might benefit a US ex-pat being taxed on a remittance basis in the host country.
by thursdaysd
Sat Jul 19, 2014 12:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling RV Abroad & Bringing Cash Home
Replies: 23
Views: 3237

Re: Selling RV Abroad & Bringing Cash Home

How are they getting across the Darien gap? And yes, Argentina has serious currency controls in place (look into the blue rate).
by thursdaysd
Sat Jul 05, 2014 8:34 am
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: US citizens abroad cannot invest through [Fidelity]
Replies: 97
Views: 21964

Re: US citizens abroad cannot invest through [Fidelity]

I had to transfer over to a Schwab International account (IRAs and taxable). My admiral shares of Vanguard funds are now held there though I can't add to them (or any mutual funds) except for dividend reinvestment. I just got through moving almost all my 401k funds to Vanguard... I'm retired so I w...
by thursdaysd
Sat Jul 05, 2014 7:09 am
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: US citizens abroad cannot invest through [Fidelity]
Replies: 97
Views: 21964

Re: US citizens abroad cannot invest through [Fidelity]

But this is really ridiculous. What am I supposed to do with my IRA if I decide to live abroad for a couple of years? Or permanently? I can't believe that all the many US expats don't have 401ks and IRAs.
by thursdaysd
Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:16 am
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: US citizens abroad cannot invest through [Fidelity]
Replies: 97
Views: 21964

Re: US citizens abroad cannot invest through a US brokerage

What if I already own the funds and then move abroad? Any difference between an IRA and a taxable account? This is probably more fallout from FATCA. :(
by thursdaysd
Mon Jun 30, 2014 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: on not retiring (until necessary or required)
Replies: 17
Views: 2243

Re: on not retiring (until necessary or required)

Let's see. If you plan to retire early or at FRA and don't, you'll be ahead of the game. If you don't plan to retire and have to, you'll likely be eating the proverbial dog food. No contest. It's far too early to make that kind of decision. If i were an academic, I would be rather concerned about th...
by thursdaysd
Sun Jun 29, 2014 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help for my sister
Replies: 21
Views: 2397

Re: Help for my sister

I started drawing against my ex-husband's SS when I reached FRA last year. Since my SS was more than half of his I had to wait until FRA, if hers is less than half of his I believe she could claim it earlier. It seems to me that she should find out both how much his SS is, and how much her BF's is. ...
by thursdaysd
Sat Jun 28, 2014 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rachel is everywhere!
Replies: 10
Views: 1887

Re: Rachel is everywhere!

I have an answering machine.

Most robocalls hang up when my machine answers. Those that don't are easily ignored.

I only answer when someone I recognize calls.
+1 (+2 if you count a friend who does the same thing.)
by thursdaysd
Fri Jun 27, 2014 1:45 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help with 85 y.o. parents' retirement portfolio
Replies: 53
Views: 6805

Re: Help with 85 y.o. parents' retirement portfolio

I am no expert, but if you need tax advice, don't you need a tax accountant, not a broker?
by thursdaysd
Thu Jun 26, 2014 2:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Class-action lawsuits
Replies: 16
Views: 2476

Re: Class-action lawsuits

I've had a few payouts from class action suits. The only one that paid more than lunch money was related to credit cards. You just need to mail the card back. By the time they actually pay you anything you'll probably have forgotten all about it. :)
by thursdaysd
Thu Jun 26, 2014 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you afford to travel?
Replies: 116
Views: 16012

Re: How do you afford to travel?

Actually, many of us in our 40s and even 50s still prefer the type of travel where you find yourself hitching a ride on a mountain road in Central America from a pickup full of locals You can add 60s to that. I'm saving those expensive cruises for when I'm just too decrepit to do anything else. Rig...
by thursdaysd
Thu Jun 26, 2014 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you afford to travel?
Replies: 116
Views: 16012

Re: How do you afford to travel?

If you truly don't want to fly you do have options - train to Canada, QE2 or repositioning cruise to Europe. Within Europe you certainly don't need to fly, the train systems are excellent in the west and not bad in the east. See seat61.com for info on traveling by train - as with airlines, the earli...
by thursdaysd
Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 3 days in Seattle
Replies: 15
Views: 2997

Re: 3 days in Seattle

Forgot this , not open when I was there, but will definitely visit if/when I go back:

http://www.chihulygardenandglass.com/m/

Also http://museumofglass.org/ but you probably don't have time.
by thursdaysd
Sun Jun 22, 2014 7:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 3 days in Seattle
Replies: 15
Views: 2997

Re: 3 days in Seattle

I enjoyed a walking tour with Architecture Foundation folks: http://seattlearchitecture.org

And if you're going to the Asian Museum, the area nearby has some nice houses.