Search found 39 matches

by DigitalJanitor
Sat Dec 07, 2019 3:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car buying - negotiating tips - need sage advice
Replies: 14
Views: 1557

Re: Car buying - negotiating tips - need sage advice

I used this technique for my last two cars with great results: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=131530 The low bid both times was just where I had wanted it to be, and in both cases was about $2,000 lower than the highest bid. At pickup, I would walk into the dealership, fill ou...
by DigitalJanitor
Thu Nov 21, 2019 8:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alternatives to VOIPo?
Replies: 50
Views: 2970

Re: Alternatives to VOIPo?

I ported my home number to voip.ms last year and couldn't be happier. Inexpensive, great customer service. It's more of a techie service than, say, Ooma, but I can do some very sophisticated things, such as routing all "neighbor spoofing" calls to the "It's Lenny" chatbot.
by DigitalJanitor
Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Want to stop renting optimum modem.
Replies: 21
Views: 1683

Re: Want to stop renting optimum modem.

The Arris SB6141 works great for me with Optimum at 200M. The Arris SB6190 did not work. Note that neither of these has an RJ-11 analog telephone plug; they are ethernet only.

edit: 200G -> 200M
by DigitalJanitor
Tue Oct 01, 2019 9:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendation for Carry on Luggage
Replies: 64
Views: 4504

Re: Recommendation for Carry on Luggage

I've been very pleased with eBags (https://www.ebags.com), especially the TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible backpack and the TLS 22" Expandable Wheeled Carry-On. I had earlier tried the Rick Steves Classic Back Door Bag, but found the quality and sturdiness to be lacking.
by DigitalJanitor
Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Restore Corrupted External Hard Drive
Replies: 20
Views: 1387

Re: Restore Corrupted External Hard Drive

I would suggest Drivesavers ( https://drivesaversdatarecovery.com ). I used them for a crashed drive at work, and they were able to recover most of it even after a different, less competent company had opened it up and made something of a mess of it. Keep in mind that some recoveries can be very exp...
by DigitalJanitor
Thu Mar 07, 2019 5:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Things to do in Maine
Replies: 72
Views: 7023

Re: Things to do in Maine

The Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport is fun, especially with kids.

https://trolleymuseum.org/
by DigitalJanitor
Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I retire?
Replies: 62
Views: 5889

Re: Can I retire?

Will your pensions be cost-of-living adjusted, or fixed?
by DigitalJanitor
Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Do I need a financial advisor?
Replies: 16
Views: 1760

Re: Do I need a financial advisor?

There's a book that deals with "dementia-proofing" your retirement savings:
What to Do When I Get Stupid: A Radically Safe Approach to a Difficult Financial Era, by Lewis Mandell.
https://www.amazon.com/What-When-Get-St ... B00EDWTFU2
by DigitalJanitor
Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:28 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Where can I put savings to live on for 2+ years?
Replies: 11
Views: 1706

Re: Where can I put savings to live on for 2+ years?

Thanks all for your suggestions.
by DigitalJanitor
Sun Nov 04, 2018 2:52 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Where can I put savings to live on for 2+ years?
Replies: 11
Views: 1706

Re: Where can I put savings to live on for 2+ years?

OP here: Yes, I'm planning on doing Roth conversions while my income is low.
by DigitalJanitor
Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Where can I put savings to live on for 2+ years?
Replies: 11
Views: 1706

Where can I put savings to live on for 2+ years?

I'm retiring on January 1 at age 59.5. I'll have about $230K in after-tax savings that I want to live on for 2.5 years starting then. After that (August 2021), my pension and (possibly) SS will kick in. I want to avoid tapping my 401(k) during this period if possible. I will start it off in an Ally ...
by DigitalJanitor
Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Modern Science Fiction
Replies: 418
Views: 68354

Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Tim Powers, 'The Anubis Gates", a time travel / historical fiction / fantasy novel with compelling characters, great plot, and a twist. Also good are "Dinner at Deviant's Palace", "Last Call", and "The Drawing of the Dark". One that I keep coming back to is "The Killing Star" by Charles Pellegrino a...
by DigitalJanitor
Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stinky Car After Changing Cabin Air Filter
Replies: 6
Views: 926

Re: Stinky Car After Changing Cabin Air Filter

There could very well be a dead mouse in there. In my various Japanese cars, when you slide the air filter out, whatever was on top of the filter (acorns, seeds, mouse nesting material, baby mice) is scraped off by the upper lip of the filter access slot and ends up dropping down onto the squirrel c...
by DigitalJanitor
Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity's calculator suddenly more optimistic?
Replies: 12
Views: 1884

Re: Fidelity's calculator suddenly more optimistic?

Could you have been looking at "Today's Dollars" in the past, but now at "Future Dollars"?
by DigitalJanitor
Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace water heater at end of warranty or repair?
Replies: 31
Views: 2461

Re: Replace water heater at end of warranty or repair?

A water heater is one of those things that I replace proactively, usually at the end of the warranty period. Leaks are messy, and you could suddenly find yourself with no hot water. BTW, the guy who last replaced my water heater told me unequivocally that the only physical difference between the Bra...
by DigitalJanitor
Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boston trip with small kids
Replies: 19
Views: 1917

Re: Boston trip with small kids

Thank you all! I'm looking into researching a hotel now. It seems the Hyatt Regency has a good location and is only 15,000 points which I can transfer from ultimate rewards. Thanks for all of the help!! We had fun at the Boston Museum of Science, the Harvard Museum of Natural History, and the MIT M...
by DigitalJanitor
Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I retire at the end of 2018 at age 59?
Replies: 31
Views: 8460

Re: Can I retire at the end of 2018 at age 59?

msk wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:17 am
DigitalJanitor wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:41 pm
msk: The $120K spending amount includes accommodation.
In that case I feel you are ready to go :beer
Thanks!
by DigitalJanitor
Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I retire at the end of 2018 at age 59?
Replies: 31
Views: 8460

Re: Can I retire at the end of 2018 at age 59?

I've been told that the retirement health plan, once one is enrolled, is for life. Legally, this is not true. Just ask IBM retirees, who took it all the way to the USSC - it was deemed legal to halt health care for retirees. It's why I won't retire until I have some confidence that I will have cove...
by DigitalJanitor
Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I retire at the end of 2018 at age 59?
Replies: 31
Views: 8460

Re: Can I retire at the end of 2018 at age 59?

ShowMeTheER wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:24 am
Work to the end of 2019 and then retire. You have plenty to enjoy some great years. Cut back a bit if the full $120K/yr seems a stretch.
Thanks!
by DigitalJanitor
Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I retire at the end of 2018 at age 59?
Replies: 31
Views: 8460

Re: Can I retire at the end of 2018 at age 59?

With a non-COLAd pension, I would strongly advise waiting as long as possible for the higher-amount SS, so that the longest-lived of the 2 of you has a high COLA SS payment for life. It is like buying an inflation-adjusted annuity at a bargain cost, and is worth investing some of your retirement sa...
by DigitalJanitor
Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I retire at the end of 2018 at age 59?
Replies: 31
Views: 8460

Re: Can I retire at the end of 2018 at age 59?

The "Black Swan" in the room is medical care. If it "goes away", your expenses may be substantial as you are far above the ACA Subsidy Cliff. If retirement medical "goes away", what are your options until qualifying for Medicare at approx. age 65? Suppose you had to pay 2-3k/month for medical insur...
by DigitalJanitor
Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I retire at the end of 2018 at age 59?
Replies: 31
Views: 8460

Re: Can I retire at the end of 2018 at age 59?

OP, what is your assessment of your continued employment after the merger should you choose not to accept the retirement incentives, and how confident are you about this? Hi Andy: I am pretty confident that my job will survive the merger. And what does your modeling show you are the conseqiences of...
by DigitalJanitor
Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I retire at the end of 2018 at age 59?
Replies: 31
Views: 8460

Re: Can I retire at the end of 2018 at age 59?

PhilosophyAndrew wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:57 pm
OP, what is your assessment of your continued employment after the merger should you choose not to accept the retirement incentives, and how confident are you about this?
Hi Andy: I am pretty confident that my job will survive the merger.
by DigitalJanitor
Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I retire at the end of 2018 at age 59?
Replies: 31
Views: 8460

Re: Can I retire at the end of 2018 at age 59?

OP here. Thank you all for your responses and suggestions. I am concerned about the discrepancy between a 4% SWR and the simulator results that seem to ignore it. I'll try to address some of the issues that were raised: ResearchMed and aristotelian: Regarding SS, I was willing to trade off bigger fo...
by DigitalJanitor
Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I retire at the end of 2018 at age 59?
Replies: 31
Views: 8460

Can I retire at the end of 2018 at age 59?

I have a window of opportunity that might enable me to retire towards the end of 2018, at age 59, and I am seeking the advice and suggestions of the Bogleheads. Due to a pending merger, a generous retirement severance program at my private-sector company may terminate towards the end of 2018 or begi...
by DigitalJanitor
Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Make your retirement money last
Replies: 56
Views: 17531

Re: Make your retirement money last

I'm reading this now. Full of good information. Definitely a keeper.
by DigitalJanitor
Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car on lot for 102 days. Concerns?
Replies: 35
Views: 7169

Re: New car on lot for 102 days. Concerns?

E-mail negotiation, eh? I prefer to make everyone miserable in person. When it comes to new car buying, you’re very likely not getting the best price if you try to negotiate in person given the myriad factors at play—regardless of your perceived skill or experience at negotiation. Negotiations via ...
by DigitalJanitor
Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Advice request: Managing Mom's Money
Replies: 11
Views: 1078

Re: Advice request: Managing Mom's Money

The interest she pays on her mortgage is money she'll never get back. Have you given any thought to liquidating some of her investments and paying off the mortgage?
by DigitalJanitor
Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: used Prius (or Chevy Volt?)
Replies: 58
Views: 7562

Re: used Prius

TallBoy29er wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:10 pm
Most times I get behind a Prius on the interstate my commute extends by 5 minutes. Get one that moves faster.
Wanna really move fast? Get in line behind a Prius at the gas station. :D
by DigitalJanitor
Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 33 years old, 13 years IT experience, currently make 63k a year. I need advice to start making more money
Replies: 76
Views: 8664

Re: 33 years old, 13 years IT experience, currently make 63k a year. I need advice to start making more money

Learn Linux, and learn to program. Linux: There is a world beyond Microsoft. Download Linux and install it on a junk PC. Get comfortable with a command line interface. Read "The Linux Systems Administrators Handbook" by Evi Nemeth. Learn how to install and compile software. Learn about popular open ...
by DigitalJanitor
Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family Tree Software / Genealogy Website Recommendation
Replies: 24
Views: 2447

Re: Family Tree Software / Genealogy Website Recommendation

Ancestry.com is worth every penny. I have found more valuable info there in 2-3 years of searching than in the 30 years before that. Just lots and lots of raw material, well indexed, plus access to (and searchability within) trees of other members. Anecdote: my wife and I did the Ancestry DNA test. ...
by DigitalJanitor
Wed Sep 30, 2015 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College Admission Time, What parents need to be aware and how to be helpful
Replies: 292
Views: 37082

Re: College Admission Time, What parents need to be aware and how to be helpful

Definitely not an exaggeration. I'm paying $62K this year (tuition, room, board, and fees, no books or transportation) for my child at an Ivy. I'm pretty sure that this is the going rate for most top colleges nowadays.
by DigitalJanitor
Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Just finished Flash Boys
Replies: 44
Views: 7137

Re: Just finished Flash Boys

I also read it recently, and what bothered me even more than HFT and front-running, was the fragmentation of markets. (This is probably old news; I've been out of the financial world for quite a while, and had no idea.) There's no market efficiency when trading is separated into 50 or so markets and...
by DigitalJanitor
Tue Nov 25, 2014 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite nonfiction books
Replies: 117
Views: 16694

Re: Favorite nonfiction books

Most of Bill Bryson's later books, especially:

A Walk in the Woods
In a Sunburned Country
A Short History of Nearly Everything
One Summer: America 1927
by DigitalJanitor
Tue Nov 18, 2014 1:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card Fraud - Need Advice
Replies: 36
Views: 7461

Re: Credit Card Fraud - Need Advice

On Nov 15th, BoA sent letters stating that WalMart said the charges were valid because the credit card was present/swiped at the time of purchase. It is well known that credit cards (at least those that don't make use of chip and PIN) are relatively easy for someone with the right equipment to coun...
by DigitalJanitor
Wed Oct 29, 2014 9:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Finance kids' medical educations with a HELOC?
Replies: 24
Views: 3034

Re: Finance kids' medical educations with a HELOC?

Thank you all for your great advice and suggestions so far. Most of you think this is a bad idea, mostly because of the risk to our house and our retirement. (BTW, my wife is strongly against it.) Many of you made good cases for my kids borrowing on their own: loan forgiveness programs, sign-on bonu...
by DigitalJanitor
Tue Oct 28, 2014 10:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Finance kids' medical educations with a HELOC?
Replies: 24
Views: 3034

Finance kids' medical educations with a HELOC?

My son will be starting medical school in 2015, and my daughter will be starting graduate nursing school in 2017. I paid for their undergraduate education, but I don't have the resources to pay outright for their medical educations. Normal education loans will leave them saddled with a great deal of...
by DigitalJanitor
Mon Oct 06, 2014 12:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sump Pump Running Every 8 Minutes?
Replies: 20
Views: 67487

Re: Sump Pump Running Every 8 Minutes?

Do you have a check valve on the outlet of the sump pump? This would serve to keep water from flowing back down the outlet pipe once the pump stops. It's possible that the check valve is stuck open with a piece of grit in the seal, or is defective, or is just absent. A defective check valve, plus se...
by DigitalJanitor
Tue Sep 16, 2014 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good hobby for a bright/obsessive 9 year old?
Replies: 73
Views: 8321

Re: Good hobby for a bright/obsessive 9 year old?

I'm going to join the drumbeat for ham radio. I started as a teenager and am still doing it 40 years later. It is a very broad hobby (it has all kinds of technical, social, and public service aspects) that will grow with him over his lifetime. I've learned a ton, met many people, and experienced man...