Search found 1403 matches

by spectec
Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hearing Aids
Replies: 45
Views: 3212

Re: Hearing Aids

My first pair of $6K+ Phonak hearing aids purchased from an audiologist worked very well for about 6 years or so. They gave excellent performance and were loaded with features. When it came time to replace them, I bought a pair from Costco for just under $2K. The Costco HA's are light years ahead of...
by spectec
Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How should my Spouse and I handle a $300,000 Settlement?
Replies: 119
Views: 6862

Re: How should my Spouse and I handle a $300,000 Settlement?

If the settlement is taxable, then the attorney fees will probably not be deductible in determining the taxable amount. The confidentiality terms of most settlements do carve out an exception allowing you to discuss the details with your tax advisor. Since you MIGHT be facing a tax bill ranging some...
by spectec
Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worth it to upgrade to Main Cabin Extra?
Replies: 76
Views: 3806

Re: Worth it to upgrade to Main Cabin Extra?

There are sometimes vast differences in equipment by airline and the particular aircraft normally flown on a given route. You should go to Seat Guru and look up the configuration for your flight and read any comments for the seat you are assigned as well as the upgrade seat you are considering. That...
by spectec
Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which car to buy?
Replies: 42
Views: 3644

Re: Which car to buy?

FWIW, about 3 months back I was all set to buy a used Hyundai Santa Fe (or something like it) after having driven my last one for 11 years. When I went to CarMax and tried out various SUV's in this size range, I decided to check out a Ford Edge when the salesman suggested it it in a pricing "sweet s...
by spectec
Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electrician required to replace rocker light switches with PIR motion detecting light switches?
Replies: 36
Views: 2806

Re: Electrician required to replace rocker light switches with PIR motion detecting light switches?

Might want to re-think using pliers to twist the wires before screwing on a wire nut when doing a pig tail connection. The wire nut manufacturers actually recommend not doing that. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLUD7YfUf7Q Also, even if you figure out how to separate a push-in connection (it usual...
by spectec
Sun Jul 28, 2019 2:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Mr. Bogle prefers U.S stocks
Replies: 241
Views: 16520

Re: Why Mr. Bogle prefers U.S stocks

My AA has always been around 30-40% international, but I'd have way more money if I was 100% US. Not gonna change it though, I'm good with where I'm at. Virtually the same here (with respect to the conclusion). My AA is around 0% international, but I'd have way less money if I were not 100% US. Not...
by spectec
Sat Jul 27, 2019 6:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: any numismatists (coin collectors) out there?
Replies: 22
Views: 2183

Re: any numismatists (coin collectors) out there?

I can help with this and make it fun and quick and not a daunting task to figure out what you have. Been lurking for a while on Bogleheads for a while and decided to join and help your mom as she probably has a jar full of silver! Literally today I finished going through my old coin collection from...
by spectec
Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Plane maintenance - 6.5 hour delay - any recourse?
Replies: 51
Views: 4051

Re: Plane maintenance - 6.5 hour delay - any recourse?

Would you have preferred they not fix the problem? I was thinking along those same lines. A brake problem shouldn't have interfered with their being able to take off, should it? Fix it in the air? Why not? The pilots are just sitting up there with nothing much to do between takeoff and landing. :)
by spectec
Thu Jul 25, 2019 4:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Plane maintenance - 6.5 hour delay - any recourse?
Replies: 51
Views: 4051

Re: Plane maintenance - 6.5 hour delay - any recourse?

Would you have preferred they not fix the problem? I was thinking along those same lines. A brake problem shouldn't have interfered with their being able to take off, should it? Not unless the pilot expects to land eventually. I did actually hear that question asked one time on a regional feeder fl...
by spectec
Thu Jul 25, 2019 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Plane maintenance - 6.5 hour delay - any recourse?
Replies: 51
Views: 4051

Re: Plane maintenance - 6.5 hour delay - any recourse?

Bacchus01 wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 7:02 pm
Would you have preferred they not fix the problem?
I was thinking along those same lines.
A brake problem shouldn't have interfered with their being able to take off, should it?
by spectec
Mon Jul 22, 2019 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Standard Car Key Battery Life for Late Model Vehicles
Replies: 40
Views: 2695

Re: Standard Car Key Battery Life for Late Model Vehicles

When you have the buttons on the key fob to lock and unlock the door it is important to still use the metal key occasionally to prevent the lock from getting gummed up and stuck. It is not uncommon for someone to have their battery go dead only to find that the metal key which has not been used in ...
by spectec
Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to get rid of a piano?
Replies: 50
Views: 3727

Re: How to get rid of a piano?

It's amazing what you can do with a Sawzall. :D I'd second disassembling as much as you can. Give the wood to a woodworker. Large metal pieces can be cut and the metal sent to a recycler, bit by bit in the trunk of your car if necessary. I got rid of an old couch that way. I'm no expert on pianos, ...
by spectec
Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to get rid of a piano?
Replies: 50
Views: 3727

Re: How to get rid of a piano?

Don't know who you will get to take the piano, but here's the absolute best way to move it out of your home. These piano movers have rubber wheels, but it's still a good idea to put down cardboard in the path of the rollers. I'm not suggesting you buy a set, but you can often find these at local equ...
by spectec
Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who cuts your hair? And for how much?
Replies: 153
Views: 8966

Re: Who cuts your hair? And for how much?

A local stylist. She charges $35. I generally give her a c-note cause I had to work stupid hard when I was young. I also give my house keeper a two month bonus at the end of the year. Working hard is hard. When you have done alright, you share when you can. Classy. Reminds me of a compliment someon...
by spectec
Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who cuts your hair? And for how much?
Replies: 153
Views: 8966

Re: Who cuts your hair? And for how much?

About every 3 weeks I walk across the street from my office to a barber I've known for years.
He always charges $12, and I always give him $20 & tell him to keep the change.
by spectec
Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Storm damage on a wharf not covered by home insurance!
Replies: 11
Views: 1125

Re: Storm damage on a wharf not covered by home insurance!

Not sure if this would help you, but I had a situation where the adjuster said my roof wasn't covered. He even wrote a check for a few hundred dollars for some minor damage he claimed my H/O insurance did cover. (I think that little charade was an attempt to instill in my mind that everything was ov...
by spectec
Sun Jul 07, 2019 5:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Verizon iPhone international trip
Replies: 37
Views: 2231

Re: Verizon iPhone international trip

I agree with the recommendation on the $10/day plan. We use it on all international trips when we're going where it is available. That, plus judicious use of airplane mode & wifi, can keep the cost down considerably with minimum effort. About 6 years ago I was traveling to Myanmar and this plan wasn...
by spectec
Sat Jul 06, 2019 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Does anyone own gold?
Replies: 108
Views: 11348

Re: Does anyone own gold?

I think owning physical gold also calls for another precious metals decision. In the event of an apocalypse in which the gold is necessary, you're also going to need a good supply of lead. Otherwise, the people with more lead will eventually own your gold.
by spectec
Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Parents got ripped off, what can I do about it?
Replies: 75
Views: 7029

Re: Parents got ripped off, what can I do about it?

It amazes me that everyone always thinks they're ripped off because "they" could have done it for less. No kidding!! You can buy a garbage disposal for less than $150 and install it in less than an hour...if you know what you're doing. Is it difficult, not at all...but there are a lot of people who...
by spectec
Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Facebook reading our minds?
Replies: 37
Views: 3539

Re: Facebook reading our minds?

Maybe some day I'll regret saying this, but I don't mind the targeted ads. If I'm not interested, I just click off. (It's just grog to be replaced by another ad anyhow so what's the problem?) But if I'm particularly interested in something, I make note of the price but try to avoid buying it when I ...
by spectec
Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Facebook reading our minds?
Replies: 37
Views: 3539

Re: Facebook reading our minds?

This does not answer the OP's question, nor is it directed at the OP in any way, but is about FB in general. I have a FB account and am a very light user, rarely post, and just read the news feed now and then. I know a lot of adults who spend an inordinate amount of time looking at FB, almost as a ...
by spectec
Thu Jun 20, 2019 6:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 4635
Views: 1196333

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

"Lion" on Netflix was a pleasant surprise. We had skipped over it several times for other titles, but finally decided to watch it last night. It was very good, better than most of the films we had chosen in its place. I hadn't noticed until the end that it was based on a true story. This makes the f...
by spectec
Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Indexing VS. buying Berkshire Hathaway stock?
Replies: 34
Views: 3050

Re: Indexing VS. buying Berkshire Hathaway stock?

Doesn't predicting what will happen to BRK when Warren and Charlie die run counter to the "nobody knows nothing" philosophy, or is BRK somehow an exception to yet another rule?
by spectec
Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SoClean for Cpap machine
Replies: 10
Views: 999

Re: SoClean for Cpap machine

Adding one more comment. Not cleaning your CPAP headgear would be something akin to using plastic pillow case and continuing to use it while drooling on it night after night. How long would you let that go on?
by spectec
Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SoClean for Cpap machine
Replies: 10
Views: 999

Re: SoClean for Cpap machine

I'm not impressed by it, especially now that it's being promoted virtually everywhere. I suspect it's more of an overpriced gimmick, but maybe better than not cleaning at all. I keep several sets of headgear and tubing, changing them out 2 or 3 times per week and cleaning the used ones in batches on...
by spectec
Wed Jun 19, 2019 9:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Indexing VS. buying Berkshire Hathaway stock?
Replies: 34
Views: 3050

Re: Indexing VS. buying Berkshire Hathaway stock?

Why would you want to invest in the stock of a company whose chairman is 88 years old and whose vice chairman is 95 years old? These two have been the primary reasons for the company's success. What happens after they're gone? If you're looking for a long-term, stable investment, Berkshire Hathaway...
by spectec
Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Starbucks; buy, sell, hold?
Replies: 41
Views: 3422

Re: Starbucks; buy, sell, hold?

I have no idea what the future holds for Starbucks. That said, I'm not so sure that I would bet against it. Last week I went to a Starbucks to meet some former coworkers. This was the first time that I had been to a Starbucks since 2006. Had they not wanted to meet there I would not have gone. The ...
by spectec
Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:20 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Starbucks; buy, sell, hold?
Replies: 41
Views: 3422

Re: Starbucks; buy, sell, hold?

I used to be a daily Starbucks customer, but now I almost never set foot in one. If I owned the stock (which I don't aside from whatever percentage it comprises of VTI), I'd probably take that same view of the stock.
by spectec
Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Clearing customs in Seattle
Replies: 26
Views: 4476

Re: Clearing customs in Seattle

You should take a look at Flight Aware for the on-time performance of her arriving and departing flights. Past performance is no indication of future success of course, but you will get some sort of idea about how those flights normally operate vs their published schedules. It's much better to have ...
by spectec
Sat Jun 08, 2019 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lodging and restaurants in Boone, NC.
Replies: 21
Views: 1477

Re: Lodging and restaurants in Boone, NC.

About a mile out of Blowing Rock, right beside the Blue Ridge Parkway, is a time share development called Swiss Mountain Village. They offer short-term rentals of owner-unoccupied units. That was our "go-to" place for many years for ski trips, and as of 4 or 5 years ago the prices were very competit...
by spectec
Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: US stocks still look better than anywhere else
Replies: 100
Views: 8098

Re: US stocks still look better than anywhere else

Not surprised in the least. Still holding 0% international in my AA, just got back from travels in Europe.... sufficed to say after nearly having to beg for my bill each time so I could leave (you “rent” the table for the night), and get yelled at because I sat at a table to drink my latte (after n...
by spectec
Sat Jun 08, 2019 5:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to pay electrician
Replies: 38
Views: 3598

Re: How to pay electrician

I have hired an electrician and he has completed job without issue. The electrician gave me a proposal with labor and material cost before work and there is no contract signed. Now he gave me an invoice with $200 increase on material without good reason(I have talked to him) Do I just pay whatever ...
by spectec
Sat Jun 08, 2019 5:10 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: US stocks still look better than anywhere else
Replies: 100
Views: 8098

Re: US stocks still look better than anywhere else

Not surprised in the least. Still holding 0% international in my AA, just got back from travels in Europe.... sufficed to say after nearly having to beg for my bill each time so I could leave (you “rent” the table for the night), and get yelled at because I sat at a table to drink my latte (after n...
by spectec
Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Suggestions on fraudulent medical bill
Replies: 88
Views: 6364

Re: Suggestions on fraudulent medical bill

I'd also be extremely careful about throwing around accusations of fraud against an individual, either verbally or in writing. That in and of itself can have dire consequences to the accuser if the other party takes offense and decides to press the point legally.
by spectec
Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medicare broker
Replies: 27
Views: 1122

Re: Medicare broker

When I first went on Medicare, 6 years ago, I found medisupps.com to be a great source of information on medigap plans. I was very pleased with their recommendation (Plan G), and it has worked well for me. I'm thinking of researching plans again this year, and will definitely use their services agai...
by spectec
Sun Jun 02, 2019 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Fishing" Shirt Recommendations
Replies: 18
Views: 1506

Re: "Fishing" Shirt Recommendations

I love the Sam's Habit River Shirts. They make great travel shirts, too. As someone else said, sizes run large so you should buy one size smaller in most cases.
by spectec
Sat Jun 01, 2019 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Forgot to mail check to IRS for taxes ($4000) - what now
Replies: 24
Views: 2834

Re: Forgot to mail check to IRS for taxes ($4000) - what now

I’m a very small sample size but I would probably wait just a little bit longer. I know this is not the majority view, but the one time I tried to be proactive with the IRS it was a mess. Do the expected thing and wait until you get a letter and then follow it exactly. The IRS seems set up to antic...
by spectec
Fri May 31, 2019 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Forgot to mail check to IRS for taxes ($4000) - what now
Replies: 24
Views: 2834

Re: Forgot to mail check to IRS for taxes ($4000) - what now

I’m a very small sample size but I would probably wait just a little bit longer. I know this is not the majority view, but the one time I tried to be proactive with the IRS it was a mess. Do the expected thing and wait until you get a letter and then follow it exactly. The IRS seems set up to antic...
by spectec
Fri May 31, 2019 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Forgot to mail check to IRS for taxes ($4000) - what now
Replies: 24
Views: 2834

Re: Forgot to mail check to IRS for taxes ($4000) - what now

She's going to get a bill for the $4,000, plus about $40 per month for the time the tax remains unpaid since Apr 15, 2019. The $40 per month is a combination of a Failure to Pay penalty of 1/2 of 1% per month plus interest at a 6% APR. (These are approximations). She can send the $4,000 now and hope...
by spectec
Wed May 29, 2019 9:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to save on prescription drug costs?
Replies: 60
Views: 4788

Re: How to save on prescription drug costs?

Another recommendation here for GoodRx. My Medicare Part D copay for the generic version of a new prescription was $490 for a 90-day supply.There was no Patient Assistance Plan that I qualified for, so I requested a Tiering Exception from the prescription plan, which they denied. I then printed off ...
by spectec
Mon May 27, 2019 9:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I deduct a loss for non-paying patients?
Replies: 48
Views: 3758

Re: Can I deduct a loss for non-paying patients?

You've already gotten the deduction: you never received the income and therefore won't be taxed on it. However, time and effort was used and therefore opportunity to be paid for a service that could have been performed. In addition the risk if something may arise from the service that was “already ...
by spectec
Sun May 26, 2019 5:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are you missing a $15,000 payment from CRB FREEDOM?
Replies: 28
Views: 4744

Re: Are you missing a $15,000 payment from CRB FREEDOM?

Here's a strong possibility. Cross River Bank - "Freedom" loan. It came up at the top of a Google search. Looks like a high-interest loan offering. It could be someone who applied for a loan with them and somebody got the account number wrong (or an identical account number with an incorrect bank ro...
by spectec
Sat May 25, 2019 5:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sending money to India.
Replies: 22
Views: 1807

Re: Sending money to India.

I've used Moneygram and Western Union to send money to India, but not in the amounts you are sending. Seems like you'd have to split the $15,000.00 into two separate transactions and pay about $30.00 for each transaction. I think (but am not certain), they would get the official exchange rate on the...
by spectec
Fri May 24, 2019 6:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: just a general comment about "too conservative" investors here
Replies: 151
Views: 15474

Re: just a general comment about "too conservative" investors here

From Youngblood: Yeah, I do tend to think, senior citizens with >50% equity allocation could be taking excessive risk. +1 from a 74 y.o. I'm currently under 50% equities but if/when the market drops significantly I plan to move to 50% - no more - and leave it there forever. If the market keeps movi...
by spectec
Sat May 18, 2019 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Multi owner property sale with missing owners
Replies: 12
Views: 1537

Re: Multi owner property sale with missing owners

Yes, you'd better seek legal help to determine if you can resolve this under the laws in your state before there are 16 heirs rather than 6. Once the value gets sufficiently diluted by deaths & divorces, it isn't worth any individual heir's time to try and herd all the cats. Plus many of the second ...
by spectec
Sat May 18, 2019 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why do plumbers get paid so well?
Replies: 84
Views: 6507

Re: Why do plumbers get paid so well?

Within the past 6 months I've had two different plumbers doing work at my home. The first one charged $125 for 45 minutes of work hooking up a new sink and faucet set. I could have easily done it myself, but this was part of a kitchen remodel project and the granite company wanted to limit their war...
by spectec
Tue May 14, 2019 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Booking a cruise - any differences in how/where?
Replies: 37
Views: 3490

Re: Booking a cruise - any differences in how/where?

Impossible question to answer without knowing quite a bit about your expectations, price points, etc. But the first places to go are Cruise Critic and Trip Advisor. Cruise Critic will often contain detailed reviews posted by people who have recently taken a cruise you are considering, usually groupe...
by spectec
Mon May 06, 2019 9:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you donate?
Replies: 100
Views: 7899

Re: How much do you donate?

Increase giving until it hurts.
Keep increasing the giving until it stops hurting.
by spectec
Sat Apr 27, 2019 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why do most people hate/dread learning about money and is there a good book for helping them?
Replies: 78
Views: 5230

Re: Why do most people hate/dread learning about money and is there a good book for helping them?

Book? I've found over the years that I can't even get people to read Jack Bogle's speech - "The Dream of A Perfect Plan", much less a book. And these are people who have actually asked me about investing. I'll give them a hard copy or a link to it, and next time we talk I'll ask them if they read it...
by spectec
Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant
Replies: 38
Views: 2443

Re: How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant

I don't know about tipping a friend that doesn't do this sort of thing very often but when we got married, I simply asked the officiant how much people typically tipped him for his services. He gave me the answer happily and we gave it to him later. When someone would ask my former pastor what the ...