Search found 1923 matches

by adamthesmythe
Wed May 23, 2018 6:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Winter Home - issues/costs?
Replies: 12
Views: 771

Re: Winter Home - issues/costs?

If YOU want to be there, so do other people. So rents will be high and rentals will be scarce. If you DON'T want to be there, few others will. So it will be hard to rent, and rental yield will be low. You could try to own only one house in a climate that is OK year round. This is what I do in northe...
by adamthesmythe
Wed May 23, 2018 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental car in Denver, CO
Replies: 10
Views: 543

Re: Rental car in Denver, CO

You are probably traveling at dates when cars are in high demand.

You might try fiddling with the exact dates and times, you might find something that makes a big difference.
by adamthesmythe
Tue May 22, 2018 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: French hotel amenities...
Replies: 15
Views: 1084

Re: French hotel amenities...

The most likely thing to find is the refrigerator, only they will call it a minibar and fill it with pricey drinks.
by adamthesmythe
Tue May 22, 2018 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?
Replies: 96
Views: 3974

Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Before I retired I was faculty. You can wear jeans and athletic shoes unless you are administration. I usually went for an upgraded look by wearing an old sports coat.

Now retired, I have discovered those Walmart pants with extra thigh pockets. Lots of T shirts.
by adamthesmythe
Mon May 21, 2018 9:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: International travel for Christmas
Replies: 26
Views: 1266

Re: International travel for Christmas

There's usually decent award availability to Brazil, Argentina, but you would need to get in fairly soon if you want to pay with Saver rather than Standard. If your elite status allows you to change bookings with no fee, that is useful. I'd also take a look at Australia, which is obviously a more p...
by adamthesmythe
Mon May 21, 2018 7:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Have Annuity Rates Gone Up?
Replies: 15
Views: 1606

Re: Have Annuity Rates Gone Up?

Relation between annuity yield and interest rates

https://www.forbes.com/sites/wadepfau/2 ... af64d374d2

Yes, higher present interest rates do increase the yield, but less than point-for-point.
by adamthesmythe
Mon May 21, 2018 7:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Disputed HOA billing
Replies: 21
Views: 1726

Re: Disputed HOA billing

If you send it to the HOA mailing address it goes to the management company. They SHOULD communicate with the board. It is possible that they do not, either because of inefficiency or a misunderstanding of their role. If you do not receive a response, you should take your issue directly to the board...
by adamthesmythe
Mon May 21, 2018 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medicare and Cataract surgery - one or two charges?
Replies: 31
Views: 1354

Re: Medicare and Cataract surgery - one or two charges?

As a doc, I prefer to keep things as simple as possible. So I went with the basic lenses. I used a private ophthalmologist rather than a cataract mill, and he told me well over 90% went with standard monofocal lenses, and that's what he would choose for himself. After my supplemental plan F, I paid...
by adamthesmythe
Mon May 21, 2018 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fractional Ownership [Property]
Replies: 30
Views: 3498

Re: Fractional Ownership [Property]

They say that timeshares are not as bad a deal as they used to be. That would be a good thing because in the past many were a rotten deal. The problem was that they were extremely difficult to get out of. They were the gift that kept on taking. So think about it very carefully. And as noted, don't p...
by adamthesmythe
Mon May 21, 2018 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: International travel for Christmas
Replies: 26
Views: 1266

Re: International travel for Christmas

I have never tried to use FF miles for the holidays. I suspect that it will be difficult or impossible. Airlines have been making it more and more difficult to use miles. You have the further complication of multiple tickets. I suggest you pick an arbitrary destination (say, London) and check to see...
by adamthesmythe
Mon May 21, 2018 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medicare and Cataract surgery - one or two charges?
Replies: 31
Views: 1354

Re: Medicare and Cataract surgery - one or two charges?

Normally done one eye at a time. My GP was pretty insistent on this as he once had a two-eye at once patient who had gotten an infection causing loss of sight in both eyes. I would not even THINK about having both eyes done at once. Temporary complications also can happen. The US approach is what y...
by adamthesmythe
Mon May 21, 2018 10:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lender Funded Without Authorization
Replies: 5
Views: 706

Re: Lender Funded Without Authorization

You tell the seller's agent that the lender proceeded without your authorization and that (as apparent from ongoing negotiation) you have been holding authorization until a satisfactory conclusion has been reached.

I don't see the problem. I don't see the damage.
by adamthesmythe
Sun May 20, 2018 9:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Re: done with Gmail
Replies: 86
Views: 8850

Re: done with Gmail

I also cannot understand what OP was having trouble with.

Personally, I rather hate using gmail from a web interface. I find it works like every other provider when set up in Thunderbird, which is how I use it.
by adamthesmythe
Sat May 19, 2018 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Enclosed Porch Addition - Good or Bad Idea?
Replies: 16
Views: 1008

Re: Enclosed Porch Addition - Good or Bad Idea?

Price per square foot is a weighted average of very expensive rooms (kitchen and bath) and very cheap rooms (bedrooms and living space). You are making an overly optimistic assessment of the value of the added space. You would be much better off comparing houses with and without a similar addition. ...
by adamthesmythe
Sat May 19, 2018 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: central extractor fan instead of A/C?
Replies: 15
Views: 1233

Re: central extractor fan instead of A/C?

> use the ducting I have without installing an expensive A/C system. You have done the more difficult part of AC installation already. What you are suggesting is a bit odd and you may have difficulty finding parts, etc. Installing AC may cost less than you think and will be a benefit upon resale. Of...
by adamthesmythe
Fri May 18, 2018 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving to Texas - [Request for clothes, car window tint] recommendations
Replies: 42
Views: 2874

Re: Moving to Texas - [Request for clothes, car window tint] recommendations

> clothes

You will need a cowboy hat. Boots can't hurt either.
by adamthesmythe
Thu May 17, 2018 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College Textbooks
Replies: 13
Views: 707

Re: College Textbooks

He won't know for sure until classes start. It can range from totally optional to absolutely required (for example, if only a particular textbook is allowed for open-book tests). Be careful about older editions (new editions with new pagination and problem assignments are common). In areas I am fami...
by adamthesmythe
Thu May 17, 2018 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2018 Yellowstone Trip advice needed
Replies: 20
Views: 1330

Re: 2018 Yellowstone Trip advice needed

mak1277 wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 7:35 am
My advice would be to fly into Jackson or Idaho Falls, Idaho...that six hour plus drive from SLC sounds miserable to me.
Idaho Falls is a good bit closer and does have an airport.

You would miss your opportunity to visit Mormon country (not without interest).
by adamthesmythe
Thu May 17, 2018 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Speed need for downloading Netflix etc
Replies: 2
Views: 221

Re: Speed need for downloading Netflix etc

I live in the country and am considering obtaining a satellite internet service provider. What would be the download speed I would need to download Netflix movies. Do any of you who have satellite internet service have any concerns about its reliability? Thanks. Not hard to find using Mr. Google ht...
by adamthesmythe
Wed May 16, 2018 6:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2018 Yellowstone Trip advice needed
Replies: 20
Views: 1330

Re: 2018 Yellowstone Trip advice needed

Just got back. The lodge you are at was not open so I can't speak specifically. I WILL say that the newer lodges are a bit cheaper and a lot nicer. I stayed in both Old Faithful Inn and the neighboring Snow Lodge. The rooms in the Snow Lodge were larger and nicer and newer. So visit the old lodges b...
by adamthesmythe
Wed May 16, 2018 4:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Communities w Great Weather and Low/No State Taxes?
Replies: 12
Views: 1767

Re: Retirement Communities w Great Weather and Low/No State Taxes?

I suggest looking for places you want to live with lowER taxes, and not letting the tax tail wag the lifestyle dog.

I ended up in Sedona AZ with substantially lower taxes than the northeast.

There are those that find Florida weather great. I am not one of them.
by adamthesmythe
Wed May 16, 2018 2:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How can I clear $40-60,000/yr with $1,000,000 cash... Low Risk?
Replies: 71
Views: 10417

Re: How can I clear $40-60,000/yr with $1,000,000 cash... Low Risk?

In principle, OP could invest in bonds to protect his principal. But the principal problem is the low current yield of bonds.
by adamthesmythe
Wed May 16, 2018 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?
Replies: 93
Views: 5970

Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

> my wife and I make over 900K per year So you can do whatever you want. High earners are often very ambitious for kids, want them to get into Harvard or wherever, and will do anything that might get them a leg up. The downside, I suppose, is that kids might grow up feeling superior, or might turn o...
by adamthesmythe
Fri May 04, 2018 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car rentals, what is the catch?
Replies: 25
Views: 2095

Re: Car rentals, what is the catch?

I search for a rental car at the Miami International Airport with Expedia.com, here is what I got the prices for an Economy car for a day: Priceless: $6 U-Save: $8 Budget: $23 Alamo: $37 Thrifty: 22 The prices seem to differ by a lot. So do you alway rent a car with the cheapest price? What is the ...
by adamthesmythe
Thu May 03, 2018 10:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How old is too old for a vehicle, even for a well running one ?
Replies: 83
Views: 4908

Re: How old is too old for a vehicle, even for a well running one ?

Things to keep in mind: 1. Bathtub curve. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bathtub_curve) 2. Local weather and safety conditions on the road. 3. How important being places on time is for you. 4. Safety innovations and the importance they have to you. 5. What you WANT within the limits of what you can ...
by adamthesmythe
Thu May 03, 2018 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a house and High tax state.. Does it make sense anymore??
Replies: 28
Views: 2183

Re: Buying a house and High tax blue state.. Does it make sense anymore??

My question was mostly in general.. Does it make sense these days to buy in High tax blue state when you can no longer deduct SALT... What you really should be asking is whether it makes sense to LIVE and WORK in a high-tax state. Consider whether you life will be better living and working elsewher...
by adamthesmythe
Thu May 03, 2018 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: One Bathroom in Home Change Bathtub to Only Shower Hurt Resale?.
Replies: 32
Views: 2068

Re: One Bathroom in Home Change Bathtub to Only Shower Hurt Resale?.

> home which we retired to One bath, shower or tub, is already going to be harder to sell. But you're not going to sell! Get what you want, and ideally what will be manageable if you eventually have trouble getting around. Seems to me that a big shower with grab bars will be better than a small tub.
by adamthesmythe
Thu May 03, 2018 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate Commissions - How Negotiable?
Replies: 31
Views: 1965

Re: Real Estate Commissions - How Negotiable?

On a higher-priced house, in what appears to be a strong market, 5% should be achievable. It was for me recently. Keep in mind that many (maybe most of the buyers in your market?) will already have a buyer's agent. So 2- 2.5% of the commission is likely not flexible. Don't forget about all the other...
by adamthesmythe
Thu May 03, 2018 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a house and High tax state.. Does it make sense anymore??
Replies: 28
Views: 2183

Re: Buying a house and High tax blue state.. Does it make sense anymore??

So each year your landlord hands over the first 7 months of rent collected to the state? In many places assessments and taxes adjust slowly, so it is quite likely a landlord who has owned for a while is paying less in taxes than a new owner. However that is likely to adjust over time, that is, rent...
by adamthesmythe
Tue May 01, 2018 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keyboard key labels wearing off...
Replies: 19
Views: 1201

Re: Keyboard key labels wearing off...

Keyboards are cheap, although it might be hard to find one (1) not too large and (2) not wireless. I have even replaced a keyboard on a laptop, easy to do on a Dell. But the thing is...the commonly used keys...I know where they are...and the less commonly used ones don't wear. (Thanks to Mom for enc...
by adamthesmythe
Tue May 01, 2018 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: electric shock hazard [opening a DVD player]
Replies: 11
Views: 1169

Re: electric shock hazard

> It hasn't been plugged in for a few years.

I would not be concerned about a shock hazard.

If you intend to activate the laser diode- that would be a vision hazard.
by adamthesmythe
Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to buy a new car (need to find a Boglehead way)
Replies: 34
Views: 2676

Re: When to buy a new car (need to find a Boglehead way)

I currently own a 75.000 miles Mazda CX5 (paid off). I bought it 4 years ago for $29k and according to KBB the value is ~ $14k. A lot of folks on this forum drive their cars for ~ 150k miles and then sell it for few bucks. In my situation it looks like I already spent half of the car lifetime for $...
by adamthesmythe
Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Services that offer to buy your house?
Replies: 22
Views: 2456

Re: Services that offer to buy your house?

I would consider going this route with my house, because it so badly needs updating and I don't want to do the work. Even a house that in bad need of updating has a fair market value. That will be lower than a comparable house in good condition, but it's still way higher than what these guys will o...
by adamthesmythe
Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Relatively stable 1 year investment that doesn't involve interest?
Replies: 37
Views: 2363

Re: Relatively stable 1 year investment that doesn't involve interest?

Something that has zero yield is not an investment, it is a mattress. Or safe deposit box. \

Seems to me that- by definition- an "investment" is something that has at least a prospect of gain.
by adamthesmythe
Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gift Question [Gift Tax]
Replies: 30
Views: 1670

Re: Gift Question

BTW even if you give more than 15k to an individual, you don’t pay gift tax. This amount over 15K reduces your estate amount which can be passed estate tax free to heirs. Current limit of estate is 11 million per person. For a couple this limit is 22 million. So most folks can give any amount to an...
by adamthesmythe
Sun Apr 29, 2018 1:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Services that offer to buy your house?
Replies: 22
Views: 2456

Re: Services that offer to buy your house?

If you want to sell a house- pretty much in any condition- the way to get the most money is to expose it to the largest number of prospective buyers.

The exception would be as part of a relocation package, where a guaranteed payout roughly at market value is guaranteed.
by adamthesmythe
Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ikea Quality
Replies: 37
Views: 2773

Re: Ikea Quality

One problem with Ikea furniture is that sometimes it lasts too long. Yeah, I've had that problem too sometimes. I have some that I really really want to leave behind in my next move. I like Ikea for bookshelves because I had a lot of books. Some of the other stuff might be OK, but I find their offi...
by adamthesmythe
Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone had luck getting condo to install solar panels?
Replies: 6
Views: 660

Re: Anyone had luck getting condo to install solar panels?

I assume you mean that each unit has a roof. In many states an association is REQUIRED to allow owners to install solar panels on their own roof (possibly subject to reasonable restrictions and indemnification, especially if the association maintains the roofs). Now as to whether that is a good idea...
by adamthesmythe
Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car pickup today.
Replies: 48
Views: 3204

Re: New car pickup today.

Once I show up, I tell them, "no upsells, especially on extended warranties or I'll walk out" Our CR-V car buying experience in February of this year involved approximately 4 to 5 hours of waiting time altogether, including waiting for the salesman, finding the keys to the car for a test drive (the...
by adamthesmythe
Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who benefits from "best and final offer" on condo?
Replies: 107
Views: 5949

Re: Who benefits from "best and final offer" on condo?

For the seller, it isn’t entirely about money. It’s also about having a buyer and buyer’s agent you can work with. When they asked for best and final offer, they were asking for best and final offer, and you apparently didn’t believe them. Would I have done it differently? Yes. But when both the to...
by adamthesmythe
Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HOA won't help. [Homeowners Association]
Replies: 37
Views: 4613

Re: HOA won't help.

> I could not attend the board meeting.

Doing what it takes to attend a board meeting will be easier and cheaper and less trouble than hiring a lawyer.

If board meetings are not announced and held regularly you have another set of problems.
by adamthesmythe
Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car pickup today.
Replies: 48
Views: 3204

Re: New car pickup today.

Skipping the warranty is like gambling, but this time the odds are on your side.

Even in the northeast (where, by the way, salt is very heavily used) I never bought rustproofing.
by adamthesmythe
Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HOA won't help. [Homeowners Association]
Replies: 37
Views: 4613

Re: HOA won't help.

1. CYA with the letter.
2. Don't you have board meetings? Everywhere I know of these are noticed and you are allowed to attend and speak (possibly at a designated time).
3. Running to replace the board is cheaper and faster than legal action. Justice is neither cheap, fast, or certain.
by adamthesmythe
Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is my computer obsolete?
Replies: 60
Views: 4233

Re: Is my computer obsolete?

Can you still upgrade to Windows 10 for free? Ask yourself WHY you would do this. I never upgrade operating systems on older hardware. It is asking for unexpected and difficult to fix compatibility problems. At some point it might become unwise to connect an older system to the internet. As noted, ...
by adamthesmythe
Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Payment for Medical Device
Replies: 9
Views: 542

Re: Payment for Medical Device

Buy a pre-paid credit card?

I fully understand your concern, because it may be difficult to reverse a "pull" type payment.
by adamthesmythe
Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who benefits from "best and final offer" on condo?
Replies: 107
Views: 5949

Re: Who benefits from "best and final offer" on condo?

Reasons seller took the other offer: 1. Seller wants it done. 2. Seller is very happy to get more than list, and doesn't want to screw up the deal. 3. Seller feels honor-bound to keep his word. 4. Seller likes something else about the other buyer. And maybe more. The thing about buying/ selling a ho...
by adamthesmythe
Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit Card Extended Warranties for Kitchen Appliances?
Replies: 3
Views: 411

Re: Credit Card Extended Warranties for Kitchen Appliances?

> With the price of these things, 3-years seems like a reasonable warranty not 1-year Well, if you use the credit card it's 3 years vs. 2 years. And failures tend to occur at higher rates during the initial period of operation. Personally I take the bet that I will not need an extended warranty. I d...
by adamthesmythe
Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family trip, Southwest USA
Replies: 27
Views: 2184

Re: Family trip, Southwest USA

For a summer trip- you will be happier if you stay away from Phoenix, Tucson, and southern New Mexico. That also reduces the total amount of driving, although it will still be a lot. I think if you look at train schedules, cost, and contemplate the pleasures of being on the train you will decide to ...
by adamthesmythe
Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FIRE and health insurance
Replies: 25
Views: 3919

Re: FIRE and health insurance

> How do you handle health insurance when you retire early?

Simple. You're not financially independent until you have a plan to afford health care.
by adamthesmythe
Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling to Asia-need advice
Replies: 46
Views: 3535

Re: Traveling to Asia-need advice

My son is 21 and graduating in May from college. He's planning on traveling to China, Japan, Taiwan and maybe South Korea. He's planning to travel solo with a backpack and I assume hoping to stay at hostels. Does anybody have any advice or tips for such an adventure? How good is his Chinese and Jap...