Search found 2292 matches

by adamthesmythe
Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:25 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: How do I delete my account?
Replies: 6
Views: 1559

Re: How do I delete my account?

Even if all your posts WERE deleted, they would still be available somewhere in cyberspace.

But if you stop posting, eventually we will forget you.
by adamthesmythe
Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fax without a telephone line
Replies: 12
Views: 1054

Re: Fax without a telephone line

aristotelian wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 8:44 pm
These days you can scan and email a PDF for just about any purpose you would have needed to Fax in the olden days.
Yes but there are companies and institutions that insist on FAX, perhaps believing that they are "secure."

Or maybe just because the nineties were a happy time.
by adamthesmythe
Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Donate to homeless?
Replies: 34
Views: 1454

Re: Donate to homeless?

I DO want to help the homeless but (as noted) I am concerned that any money I give on the street will go for alcohol, drugs, or smokes. I give to the Salvation Army, in a big chunk, every year. They have a rep for (1) actually helping people (2) having low overhead and salaries for staff, and (3) no...
by adamthesmythe
Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are your property taxes?
Replies: 340
Views: 18678

Re: What are others paying for property taxes around the US?

You pay one way or the other. High property taxes but you may have more services or convenience to desirable areas. Low taxes you may have services but you have to drive everywhere to access them or you may have less services or you may be subsidized by commercial rate payers but you may live in a ...
by adamthesmythe
Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are your property taxes?
Replies: 340
Views: 18678

Re: What are others paying for property taxes around the US?

Conclusions 1. There's a big range in taxes, whether calculated based on value, size, or whatever. 2. You have to pay to play. Do you want good schools, good roads, short commute, nice environment? It's gonna cost you in house price and in taxes. 3. The options become much broader if you are not wor...
by adamthesmythe
Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: California 8 days road trip LA-SFO
Replies: 40
Views: 2100

Re: California 8 days road trip LA-SFO

For those that don't know, the Exploratorium is a very interesting place with an interesting history. It was established by Frank Oppenheimer, the brother of the (much more well known) J. Robert Oppenheimer. It has many hand-on exhibits and things to experience. It is far better at inspiring real cu...
by adamthesmythe
Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are your property taxes?
Replies: 340
Views: 18678

Re: What are others paying for property taxes around the US?

In places I am aware of, square feet and age are essentially irrelevant. Sale price or current value is what matters.

In AZ about $2000/$360000 is about right.
by adamthesmythe
Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: California 8 days road trip LA-SFO
Replies: 40
Views: 2100

Re: California 8 days road trip LA-SFO

Route 1 doesn't really need 3 days, maybe 1.5- 2 days with one stop for the night. I don't know WHERE to suggest for the night, it's been a long time. Many of the small hotels may not have a web presence. San Luis Obispo may be a good place to stop. Raybo has some good suggestions. If the Explorator...
by adamthesmythe
Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:08 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The risks of equities when saving for retirement
Replies: 38
Views: 3350

Re: The risks of equities when saving for retirement

Can we have another post on the risks of bonds and cash when saving for retirement?

Then we get to a mix between equities and bonds, which is where pretty much everyone is anyway.
by adamthesmythe
Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Streaming over-the-air TV on a laptop
Replies: 17
Views: 1255

Re: Streaming over-the-air TV on a laptop

I have an old Dell laptop that includes a TV tuner. Connect an antenna and you can watch TV.

Also look into USB gadgets from www.hauppauge.com/
by adamthesmythe
Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Southern California Vacation Questions
Replies: 39
Views: 2010

Re: Southern California Vacation Questions

If you are visiting UCLA then you will need to spend some time in LA. Personally I don't like LA and I would minimize the time spent there. Spend as much time as possible in San Diego or north along the coast (yes, i know they are in different directions). > We were thinking of staying in Santa Moni...
by adamthesmythe
Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why buying homes with mortgages is good but buying stocks on margin is bad
Replies: 36
Views: 2889

Re: Why buying homes with mortgages is good but buying stocks on margin is bad

Because a stock is an investment and a house isn't, it is a building I can live in.
by adamthesmythe
Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is this normal for an HOA?
Replies: 95
Views: 8376

Re: Is this normal for an HOA?

I received a form included with our 2019 dues asking for a lot of personal information, and no letter stating why they need it or what they will do with it. I have tried calling the management company and it rings until it goes to a mailbox that is full, so I don't know if they are already gone for...
by adamthesmythe
Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for a nice travel watch... recommendations?
Replies: 41
Views: 2348

Re: Looking for a nice travel watch... recommendations?

I stopped wearing a watch when I (recently) started carrying a cell phone. Before that I had a Fossil which impressed people because it looked expensive. It wasn't, and I would tell them so. I suppose that is the opposite of wanting to impress people. I wanted them to know that I wasn't the kind of ...
by adamthesmythe
Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why Is Insurance Worth It (Analytically)?
Replies: 89
Views: 4181

Re: Why Is Insurance Worth It (Analytically)?

I have insurance because there are not enough of me to guarantee I will have average costs.

The insurance company, on the other hand, has enough customers to average things out. I give them a commission for the service they provide.
by adamthesmythe
Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental car classifications
Replies: 13
Views: 1167

Re: Rental car classifications

When reserving for a recent trip, the best prices were for a pickup (!) and a small SUV. I reserved the small SUV. When I got there they offered a choice between a minivan and a medium sized sedan. I took the sedan. I hope for, and virtually always receive, a vehicle. Anything beyond that is gravy.
by adamthesmythe
Sun Dec 02, 2018 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Proper way to retire
Replies: 57
Views: 6355

Re: Proper way to retire

Is it proper to give a two weeks notice to retire then take two weeks off vacation time that was earned and return to work for one last day of work to close out the pay period? I do not want to carry vacation time for next year but plan on leaving the first week of January. Can a person be laid off...
by adamthesmythe
Sun Dec 02, 2018 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A paid off house
Replies: 10
Views: 2681

Re: A paid off house

(Not as old as 80-85 but I still have opinions). In an apartment rent increases are inevitable, and you need to live with somebody else's choice of carpets/ flooring/ appliances/ paint. If you go that route make sure you are willing to accept the compromises. Townhouses and condos are a reasonable m...
by adamthesmythe
Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?
Replies: 46
Views: 3018

Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

Wallpaper was truly an invention of the devil.

Anyway. Remove it yourself, unless (1) it is a rental or (2) it is a pretty cheap house. Annoying, time consuming, messy, but basically a low-skill job that is worth the trouble in the long run.
by adamthesmythe
Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Put spouse on insurance or use own??
Replies: 9
Views: 558

Re: Put spouse on insurance or use own??

To me, I find it highly unlikely that the cost of her on his insurance will be less than what she pays now. There is enough variation between benefit plans that there is no reason to expect anything at all. Add that to the fact that there is more than just cost to consider. A new couple should get ...
by adamthesmythe
Mon Nov 26, 2018 11:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Refrigerator Repair Specialists in the House?
Replies: 17
Views: 1641

Re: Any Refrigerator Repair Specialists in the House?

I don't know the design of your refrigerator so I don't know what is behind that panel. I don't think the defroster is there.

I would look up the drawings on one of the appliance repair websites.
by adamthesmythe
Mon Nov 26, 2018 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Broken Sewer pipe - $10,000-$20,000 to fix
Replies: 58
Views: 6203

Re: Broken Sewer pipe - $10,000 to fix

Wouldn’t this be covered by your homeowner’s policy? Pretty sure not, indeed I think the only insurance that would cover it would be sewer line insurance. Even that will probably not cover the full cost. I suppose OP could ask, but I wouldn't get my hopes up. This is one of the biggish, difficult t...
by adamthesmythe
Mon Nov 26, 2018 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Planning a trip to Iceland with kids
Replies: 12
Views: 1373

Re: Planning a trip to Iceland with kids

Iceland is not an ideal place for kids unless they all enjoy nature a great deal. In addition things are remarkably expensive, even compared with places like Norway. Essentially all flights to Europe are red eyes and not much more than 6 hours from the east coast. Seriously, I would consider other p...
by adamthesmythe
Mon Nov 26, 2018 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is good, quality luggage worth the price?
Replies: 88
Views: 5522

Re: Is good, quality luggage worth the price?

Expensive luggage makes sense only if you don't fly commercial. Otherwise durability is what you want. I think this is poorly correlated with price except at the very bottom end.
by adamthesmythe
Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's the catch? Nikon D750 FX + 24-120mm f/4
Replies: 7
Views: 753

Re: What's the catch? Nikon D750 FX + 24-120mm f/4

The most likely scams are: gray market, missing accessories, no ship or delayed ship. There are plenty of stories out there. If you try this company and get a new scam people would be mildly interested to hear about it. Apart from the possibility of scams, there are other reasons to buy from a reput...
by adamthesmythe
Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Current Retirees: Do you touch your principal?
Replies: 79
Views: 8228

Re: Current Retirees: Do you touch your principal?

I'm newly retired, but I hope to use up most of my principal. I may need to annuitize a significant fraction in order to do this safely. That may not work. I annuitized a significant fraction of my tax deferred accumulation five years ago. As a result, my income exceeds my expenses most months. And...
by adamthesmythe
Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Current Retirees: Do you touch your principal?
Replies: 79
Views: 8228

Re: Current Retirees: Do you touch your principal?

I'm newly retired, but I hope to use up most of my principal.

I may need to annuitize a significant fraction in order to do this safely.
by adamthesmythe
Sat Nov 17, 2018 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Water-Sewer line insurance
Replies: 34
Views: 1880

Re: Water-Sewer line insurance

Read carefully what is covered by the insurance. When I was offered something like this, "restoration" was not included. Digging up the pipe, replacing it, filling, and throwing grass seed is not that expensive. I would risk that. Replacing driveways, sidewalks, and plantings is expensive and may ta...
by adamthesmythe
Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home sale etiquette: wall repair
Replies: 53
Views: 3635

Re: Home sale etiquette: wall repair

Selling a house is a business proposition. Etiquette doesn't enter into it, unless you want to complicate matters. When I prepared for sale I removed some wall hangings and did some amount of patching and repainting. The buyers requested some fixes after inspection. Patching holes was not among the ...
by adamthesmythe
Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lexus NX vs RX
Replies: 10
Views: 1123

Re: Lexus NX vs RX

I lived and drove in the northeast for ages and never lost a tire from potholes. Also managed to get a speeding ticket or two in a 4 cylinder Camry. OP doesn't need a new car, he needs to think (and drive) different. By the way, churning a very new high-depreciation car is a financially losing propo...
by adamthesmythe
Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Young Professional...No Safe Investment? Pay off Debts?
Replies: 22
Views: 1688

Re: Young Professional...No Safe Investment? Pay off Debts?

> My biggest problem with investing in the market is that it drives me up the wall going up and down. Seeing -10k days makes me depressed and seeing +10k days makes me euphoric...it's not healthy.

You've got a business to run. Concentrate on that and let the market take care of itself.
by adamthesmythe
Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: sony TV XBR49X900F $1K vs a cheaper alternative Samsung $330
Replies: 18
Views: 1036

Re: sony TV XBR49X900F $1K vs a cheaper alternative Samsung $330

It's hard for me to believe that these are roughly similar models. Most likely the Samsung doesn't have HDR. I'm too lazy to check, but you should. I disagree with an earlier comment. I think HDR will be noticed even if visual acuity is somewhat degraded. I would say that the current TVs (which are ...
by adamthesmythe
Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Understanding the difference in cell phone OS types
Replies: 49
Views: 2593

Re: Understanding the difference in cell phone OS types

iphone- Clean, slick, lots of stuff goes on behind the scenes. Sometimes things change after updates, things may even disappear. Interface is minimal, sometimes to a fault. android- Cheaper. Maybe too many choices. Integration not as good. Inconsistency of interfaces. I suggest you play with an andr...
by adamthesmythe
Tue Nov 13, 2018 6:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cash compensation for swapped furnace and coil
Replies: 11
Views: 1330

Re: HVAC contractor swapped the furnace

(Assuming that the contract has part numbers- and not language like "or equivalent"): Maybe the present unit is sufficient, maybe it's not. In any case they owe you either a replacement or cash compensation acceptable to you.
by adamthesmythe
Tue Nov 13, 2018 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is my Android tablet too old?
Replies: 16
Views: 842

Re: Is my Android tablet too old?

My impression is that there have been some changes to wifi protocols over the years. This could be the cause of the problem.

A tablet this old doesn't have enough value to warrant more than a minimal effort at trouble-shooting. Save it for home use and buy a new one if you need one to travel with.
by adamthesmythe
Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Short-Term Medical Plans
Replies: 3
Views: 220

Re: Short-Term Medical Plans

Considering the economic risk of not having good medical insurance, I would put up with the higher cost of a good plan. It is only for 1.5 years for you and 4 years for your spouse. You never know when medical costs may occur, due to accident, illness, or aging. Yes. As a person old enough to retir...
by adamthesmythe
Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: tipping for grocery delivery
Replies: 53
Views: 4086

Re: tipping for grocery delivery

My God, people. They are pulling all the items according to your notes (green bananas for example, driving them to your home and bringing your groceries into your kitchen for you! Give them a couple bucks. If you don’t want to tip someone who is saving you time and effort, just go to the store your...
by adamthesmythe
Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Reverse Mortgage
Replies: 17
Views: 1892

Re: Reverse Mortgage

If they need in-home care, they may not be far from needing to move to a nursing home.

The reverse mortgage will be called if neither one is living in the house.

Sounds risky to me.
by adamthesmythe
Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone here retire in two homes
Replies: 24
Views: 3088

Re: Anyone here retire in two homes

The extra costs are the main liabilities. For several years I had a house in the east and a vacation house in the west. The vacation house was in a townhouse community which mitigated the maintenance problems. Insurance is a particular issue. If a house is unoccupied for long periods you will need t...
by adamthesmythe
Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If expenses are low, are some of us over saving?
Replies: 120
Views: 11942

Re: If expenses are low, are some of us over saving?

I plan to do more than just exist and pay bills between the time I retire and when my remains are incinerated. For sure. Although- I probably could pay my minimal expenses using social security- and my own, not using my wife's. And I'm not even collecting SS yet. This is the thing about the "retire...
by adamthesmythe
Wed Nov 07, 2018 7:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where can I go to print a very high-quality book?
Replies: 14
Views: 998

Re: Where can I go to print a very high-quality book?

My friends doctoral thesis for CUNY needed to have three or maybe 4 copies exactly as you describe on archival paper. I think the binding was simpler than you want though. Apparently they save them all and put them on a shelf somewhere. Back in the day I had to have a thesis submitted on 100% rag h...
by adamthesmythe
Wed Nov 07, 2018 7:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How high can House prices go
Replies: 67
Views: 8416

Re: How high can House prices go

The "affordability" measure doesn't tell the whole story. There can be societal changes (multiple generations in a single house); purchases by foreign investors; necessity of a substantial inheritance to buy; maybe even taking in boarders. Having said that- poor affordability tends to be local- over...
by adamthesmythe
Wed Nov 07, 2018 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cost to rebuild hvac return in crawl space
Replies: 8
Views: 928

Re: cost to rebuild hvac return in crawl space

Working in a crawl space sucks bigtime.

Maybe all of the contractors- including the one who gave you the estimate- are telling you they would really rather do other jobs.
by adamthesmythe
Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: tipping for grocery delivery
Replies: 53
Views: 4086

Re: tipping for grocery delivery

It takes enough thinking to decide what to tip taxi drivers and restaurant waiters.

Avoiding the emotional and intellectual effort to decide on tips for in-person deliveries is a good reason for me to not use these services.
by adamthesmythe
Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keep a backup hot water heater?
Replies: 104
Views: 5686

Re: Keep a backup hot water heater?

You could plumb it in next to the old one with cutoff valves. Then the down time in the event of failure could be just a few minutes.
by adamthesmythe
Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Purchase - Sellers Request Help with Repairs
Replies: 69
Views: 3239

Re: Home Purchase - Sellers Request Help with Repairs

It really depends on how bad you want the house and if the sellers will be able to close if you don't pay up. Everyone loves to say "walk away" when people post about any problems with a house or say that this is a sure sign the sellers have done zero maintenance and the house is probably held up b...
by adamthesmythe
Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Route-66 trip recommendations
Replies: 39
Views: 2301

Re: Route-66 trip recommendations

22twain - Yes they are looking for a travel-agency of some sort that can organize a trip or even a bus trip. I would really recommend against a bus trip. The whole point of route 66 is to drive it and stop for stuff that interests you. > The Northeast is very pretty. I've lived in the northeast. It...
by adamthesmythe
Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Consultant Advice: Commission - What to watch out for
Replies: 11
Views: 959

Re: Consultant Advice: Commission - What to watch out for

Agree you need a lawyer. Your obligations dpened on what the contract said. From the broker's point of view they have already done their part of the deal- bringing you the client.The fact that they will not bring more does not change the service they already provided. But legally? You need a lawyer...