Search found 72 matches

by maxq
Fri Jan 17, 2020 5:26 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: FDIC Insurance Rules Update
Replies: 21
Views: 3016

Re: FDIC Insurance Rules Update

I ran into this earlier this week when I went into a local credit union (I have used it many years) to renew a maturing six-figure CD. The account rep insisted I needed to provide the POD's SSN due to new rules. I asked her to verify this with management, but she insisted there was no exception. I t...
by maxq
Wed Nov 06, 2019 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric shavers - foil vs rotary
Replies: 24
Views: 2144

Re: Electric shavers - foil vs rotary

I usually shave in the shower with whatever cheap disposable razor I happen to buy, then use a Norelco rotary battery-powered travel shaver to clean up the top of my ears and any areas I missed under my nose. Its quiet, small, runs a couple of months on 2 AA batteries for this limited use, and is al...
by maxq
Wed Oct 30, 2019 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question for Feds re: liability insurance...
Replies: 20
Views: 1439

Re: Question for Feds re: liability insurance...

Many years ago, while on active duty as an Air Force officer serving as a warranted Contracting Officer, I was sued by a problematic contractor for something north of $40 million. The company was displeased that they had been terminated for default and were not being paid for work completed and anti...
by maxq
Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: highlander platinum
Replies: 10
Views: 1345

Re: highlander platinum

I bought a 2018 Highlander Platinum and am happy so far after about 6 months. The Entune audio/navigation/notification system is rather limited and is missing the tire pressure readings that a lot of cheaper crossovers include. Android Auto and Apple Car Play are still MIA on the current Highlander....
by maxq
Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NO Gift Tax on Gifts >$15k in a Year
Replies: 85
Views: 8190

Re: NO Gift Tax on Gifts >$15k in a Year

I've been following this topic with interest. I have a question as to how the reporting is actually done. For example, if a person gifts someone $15K or more during 2019, I understand the form would be due to the IRS by Apr 15 of the year after the gift is made, but am unsure of how it is actually f...
by maxq
Sun Mar 03, 2019 6:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for a 15-inch business laptop with centered keyboard
Replies: 7
Views: 986

Re: Recommendations for a 15-inch business laptop with centered keyboard

I'm also one that prefers a centered keyboard and find a number pad on a laptop to be of minor value. I've been a Thinkpad user for many years, and also like the trackpoint. Last year I tried to find a 15" Windows laptop without a number pad, and discovered they are few and far between. So, I went ...
by maxq
Fri Mar 01, 2019 6:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for a 15-inch business laptop with centered keyboard
Replies: 7
Views: 986

Re: Recommendations for a 15-inch business laptop with centered keyboard

I'm also one that prefers a centered keyboard and find a number pad on a laptop to be of minor value. I've been a Thinkpad user for many years, and also like the trackpoint. Last year I tried to find a 15" Windows laptop without a number pad, and discovered they are few and far between. So, I went t...
by maxq
Mon Jan 28, 2019 7:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pen Fed CU on-line 1099-INT format differs from mailed version
Replies: 1
Views: 256

Pen Fed CU on-line 1099-INT format differs from mailed version

I looked at the Pen Fed website last week and saw an electronic version of my 1099-INT. I have 3 accounts there (savings and 2 certificate accounts), and the on-line 1099 merely showed a single Block 1 with the sum of the total Pen Fed interest and showing only the basic savings account number. Toda...
by maxq
Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Suggestions on secular donations & time donations
Replies: 22
Views: 1397

Re: Suggestions on secular donations & time donations

I volunteer a couple of times a week at the USO lounge in a major airport and am a substitute driver for Meals on Wheels. Both are great organizations and I've met incredible folks, both on the volunteer and "customer" side.
by maxq
Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I get umbrella liability insurance?
Replies: 56
Views: 5274

Re: Should I get umbrella liability insurance?

I read this thread with interest. I have an umbrella policy that meets my needs, but the mentions of asset protection got me thinking..... I understand each state varies on what assets you can shelter from creditors (primary residence, IRAs, etc), but I'm curious how it actually works in practice. I...
by maxq
Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: USAA apology letter?
Replies: 42
Views: 7118

Re: USAA apology letter?

Well, I guess we now know at least one reason why USAA issued the odd apology letter: https://www.militarytimes.com/pay-benefits/2019/01/03/usaa-customers-to-receive-more-than-12-million-for-alleged-violations-in-handling-accounts-errors/ As a former 35+ year USAA member, I was sorry to see them go ...
by maxq
Fri Mar 30, 2018 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New On-screen Guide for Direct TV
Replies: 17
Views: 6417

New On-screen Guide for Direct TV

I've had Direct TV and AT&T internet for several years and find it generally OK and better customer service than Comcast. In November, Direct TV started rolling out a new on-screen interface that is hugely unpopular with customers--4K function is broken, tiny font is hard to read from across the roo...
by maxq
Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Delayed credit card alerts from USAA Bank
Replies: 3
Views: 687

Delayed credit card alerts from USAA Bank

I have a credit card and debit card from Chase, both of which I have set up for alerts to be sent via text and an email whenever I use my card--usually I get the alert before I even get the card back in my wallet. Likewise for when auto payments I have set up are actually made. I also have alerts se...
by maxq
Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Washer/Dryer longevity ?
Replies: 69
Views: 8524

Re: Washer/Dryer longevity ?

I bought the cheapest Roper w/d set for about $600 while living in an apartment about 15 years ago. Light user, but probably average a load a week. Last year the washer died, but I was able to revive it by a simple lid safety switch replacement. Last month, the dryer quit mid-cycle. A bit of Googlin...
by maxq
Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Steps for Redeeming/Reporting/Paying interest & penalties for inherited matured EE Series Savings Bonds
Replies: 3
Views: 649

Steps for Redeeming/Reporting/Paying interest & penalties for inherited matured EE Series Savings Bonds

Long title, but I think its explanatory. My sister and I have several paper EE Series Savings Bonds that our late father purchased in 1980. They matured in early 2010. He didn't pay tax as interest was earned, so we know we will have to do so, along with payment of interest and penalties. The vast m...
by maxq
Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Entering detail in H&R Block vs TaxAct programs
Replies: 10
Views: 871

Entering detail in H&R Block vs TaxAct programs

Odd question, but I'm a bit stumped.... I used TaxAct for 10 years or so and was happy with it until their pricing skyrocketed the last two years ($10 for Federal only year after year, then $35 last year, now $52 since they say I'm a valued customer). I've switched to H&R Block (CD for $14) and am p...
by maxq
Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?
Replies: 61
Views: 3723

Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Sorry if its already been mentioned, but Fuelly (Apple store) is free today, normally $6. Noted in 9to5toys.com
by maxq
Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My dad's army jacket
Replies: 76
Views: 8790

Re: My dad's army jacket

I'm retired US Air Force and have no problem with him wearing something like this, as he noted he planned to remove the accoutrements. I still have my BDU field jacket with insulated liner (removed rank, badges and patches) and am glad to have it on the one or two winter days we get in Houston every...
by maxq
Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Propane Stove For Earthquake Kit
Replies: 24
Views: 2367

Re: Propane Stove For Earthquake Kit

I keep a Primus backpacking stove in my survival stores (Houston, so hurricanes instead of earthquakes). It uses the half pound canisters and each one lasts a couple of hours, depending on use. Only one burner though. Not as cost efficient as something like a Coleman stove running off of propane tan...
by maxq
Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BH phone review: Moto G5 Plus
Replies: 35
Views: 4129

Re: BH phone review: Moto G5 Plus

I picked one up from Amazon for just under $200 a couple of months ago. Worked great on Cricket and had remarkable battery life. I ended up returning it though as it doesn't have an LED notification light. I like being able to see from across the room that I have a text or missed call or calendar ev...
by maxq
Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2004 LEXUS RX 330
Replies: 46
Views: 4763

Re: 2004 LEXUS RX 330

I'd factor in a few other things before making a decision: - Safety features. I assume the 2015 has a lot more than the 2004 - Location. Due to ice/snow/salt, I'd be a lot less inclined to buy a 13 year old vehicle in the northeast than in the southwest - Check the recall history and find out if any...
by maxq
Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: learning Arabic
Replies: 19
Views: 3062

Re: learning Arabic

A few years ago, Arabic was on the Foreign Service's list of the most difficult languages for native English-speakers to learn. I can muddle through reading/writing/speaking in 9 languages to varying degrees, but Arabic totally defeated me. If I was to tackle it again, I'd go with Duolingo for just ...
by maxq
Mon May 29, 2017 5:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Agent Orange compensation for Vietnam veteran
Replies: 4
Views: 1172

Re: Agent Orange compensation for Vietnam veteran

It can be very complicated, but I'd start with having him talk to a Veterans Service Officer if possible--many American Legion or DAV posts can put you in touch with one. Some states and/or counties also have people who fill this role. They are generally quite knowledgeable and are compensated by th...
by maxq
Thu May 25, 2017 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: best for web surfing: trackpoint or touchpad?
Replies: 12
Views: 1537

Re: best for web surfing: trackpoint or touchpad?

I'm a long-time Thinkpad user solely because of the Trackpoint. I've never been able to master trackpads and constantly under/overshoot where I'm aiming the cursor. The Trackpoint just feels natural to me and I find it to be quicker. I also like the 15.6" screens, but dislike laptops with number key...
by maxq
Wed May 24, 2017 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mexican Pacific Beaches
Replies: 58
Views: 7263

Re: Mexican Pacific Beaches

I've been to most Mexican resorts and definitely prefer Mazatlan. The tourist areas are decidedly smaller than other beach resorts, and Mazatlan seems to be mostly a normal Mexican working city and port. I feel safe in the city and nearby areas, but I don't venture too far out as its in Sinaloa (El ...
by maxq
Sun May 07, 2017 5:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: United Mileage Plus CC - worth it?
Replies: 32
Views: 3493

Re: United Mileage Plus CC - worth it?

I've had this card for 5 years or so and find it very worthwhile. I'm in Houston, so direct flights to many places are at the whim and mercy of United. Zone 2 boarding and a free checked bag each way (also a free checked bag for one other person if they are on your reservation), zero foreign transac...
by maxq
Tue May 02, 2017 9:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Global Entry or Nexus
Replies: 15
Views: 1807

Re: Global Entry or Nexus

I've been very satisfied with Global Entry for the last 6 years or so. I just renewed on line and received a new card in about 3 weeks. I use it several times a year returning from Mexico, Canada, and Costa Rica. It also includes TSA Precheck. I found on my last trip that to use Global Entry at Cana...
by maxq
Tue May 02, 2017 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Disabled Veterans - What to expect in coming years?
Replies: 4
Views: 972

Re: Disabled Veterans - What to expect in coming years?

I retired from active duty in 2004 and received an 80% VA disability rating in 2005. Since then, both the retired military pay and VA disability pay increases have tracked with the annual Social Security increases (or lack of increases). For the history, take a look at https://www.ssa.gov/cola/ . If...
by maxq
Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any golfers played Bandon Dunes on the Oregon coast?
Replies: 5
Views: 985

Any golfers played Bandon Dunes on the Oregon coast?

This set of courses seems to be high on my die-hard golfing buddies' to-do list. A few of us old Air Force buddies try to meet at a place every year where a couple of us play and a couple of us are more interested in being tourists. Its worked out well over the years--Palm Springs; Vegas; S Carolina...
by maxq
Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Six pack for barbecue?
Replies: 77
Views: 7774

Re: Six pack for barbecue?

I'm in Texas, so BBQ means Shiner Bock and/or Lone Star with the friends I run with. Actually though, DUI is a real concern and when I'm asked to bring a 6/12 pack, I add an equivalent amount of non-alcoholic beer--Buckleys and Becks NA really aren't all that bad. My peer group is aging along with m...
by maxq
Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of Booze on a Cruise
Replies: 68
Views: 9471

Re: Cost of Booze on a Cruise

I think its rather interesting that the safety-sealed caps on water, mouthwash, etc, are in fact not so safe from those who want to swap contents. For those doing it to skirt cruise lines' restrictions, that's not too bad to me; for those with more evil intentions (think product tampering), it is al...
by maxq
Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Wall Street Journal to close Google loophole entirely
Replies: 169
Views: 38120

Re: The Wall Street Journal to close Google loophole entirely

I have a Mac, OS is Sierra. I typically use Safari for my browser. I am going to switch to Chrome, but looks like I have to go to something called a BookMark Manager. We'll see lol I've used this method on my Mac, using Safari 9.1.3 but running Mavericks still. In Safari, open a new tab and add it ...
by maxq
Sat Jan 28, 2017 7:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Volunteering Ideas
Replies: 87
Views: 7913

Re: Volunteering Ideas

I'm not sure it has been mentioned, but the USO is a worthy organization that I find personally rewarding. I do a couple of shifts a month in the USO lounges at the Houston airports. After a few orientations and background checks since the facilities are generally on the airside of the terminal, its...
by maxq
Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Discount Code for TaxAct?
Replies: 2
Views: 1246

Re: Discount Code for TaxAct?

There have been a few threads about the TaxAct increases this year. It seems the price basically tripled, state return cost is required even if not needed, etc. This after they got hacked and failed to tell anyone until confronted. To cap it off, they jacked up the already tripled price before Black...
by maxq
Sun Jan 15, 2017 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How High is Your TV?
Replies: 41
Views: 4953

How High is Your TV?

I finally got around to replacing a 36" 200+ pound Sony tube TV (no takers at $0 on Craigslist; no takers at $20; multiple responses at $50) with a nice 55" LG widescreen. For now, I just moved the coffee table against the wall to have something to stand it on. Its only about 16" high though and see...
by maxq
Mon Dec 26, 2016 4:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: anyone brave enough to read fineprint of online tax filing software
Replies: 5
Views: 1214

Re: anyone brave enough to read fineprint of online tax filing software

Well, after TaxAct got hacked last year, I waded through their TOS. Customer protections were basically non-existent as the legal verbiage is all skewed to protect the business (as done by all companies I assume). The only "protection" was to tell victims months after they found the hack to re-set p...
by maxq
Tue Dec 13, 2016 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: European Riverboat Tours
Replies: 22
Views: 4002

Re: European Riverboat Tours

Happily divorced here and thinking of taking a river cruise. I like group tours because I seem to see more, but do like some free time to explore on my own. Any thoughts or experience regarding single travel on river cruises?
by maxq
Tue Dec 13, 2016 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flaunt Your High-Mileage Car
Replies: 630
Views: 86894

Re: Flaunt Your High-Mileage Car

Not sure if flaunting or admitting: - 1972 Chevy Vega with 185,892 miles on the odometer. My first car out of high school, always garaged or in storage while stationed overseas; desert southwest climates. I think I paid a bit over or under $2000 when I bought it new. Over the years, the original mud...
by maxq
Sat Dec 10, 2016 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax Pricing
Replies: 2
Views: 735

Re: TurboTax Pricing

I used TaxAct many years and was generally pleased. Last year I paid 9.99 for the Deluxe version (no state needed ); this year my "loyal customer" discounted price was 23.99 for the equivalent but renamed download package, and includes state even though I don't want or need it. I noticed the price o...
by maxq
Sat Dec 10, 2016 4:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Resources for in Dept Veteran
Replies: 4
Views: 629

Re: Resources for in Dept Veteran

+1 on looking into the VA -- if he/she was one of those who humped 100+ pounds of gear and weapons for days on end (been there, done that), no doubt there were muscoskeletal impacts. It'd all key on what's documented in medical records and how long its been since their last tour. If service connecte...
by maxq
Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Learning Violin as an adult? Yes, 3 years later!
Replies: 236
Views: 38383

Re: Learning an instrument as an adult?

My Dad decided in his 70s to take up the bagpipes. It was painful for the rest of the family at times, but he got great joy out of his progression and met a whole new circle of friends, young and old. :-)
by maxq
Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Veterans Administration(VA) benefits for my sister
Replies: 10
Views: 1624

Re: Veterans Administration(VA) benefits for my sister

A great resource or starting place may be the Veterans Benefits Network forums at yuku.com. There's an active thread with a few replies that seems to involve a very similar situation. The responses provide some data points. I'd contact a local VFW or American Legion Veterans Service Officer (VSO) to...
by maxq
Thu Oct 20, 2016 10:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct pre-purchase discount
Replies: 144
Views: 28678

Re: TaxAct pre-purchase discount

For those who state their accounts show a locked in price for 2016, where on the account page(s) do you see that? :?: If you click the Taxes or My Taxes button, (I'm not logged in to the site), you'll see a list of your tax returns. Look at the entry for 2016 (assuming there is one). I have had a T...
by maxq
Thu Oct 20, 2016 7:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct pre-purchase discount
Replies: 144
Views: 28678

Re: TaxAct pre-purchase discount

For those who state their accounts show a locked in price for 2016, where on the account page(s) do you see that? :?:
by maxq
Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct pre-purchase discount
Replies: 144
Views: 28678

Re: TaxAct pre-purchase discount

I've been a loyal paid TaxAct user for about 10 years. Last year I paid $9.99 (pre-ordered) for TaxAct Deluxe (I don't recall if a state was included, but I don't need to file a state return). This year the equivalent package is TaxAct Plus, and is priced at $23.99 for pre-orders if I go their site ...
by maxq
Mon Oct 17, 2016 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Concerns about Reduced Data Speed on MNVO
Replies: 20
Views: 2248

Re: Concerns about Reduced Data Speed on MNVO

I've had Cricket for about 2 years, and have some random thoughts: 1) The 8mb speed limit is no problem and easily streams Netflix and YouTube 2) When you go over your high speed data limit, the 128kb is still ok for web surfing and Google maps (also fine for Here maps); I've also used Spotify, but ...
by maxq
Tue Aug 16, 2016 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: USAA worth it?
Replies: 23
Views: 4669

Re: USAA worth it?

I'm a 36 year member of USAA, but probably departing. Service has gone far downhill since they opened membership to all military/former military rather than just the officers--the latter was a relatively small group with certain risk factors that helped keep rates lower; the smaller pool also meant ...
by maxq
Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: GPS App, Android (no data plan)
Replies: 34
Views: 2263

Re: GPS App, Android (no data plan)

A few months ago, Google said that they'd have offline capability (no data connection required; turn by turn directions, etc) added to Google Maps by the end of 2015. Since then, I haven't seen anything though. All the offline nav apps will require you to pre-install maps of the areas you need. For ...
by maxq
Sat Nov 07, 2015 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Federal Security Clearance Related Help Request
Replies: 6
Views: 1383

Re: Federal Security Clearance Related Help Request

Don't forget that if you have family members still living overseas (father, mother, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, children, etc etc), that may raise the interest of the Gov't. The SF86 provides a lot of information that the Govt may be interested in following up. Depending on your (and thei...
by maxq
Wed Nov 04, 2015 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with Tricare plan selection.
Replies: 8
Views: 1835

Re: Help with Tricare plan selection.

If you're in an area they cover, take a look at US Family Health Plan, which is a flavor of TRICARE Prime. http://www.usfhp.com/ At one time it was allegedly the model that all of TRICARE was going to emulate, but became too expensive. $12 co-pays for your family doc and specialists, very highly rat...