Search found 452 matches

by reisner
Tue Jul 21, 2020 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Renting after owning?
Replies: 46
Views: 3651

Re: Renting after owning?

A house you buy is hardly a liquid asset. No point to acquiring one unless you plan to stay for, I'd judge, seven years or more. So I'd say rent on the East Coast, but why sell the place out West? You've rented it, you say, for nine years before. You might want to use a rental management company thi...
by reisner
Thu Jul 16, 2020 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Starkey Hearing Aids
Replies: 10
Views: 539

Re: Starkey Hearing Aids

Major advances in hearing air technology seem to occur about every three years. In my case I waitedover four years and the upgrade was remarkably better. Both sets were from Costco.
by reisner
Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?
Replies: 120
Views: 5356

Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

Madame Bovary, Pale Fire, Chekhov's stories, In Search of Lost Time, Anna Karenina, Ulysses, anything by Muriel Spark. But to mention some overlooked greats: Italo Calvino's Baron in the Trees and Marcovaldo George MacDonald Fraser's The Candlemass Road Leif Eigner's Peace Like a River Howard Frank ...
by reisner
Thu Jul 09, 2020 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Turbo Tax disappeared in progress
Replies: 2
Views: 229

Turbo Tax disappeared in progress

I was working on my taxes, finally. Almost done when I accidentally clicked on the upper left red button. Everything disappeared of course, but now I can't find it. TT wants me to start over from the beginning. I am using the downloaded version. Surely my work exists somewhere?
by reisner
Mon Jul 06, 2020 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking of buying myself a luxury item.. Is LV wallet a legit purchase?
Replies: 153
Views: 7621

Re: Thinking of buying myself a luxury item.. Is LV wallet a legit purchase?

Get something custom/hand made: Clintonville leather, Hollows leather, One Star leather, something recommended by the Indigo Shrimp. These are quality items at honest prices.
by reisner
Wed Jul 01, 2020 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Landlord expectations: Rats in the yard
Replies: 80
Views: 5692

Re: Landlord expectations: Rats in the yard

Poison is disgusting, and dangerous to pets and wildlife, especially raptors. Roof rats, which is what these probably are, are not disgusting but rather cute. Palm trees are notorious as habitat for them. If their numbers soar and need culling, neck-snap traps work nicely. Outdoor cats kill billions...
by reisner
Tue May 05, 2020 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why doesn't Porsche have better resale value?
Replies: 50
Views: 5516

Re: Why doesn't Porsche have better resale value?

My mechanic, who works on all cars except for British, says that German cars in general do not hold their value. They are over-engineered, overpriced, and expensive to maintain. My experience with VWs at least bears this out. Our last was a 2002 top-of-the line Passat. It burned a quart of synthetic...
by reisner
Sun Apr 19, 2020 6:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Neiman Marcus to file for bankruptcy
Replies: 67
Views: 6905

Re: Neiman Marcus to file for bankruptcy

Where in the world will Mark Zuckerberg buy his $300 T-shirts now?
by reisner
Mon Feb 24, 2020 10:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Relocating back east / Fair Lawn, NJ / Are we crazy?
Replies: 104
Views: 6732

Re: Relocating back east / Fair Lawn, NJ / Are we crazy?

I am from Jersey City but have lived in California since 1967. NJ has great K though 12 compared to CA, thus the even higher taxes, but no comparable public system of higher ed. Back in the '60s the tuition at St. Peter's (then college) University was $900 a year. It is now somewhere north of 30K, a...
by reisner
Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Benefits of buying things secondhand?
Replies: 93
Views: 7311

Re: Benefits of buying things secondhand?

I can afford anything I want, but still I usually need to find a bargain before I will buy. I'm a child of a child of the Depression, and an environmentalist. My haberdasher is eBay, and I have bought a $195 polo shirt for $30, a $1700 blazer for $25. a $400 cashmere sweater for $30. a $990 leather ...
by reisner
Wed Dec 25, 2019 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Narrowing down where to live
Replies: 55
Views: 5578

Re: Narrowing down where to live

Yes, to Utah if you can take the dryness. Personally I find the traffic and the newness abhorrent in towns that have grown fast like St. George. I'd prefer New Meico, which also has great outdoorsy things to do. Also, the west slope of Colorado, Bend or Eugene OR, the Olympic Peninsula, Bucks County...
by reisner
Tue Nov 12, 2019 7:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hearing Aid Question
Replies: 5
Views: 693

Re: Hearing Aid Question

I was told the opposite, that Costco hearing aids are as good as what cost twice as much on the outside world. I recently replaced five year old hearing aids and am thrilled with the Phonak's with a Kirkland label on them. I intend, however, to go to a private audiologist and challenge them to beat ...
by reisner
Sat Oct 26, 2019 9:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you plan to actually spend down your portfolio?
Replies: 353
Views: 30038

Re: Do you plan to actually spend down your portfolio?

74 here, but my wife is 59, and that complicates the issue. On the other hand, I have a DBP, great medical care, and no mortgage. No kids, but I am concerned about one relative's finances, and we want to leave money to environmental causes. All that said, I can't imagine our spending more than our d...
by reisner
Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking to buy a Patagonia jacket. Which are your favorites?
Replies: 27
Views: 3152

Re: Looking to buy a Patagonia jacket. Which are your favorites?

The down sweater. It is cozier around the neck than the hoodie.
by reisner
Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Capital gains affect tax rate on ordinary income?
Replies: 28
Views: 2600

Re: Capital gains affect tax rate on ordinary income?

And here I thought I knew everything. I do not know how much this will change our decision to sell some of the stock mutual fund. We are trying to protect some of the fund against what could be a greater than 16.5% drop in the market.
by reisner
Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:57 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Capital gains affect tax rate on ordinary income?
Replies: 28
Views: 2600

Re: Capital gains affect tax rate on ordinary income?

decapod10:

If I understand you correctly, if one spouse dies, then half the capital gains become a tax-free inheritance for the survivor. I had no idea that this was the case.
by reisner
Thu Aug 22, 2019 10:26 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Capital gains affect tax rate on ordinary income?
Replies: 28
Views: 2600

Re: Capital gains affect tax rate on ordinary income?

Wonderful insight here. She would get my full pension and SS if I predecease her, but I hadn't thought about passing on capital gains. On the other hand, and not to rouse the bad spirits of market timing, but this might not be a bad time to take some money off the table. Those capital gains are taxa...
by reisner
Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Capital gains affect tax rate on ordinary income?
Replies: 28
Views: 2600

Re: Capital gains affect tax rate on ordinary income?

Because of home improvements, vet bills, Lyme disease bills not covered by insurance, purchase of a trailer for cash, we have been spending the VG dividends and some gains. The balance has not gone down.But it could. All dividends go into the sweep fund, which is nearly empty at the moment. Do other...
by reisner
Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Capital gains affect tax rate on ordinary income?
Replies: 28
Views: 2600

Re: Capital gains affect tax rate on ordinary income?

OP here. Financial situation: 100K per year in DBP and SS. Wife will collet an additional SS of 14.5 K in 7 1/2 years. Terrific medical, drug, dental, and vision coverage. I have to pay almost nothing. She pays a 500 deductible and 10% copay; that will disappear when she turns 65 in 5 1/2 years. No ...
by reisner
Thu Aug 22, 2019 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Capital gains affect tax rate on ordinary income?
Replies: 28
Views: 2600

Re: Capital gains affect tax rate on ordinary income?

My accumulation phase is over, barring some unforeseen windfall. I am looking to protect more and risk less.
by reisner
Thu Aug 22, 2019 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Capital gains affect tax rate on ordinary income?
Replies: 28
Views: 2600

Re: Capital gains affect tax rate on ordinary income?

All our stock is in the taxable account. When I did the conversion to a Roth in 2009 I followed the accepted wisdom that as much bonds as possible should be in the tax-sheltered account. I wish now I had stuffed the Roth with equities.
by reisner
Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:43 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Capital gains affect tax rate on ordinary income?
Replies: 28
Views: 2600

Re: Capital gains affect tax rate on ordinary income?

Thanks. One other thing we did in 2009, since the market was near bottom and we were residenced for a year in New Hampshire,a no-state-tax state, was to convert our IRA to a Roth. So withdrawals are not a problem. About to turn 74, with our taxable money market and short term bond market funds down ...
by reisner
Wed Aug 21, 2019 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Capital gains affect tax rate on ordinary income?
Replies: 28
Views: 2600

Re: Capital gains affect tax rate on ordinary income?

Running 2018 taxes with added sales of 75K in mutual funds on a cost basis of 25K, I would pay an additional 12K in Federal and California taxes I would like not to pay the IRMAA surcharge. That kicks in at 170K of Medicare Adjusted Gross Income. Does anyone know if that is the same as the adjusted ...
by reisner
Wed Aug 21, 2019 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Capital gains affect tax rate on ordinary income?
Replies: 28
Views: 2600

Re: Capital gains affect tax rate on ordinary income?

Thanks to all. I was not aware of the possible increase in Medicare Part B premiums (our drug coverage is part of the DBP) and amount of SS that is taxable. Right now I'm paying $134 a month for Medicare, and it looks like that could jump to $189.50. I will run last year's tax return with the additi...
by reisner
Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Capital gains affect tax rate on ordinary income?
Replies: 28
Views: 2600

Capital gains affect tax rate on ordinary income?

We have decided on a change in our AA. Currently it is 60/40 (actually 62/38); I am 74, my wife 59, and we are living on my db pension, my SS, and Vanguard dividends, to the tune of $115K of ordinary income a year. Will sales of our stock fund that result in capital gains of, say 50K this year and 5...
by reisner
Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best online retailer other than Amazon
Replies: 36
Views: 2396

Re: Best online retailer other than Amazon

eBay. Chewey for pet stuff.
by reisner
Thu Aug 01, 2019 10:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance
Replies: 52
Views: 3866

Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

But there are is a wide range of expertise out there. Shop around, by trial classes.
by reisner
Thu Aug 01, 2019 10:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance
Replies: 52
Views: 3866

Re: Personal Trainer for Physical Balance

Take Tai Chi.
by reisner
Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spotting scopes
Replies: 21
Views: 1642

Re: Spotting scopes

Am now on the brink of the Vortex Viper. For $899 they throw in for free the very Vortex tripod I would buy in any case. If I'm not satisfied, then I'll step up in price to the Nikon. I'm sure Swarovski, Leica, Kowa, et hoc genus omne are all better; but how much better, for three or more times the ...
by reisner
Wed Jul 24, 2019 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spotting scopes
Replies: 21
Views: 1642

Spotting scopes

I think I have my first spotting scope purchase narrowed down to either the Vortex Diamondback 20-60 X 80 ($500 with a good Vortex tripod thrown in), or the Nikon Monarch Fieldscope 20-60 X 82 ($1600 and a tripod needed). I could afford either but don't like to spend more money if the cheaper will d...
by reisner
Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Americans believe they need $1.7 million, on average, to retire
Replies: 284
Views: 32236

Re: Americans believe they need $1.7 million, on average, to retire

It ought to be a comfortable number for us, with a house paid off and SS coming in. But house, veterinary, and medical expenses not covered by our excellent insurance (some treatments for Lyme that aren't cheap) have pushed us over 67K. It doesn't matter because we have a pension as well as a Vangua...
by reisner
Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: trip to Greece (Athens and vicinity)
Replies: 21
Views: 1868

Re: trip to Greece (Athens and vicinity)

For background on travel to Greece, I can highly recommend (since I wrote it) "Travelers to an Antique Land: The History and Literature of Travel to Greece" by Robert Eisner (University of Michigan Press). Outside Athens, Greek public transportation is at the opposite end of efficiency from Switzerl...
by reisner
Sat Jun 22, 2019 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suggestions for Wintering Over 2020
Replies: 14
Views: 2034

Re: Suggestions for Wintering Over 2020

Taos, NM

Patagonia, AZ
by reisner
Sun Jun 09, 2019 10:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone recommend a cheap cell phone service for text and calls?
Replies: 24
Views: 2616

Re: Anyone recommend a cheap cell phone service for text and calls?

My wife and I have used Republic Wireless for the last four-five years. Phone, cell, internet, $44 a month for the two of us.
by reisner
Mon May 27, 2019 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Port Townsend-Pacific Northwest
Replies: 33
Views: 2929

Re: Port Townsend-Pacific Northwest

I lived in Port Townsend for three and a half years, from 2005 to 2009--actually in Cape George, a "gated" (the gate was never closed) a couple of miles outside PT. It is a very attractive town; restaurants, bookstores and galleries, a wooden boat festival, a film festival, a major poetry publisher,...
by reisner
Wed May 22, 2019 7:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Delaying social security = harming nest egg?
Replies: 74
Views: 6880

Re: Delaying social security = harming nest egg?

The required size of the nest egg and the state of the market enter in here. When I turned my full retirement age, 66, in 2011, the market was certainly not back to its pre-recession numbers and our nest egg was lower than I wanted it to be. Rather than sell shares to live on, I preferred to take SS...
by reisner
Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:36 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Age in Bonds?
Replies: 38
Views: 4597

Re: Age in Bonds?

I'm 73, my wife 59. We have only 39% in bonds. But: we can live on my pension and SS and dividends; our house is free and clear; we have medical and dental coverage along with the pension; in eight years, when my wife reaches 67, our SS will go up by half; and perhaps most importantly, the amount in...
by reisner
Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying for an RV owned by a bank
Replies: 7
Views: 801

Re: Paying for an RV owned by a bank

I found the RV on RV Trader. The seller is a government employee at China Lake Naval Station. I would get the trailer and the seller would get my check all at once. He seems extraordinarily straight, but I still don't like having to wait out the transfer of papers. And how would the trailer be insur...
by reisner
Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying for an RV owned by a bank
Replies: 7
Views: 801

Re: Paying for an RV owned by a bank

I am not sure there is a physical bank. If there is, it will be a hundred miles in one direction from my home, and the trailer is two hundred miles in a different direction.
by reisner
Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying for an RV owned by a bank
Replies: 7
Views: 801

Paying for an RV owned by a bank

I want to buy this splendid used R-Pod trailer. Three years old, lightly used, not only well maintained but full of extras and improvements. The selling price is a payoff of the loan. The seller does not have the cash to do this and is relying on the buyer (me) to do it. That would mean; I give him ...
by reisner
Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a Roadtrek
Replies: 27
Views: 4097

Re: Buying a Roadtrek

Well, the mention of an R-Pod sent us back to where we started, almost two years ago. Found a great, slightly used but much improved, one and are in the process of making the transfer. Complicated because, while the seller simply wants to pay off his loan, it's with the RV dealer's bank, and there w...
by reisner
Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a Roadtrek
Replies: 27
Views: 4097

Re: Buying a Roadtrek

I am beginning to think that the advice to get an R-Pod is wise. Half the price of an Airstream Basecamp, loads of them around, a big support community. A few feet longer, but no heavier. Not as solid, but what the hell. Especially for a first-timer, bound to make mistakes, it is a cheaper mistake t...
by reisner
Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a Roadtrek
Replies: 27
Views: 4097

Re: Buying a Roadtrek

I intuited the same.
by reisner
Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a Roadtrek
Replies: 27
Views: 4097

Re: Buying a Roadtrek

Tibbetts: No, the reasons haven't changed--compactness, ease of backing up. But there were also counter reasons, not stated in the original post--lack of storage, bed space for two fifty-pound dogs, dislike of owning a third evhicle or changing to such a large second vehicle. Waffling is part of the...
by reisner
Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a Roadtrek
Replies: 27
Views: 4097

Re: Buying a Roadtrek

OP here. Thanks to all for very helpful replies. We are once again considering a trailer. (No need to add a third vehicle to the household or else drive a big van as our second car. Additional space: even the smallest trailer has as much room as most Roadtrek-like vehicles, and then you still have a...
by reisner
Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a Roadtrek
Replies: 27
Views: 4097

Buying a Roadtrek

We are new to the whole RV business, but desperate to jump in. We--man and wife and two 45 pound, older dogs--plan weeks-long National Parks trips from the CA Central Coast. We fell in love with a nearly new Roadtrek 190 Popular. but then wondered about the Zion. Storage is a big issue with all our ...
by reisner
Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why do you live where you live?
Replies: 134
Views: 10237

Re: Why do you live where you live?

The answer is a sequence, partly of choices, partly of happenstances, followed by speculations. 1. Born in Jersey City and raised there and in the Pine Barrens. Catholic grammar school, free prep school, full college scholarship. 2. Won a fellowship good at any school in the country and got as far a...
by reisner
Sat Feb 16, 2019 11:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "good" binoculars for bird watching for eyeglasses wearer
Replies: 21
Views: 1806

Re: "good" binoculars for bird watching for eyeglasses wearer

The Bushnell's are a great value for the price range. You can easily step up into the 2K range, but well before that I recommend the Nikon Monarch 7 series, and I am happy owning a few from both. Binoculars are one object where I want multiples--upstairs, downstairs. cars.
by reisner
Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Were you 100% debt free at retirement
Replies: 163
Views: 12298

Re: Were you 100% debt free at retirement

Maybe it's all different in California. At my retirement we had about 17K left on the mortgage, a substantial sum in many parts of the country. But we were in La Jolla, a couple of minutes' walk from the beach, albeit in a cute but small and very funky cottage. Sold a few months later for 1.235 mill...
by reisner
Tue Jan 29, 2019 3:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What did you learn from 2018 in the markets?
Replies: 114
Views: 9165

Re: What did you learn from 2018 in the markets?

I learned not to bother rebalancing, especially in taxable.