Search found 703 matches

by black jack
Fri May 20, 2016 8:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice w/ 62YO Mom Moving In - Rent? Resentment? Plans? (Update, Pg 3)
Replies: 123
Views: 18167

Re: Advice w/ 62YO Mom Moving In - Rent? Resentment? Plans?

My in-laws just got their home under contract and are moving in with us in a few weeks... [snip] We wouldn't mind at all if they lived with us permanently. Resentment? Yes, it is absolutely getting there. After handing them money and watching them use it to go on vacations, buy new toys, etc. while...
by black jack
Thu May 19, 2016 11:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car insurance - increased liability 500k
Replies: 16
Views: 2904

Re: Car insurance - increased liability 500k

I had mine raised from 300 to 500 when we added umbrella (umbrella requires the underlying policy's maxed out first and 500 is the auto max). The increased limit added about $40 per car per year to the premium. I recently purchased an umbrella policy, which required that I increase my auto insuranc...
by black jack
Thu May 19, 2016 6:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Listening to tunes while exercising
Replies: 29
Views: 3859

Re: Listening to tunes while exercising

https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=169547 I hate cords, but haven't found a reasonable solution yet. I use Philips Earhook Headphones http://www.amazon.com/Philips-SHS3200BK-37-Flexible-Headphones/dp/B003CJTR82/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1463700573&sr=1-1&key...
by black jack
Sun May 15, 2016 6:53 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Middle-aged government employees requesting portfolio review (pensions; debts; asset allocation)
Replies: 4
Views: 1013

Re: Middle-aged government employees requesting portfolio review (pensions; debts; asset allocation)

You don't mention Social Security; will you get that? What about health care benefits between age 60 and 65 (when you become eligible for Medicare)? Congratulations on your recent raise(s). You're about 20 years away (as a couple) from retiring at age 60, when you will be eligible for pensions that ...
by black jack
Wed May 11, 2016 8:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco Car Rental-Any Experience
Replies: 25
Views: 10562

Re: Costco Car Rental-Any Experience

Like "lovestoread" above, I rent from Costco (several times a year) and use the Amex car insurance rather than the rental agency's insurance or my own (fortunately, have never had occasion to test Amex's insurance). I've never had any additional charges imposed above what was quoted on the...
by black jack
Sun May 08, 2016 4:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The High Fees You Don't See Can Hurt You"
Replies: 4
Views: 1388

Re: The High Fees You Don't See Can Hurt You"

Many of these costs are lurking somewhere on a firm’s website or in a mutual fund prospectus or supplemental document, which few investors locate and read. An earlier version of the Labor Department’s new rules would have required routine publication of such expenses, and projected returns, in regu...
by black jack
Sun May 08, 2016 11:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: End of Golden Era for Investors...?
Replies: 58
Views: 12001

Re: End of Golden Era for Investors...?

You have to learn that the news and the opinions of experts is overly pessimistic. Always has been and always will be. If I had paid attention to all of that I never would have invested in the first place. Millennials have reason to be pessimistic as the world seems to be going to hades in a hand b...
by black jack
Sun May 08, 2016 11:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Impact of student debt on homeownership rates
Replies: 10
Views: 1558

Re: Impact of student debt on homeownership rates

But maybe the kids who got into Yale were simply more talented or hardworking than those who got into Tulane. To adjust for this, Krueger and Dale studied what happened to students who were accepted at an Ivy or a similar institution, but chose instead to attend a less sexy, "moderately select...
by black jack
Sat May 07, 2016 9:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about FERS retirement
Replies: 24
Views: 4326

Re: Question about FERS retirement

I would think the answer to whether giving up the extra money in the private sector is worth it depends in part on how much you already have saved and when you wish to retire. I'd guess that you would be able to save/invest over $50k a year on your salary as a fed (I'm a fed with a family living com...
by black jack
Sat May 07, 2016 3:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Impact of student debt on homeownership rates
Replies: 10
Views: 1558

Re: Impact of student debt on homeownership rates

Well, you're missing the opportunity college graduates have to invest a portion of their higher earnings over time and thus end up with more money than just their earnings. Those who do not attend college can also invest a portion of their earnings, but if they are earning $30k less ($35k less for m...
by black jack
Sat May 07, 2016 12:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Impact of student debt on homeownership rates
Replies: 10
Views: 1558

Impact of student debt on homeownership rates

Those who have expressed concern about the impact of college student debt on homebuying (and thus the future resale value of the homes of us Boomers) may be interested in this study: http://www.brookings.edu/research/reports/2016/05/03-dividing-line-between-haves-have-nots-home-ownership-education-n...
by black jack
Sat Apr 30, 2016 12:18 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Customer Service
Replies: 301
Views: 42863

Re: Is Vanguard phone support always this bad?

Well, anecdotes are not data, but since anecdotes are all we have in this thread: had occasion to call VG - the main line, because it was just after the concierge office hours ended and I didn't bother looking up the Voyager number (do any of these numbers matter, or do they just give the impression...
by black jack
Wed Apr 20, 2016 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security, Medicare, and mailing addresses
Replies: 1
Views: 397

Social Security, Medicare, and mailing addresses

Today I discovered something of a Catch-22, assume others have also encountered this, and wonder if anyone has found a good solution. I am the representative payee (RP) for my mom's Social Security (SS) account. She lives in a memory care facility in a distant state. Since I became the RP a few year...
by black jack
Sun Apr 17, 2016 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long Term Care Insurance
Replies: 13
Views: 2919

Re: Long Term Care Insurance

First piece of advice: there have been several threads in recent years about long term care insurance (LTCI), so I suggest you search the site to read those. Your LTCI policy, like other insurance, is a bet between you and Genworth: you bet that you will need the insurance, they bet you won't. What ...
by black jack
Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: e-Books/e-Magazines
Replies: 16
Views: 1557

Re: e-Books/e-Magazines

Many of the ebooks I read are "checked out" from my public library.
by black jack
Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you find more satisfaction while living below your means?
Replies: 52
Views: 6438

Re: How do you find more satisfaction while living below your means?

You see what's going on: But I don't want to end up chasing material goods and I feel as though things like these get on the way of finding true happiness. You're right, true happiness comes from having a purpose, not from having stuff. Perhaps personal financial freedom is not a sufficiently engros...
by black jack
Sat Apr 09, 2016 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I read Boglehead posts on LTC ins. Has anyone made a claim yet? How'd it go? Claims paid?
Replies: 36
Views: 5775

Re: I read Boglehead posts on LTC ins. Has anyone made a claim yet? How'd it go? Claims paid?

Mom purchased a LTCI policy around age 70: $102,000 in coverage (no inflation adjustment), 100 day elimination period, coverage for in-home care too. Premiums were about $1,300/year for the first decade or so, then began rising; last year was about $2,100. She moved to an assisted living facility at...
by black jack
Sat Apr 09, 2016 7:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Methuselah fund: Vanguard?
Replies: 16
Views: 3046

Re: Methuselah fund: Vanguard?

finite_difference, I take every opportunity I have to share with the Bogleheads the excellent Lapham's article Trust Issues , dealing with Methusaleh trusts throughout American history. I too have wondered about your suggestions, as apparently did Ben Franklin as well; perhaps this article will con...
by black jack
Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirement
Replies: 32
Views: 4253

Re: Retirement

I am only 31 yrs. old so retirement for me is still a ways away. I was curious if you've ever met a person that simply does not want to retire b/c they love their job so much? Is this normal? For example, I knew a tenured math prof that was like that. He was still working at 80 and only finally ret...
by black jack
Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1040 Line 17 - a zero or a negative number?
Replies: 3
Views: 3446

1040 Line 17 - a zero or a negative number?

This is one of those questions that seems so basic that I can't believe I can't find the answer - but I've read IRS pubs, searched Bogleheads.org and the web, and cannot find an answer that is clear to me, so here goes: I have a net loss on Schedule E, line 26. I'm a plain-vanilla part-time landlord...
by black jack
Sat Apr 02, 2016 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Thoughts on Indexed Annuity?
Replies: 31
Views: 3013

Re: Thoughts on Indexed Annuity?

On balance the complexity and restrictions probably dictate that this is not the right product, but everyone should calm down a bit about the cautions. If we assume that the rates listed are indeed accurate, then a 6.5 and 1.5 cap would historically have returned the following (10 year returns from...
by black jack
Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can I stream music to a wifi speaker in another city?
Replies: 20
Views: 3526

Re: Can I stream music to a wifi speaker in another city?

Thanks again for the additional information posters have provided.

It appears that a cheap laptop and speakers are the way to go. I'll be on site in a week or so to set this up, so have some time to prepare, and will report back on outcome.
by black jack
Sun Mar 27, 2016 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: does solar increase the value of a house
Replies: 61
Views: 7436

Re: does solar increase the value of a house

Caveat: I don't have solar panels, but am considering them. Aesthetics: de gustibus non est disputandem ; I for one do not find their appearance displeasing. Several houses in our neighborhood have them. Many of the houses in the neighborhood, and most of the houses I've noticed with solar panels, a...
by black jack
Sun Mar 27, 2016 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can I stream music to a wifi speaker in another city?
Replies: 20
Views: 3526

Re: Can I stream music to a wifi speaker in another city?

Thanks very much for the responses.

It sounds like a laptop/tablet alone or connected to a small speaker next to her bed is the way to go. I'll try that.
by black jack
Sat Mar 26, 2016 11:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can I stream music to a wifi speaker in another city?
Replies: 20
Views: 3526

Re: Can I stream music to a wifi speaker in another city?

http://www.subsonic.org/pages/index.jsp If you can place a streaming source next to her bed that interfaces with her speaker then you can start a playlist from your home computer that will play out of that speaker. I'm not sure if the free version allows this, but the premium is $1 a month. What ki...
by black jack
Sat Mar 26, 2016 10:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 4865
Views: 1305007

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Another long car trip enabled me to finish the audiobook A World Undone: The Story of the Great War, 1914-1918 , by G.J. Meyer (spoiler alert: Germany loses). I enjoyed the book, now feel I know a little about the war, and the book's length may have imparted some unconscious sense of the war's lengt...
by black jack
Sat Mar 26, 2016 10:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can I stream music to a wifi speaker in another city?
Replies: 20
Views: 3526

Can I stream music to a wifi speaker in another city?

My mother is in an assisted living facility in a distant city. It is said that music can have a positive influence on the emotions of people with Alzheimers. But she is no longer able to think clearly enough to operate a CD player. I would like to set up a speaker next to her bed, and stream music t...
by black jack
Sat Mar 26, 2016 3:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best Visual Graphic to Teach Power of Compounding?
Replies: 19
Views: 3376

Re: Best Visual Graphic to Teach Power of Compounding?

Slightly OT, as I don't have a good visual, but offer two verbal illustrations that helped me to understand the power of compounding. The first is the story of how much money you would have in a month if someone gave you a penny on day one, then two pennies on day two, and so on, doubling the number...
by black jack
Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Podcasts for family road trip
Replies: 12
Views: 2006

Re: Podcasts for family road trip

How about audiobooks?

Books that might appeal to 10 - 16 year olds, and their parents:
The Wind In the Willows
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
The Once and Future King
The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings
The Three Musketeers
Treasure Island
by black jack
Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 4865
Views: 1305007

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

A World Undone: The Story of the Great War , 1914-1918, by G.J. Meyer. I cued this audiobook up for a long car trip, but the trip - 12 hours each way - only got me about 2/3rds through the book, in which the first shots of the war (other than those of Gavrilo Princip) are not fired until about the ...
by black jack
Sat Mar 12, 2016 11:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 4865
Views: 1305007

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

A World Undone: The Story of the Great War , 1914-1918, by G.J. Meyer. I cued this audiobook up for a long car trip, but the trip - 12 hours each way - only got me about 2/3rds through the book, in which the first shots of the war (other than those of Gavrilo Princip) are not fired until about the ...
by black jack
Thu Mar 10, 2016 8:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renting to Family Members
Replies: 26
Views: 3747

Re: Renting to Family Members

Previous posters have suggested virtually every reasonable objection (and several unreasonable ones) to your proposal, so due diligence has been covered.

Let me say I think in this case this is a wonderful idea, a win-win for all involved, and I congratulate you on your plan.
by black jack
Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Warren Buffet & Ted Seidas Bet: Passive vs Active Trading
Replies: 35
Views: 4380

Re: Index vs. Hedgefund? <--- Warren Buffet Places Bet

My favorite part of that story was where the hedge fund guy says he's surprised he's losing, considering the advantage he feels he had, and that he would make the same bet again. It's hard to resolve cognitive dissonance when the resolution threatens one's livelihood.
by black jack
Mon Mar 07, 2016 1:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card "deadbeats"
Replies: 23
Views: 5249

Re: Credit card "deadbeats"

I'm sure there's a proportion of cc users who stop paying, go bankrupt, etc. maybe someone who pays in full each month hedges the cc companies' bets against he folks they never fully collect from. And maybe we spend more than we would if it were all done in cash, so the volume helps make up for the...
by black jack
Mon Mar 07, 2016 1:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bread - The Cost and Convenience
Replies: 94
Views: 13203

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

I bake all our bread, have done so for years. A 1000 g loaf is approximately 600g of flour and 400g of water. The flour cost (if I go for the organic flour) about $1.35 the water is "free" the salt maybe $.01. I use sour dough starter so no yeast cost, maybe $.15 for the flour in the star...
by black jack
Sat Feb 13, 2016 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Allocating Personal Defense dollars...
Replies: 19
Views: 3461

Re: Allocating Personal Defense dollars...

Prefer a bigger dog to the cost of a home alarm system: possibly cheaper, possibly more effective deterrent, lots of nice side effects. Second recommendations about checking with union, considering move to new area, etc. Suggest you read "Facing Violence" by Rory Miller (a career correctio...
by black jack
Mon Jan 25, 2016 1:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Donating a retired computer with financial info on it
Replies: 27
Views: 3034

Re: Donating a retired computer with financial info on it

Your wiping program probably did the job just fine. I rather disagree with the "old computers are useless" comments. Typically I offer them on the local Freecycle network and so far folks have scooped them up, every one. Windows is an utter, bloated hog, but there are OSes that can still ...
by black jack
Mon Jan 25, 2016 1:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you pay for exercise?
Replies: 222
Views: 22543

Re: Do you pay for exercise?

I had a gym membership many years ago, but I'm lazy, so didn't go often enough to justify it. Now I get most of my exercise from biking to work (hard to skip it, since I have to get to work), running and walking, and bodyweight exercises. So I do pay something for exercise, but not much more than $1...
by black jack
Wed Jan 13, 2016 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dementia/Alzheimer's (spouse)
Replies: 36
Views: 5981

Re: Dementia/Alzheimer's (spouse)

After dealing with Alzheimers/dementia in both my parents: you've gotten a lot of good advice. One other suggestion: consider freezing his (your joint?) credit accounts. As mentioned, your husband may give inappropriate information to callers, or may fill out credit card applications that he would h...
by black jack
Sat Jan 02, 2016 9:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 4865
Views: 1305007

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Took a break from the Hamilton bio to read "Make Me", the latest Jack Reacher novel by Lee Child.
by black jack
Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 4865
Views: 1305007

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

I just read The Return of George Washington, Uniting the States 1783-1789 by Edward J Larson - and discovered it is really the story of the ratification of the Constitution - and how Washington declined to be involved, because he was sure he would be drafted to be the 1st President. Subsequently, I...
by black jack
Tue Dec 08, 2015 10:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much money should I leave my kids?
Replies: 96
Views: 11859

Re: How much money should I leave my kids?

I think the standard line (Warren Buffet?) is to leave your kids enough to do anything, but not enough to do nothing. I interpret that to mean enough so that they could take a socially valuable but poorly paid job(s) without worrying about not having enough money for a decent quality of life or a se...
by black jack
Sun Nov 29, 2015 7:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fire Tablet Now $34.99 on Amazon
Replies: 16
Views: 3321

Re: Fire Tablet Now $34.99 on Amazon

Price is back up to $50.
by black jack
Mon Nov 23, 2015 10:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 4865
Views: 1305007

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

I read a lot, but there are a handful of books that I consistently recommend as critical sources for defining my life... Victoria Victoria, I'd be interested in seeing your entire list. My list includes (in the alphabetical order of authors): - Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely - Willpower by Ro...
by black jack
Mon Nov 23, 2015 10:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 4865
Views: 1305007

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

How Civilizations Die (and why Islam is dying too) - Robert Goldman I picked up the audiobook of this up at random in my library for a long car trip (and coincidentally was half-way through it when I learned of the attack in Paris). Goldman is, according to the blurb on the case, an economist who ha...
by black jack
Mon Nov 23, 2015 9:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 4865
Views: 1305007

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

I read a lot, but there are a handful of books that I consistently recommend as critical sources for defining my life... Victoria Victoria, I'd be interested in seeing your entire list. Certainly studies of airmen who lived with Eskimos in WW2 suggested that *we* would die on an entirely animal die...
by black jack
Sun Nov 22, 2015 11:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tall furniture tipping
Replies: 14
Views: 6571

Re: Tall furniture tipping

"Not allowed" to put drywall anchors in? Do "they" come around and inspect your living area every so often, or are they just checking when you move out? You can cover over the relatively small holes required for drywall anchors with a little spackling (or even toothpaste). If &qu...
by black jack
Sat Nov 07, 2015 1:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who do you listen to? (Podcast, etc)
Replies: 48
Views: 12641

Re: Who do you listen to? (Podcast, etc)

For anyone interested in history, I highly recommend Dan Carlin's Hardcore History podcast. Someone on here recommended his series about World War I in a different thread, and I've been hooked ever since. I just listened to his five-part series on the Khan empire (ie, Genghis). I was thinking "...
by black jack
Sat Nov 07, 2015 1:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Yogurt - Greek or "regular' - cost evaluation
Replies: 69
Views: 8264

Re: Yogurt - Greek or "regular' - cost evaluation

i would skip regular and Greek yogurt. Bulgarian yogurt is way better than both IMO. it's tart, and i prefer that flavor, plus bulgarian has no pectin in it. the culture is such that the yogurt has enough body that there is no need for pectin as a stabilizer. This thread made me curious, so I went ...
by black jack
Sat Nov 07, 2015 1:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 4865
Views: 1305007

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Just finished Mr. Standfast , by John Buchan, best known as author of The Thirty-Nine Steps . Pretty good, quite readable. But I'm getting too old for this kind of melodrama. There is a supervillain named Moxon Ivery, a master of acting and disguise and the root cause behind, oh, everything bad tha...