Search found 181 matches

by GeoffD
Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Advice Requested: LTCi or Paydown Mortgage
Replies: 23
Views: 966

Re: Advice Requested: LTCi or Paydown Mortgage

In my opinion, a LTC policy for $150k per spouse is pretty much useless. My mother is in memory care. I write the checks. That’s 18 months and then the policy is exhausted. In a skilled nursing facility in a high cost of living region, you’d blow through that in less than a year. Pay off the house. ...
by GeoffD
Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Postponed travel due to Corona Virus. Am I am overreacting ?
Replies: 232
Views: 24465

Re: Postponed travel due to Corona Virus. Am I am overreacting ?

As an MD all I will say is consider relative risk. You have a much higher risk of dying from any number of things than coronavirus. It does have a great publicity agent though. My favorite caption of this whole coronavirus thing is a picture of a chinese man lowering his mask to take a puff of a ci...
by GeoffD
Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows 10 Performance Problem
Replies: 19
Views: 1520

Re: Windows 10 Performance Problem

You could always install Linux. :) Ironically, I used to make a living by programming on Linux, but always had a Windows system for my personal use. Linux was more useful (and fun) for serious infrastructure and enterprise projects but Windows was more useful for things like Quicken, Excel, Word, a...
by GeoffD
Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Relocating back east / Fair Lawn, NJ / Are we crazy?
Replies: 104
Views: 6855

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

If houses and apartments are more expensive in the NY area, it must be because people want to live there. Otherwise they would be more expensive in other parts of the country and less expensive in the NY area. “Nobody goes there any more. It’s too crowded.” Fair Lawn wouldn’t make my top-10 list bu...
by GeoffD
Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you ever use cash?
Replies: 228
Views: 14091

Re: Do you ever use cash?

I don’t think I’d post anywhere on the internet that I pay cash for domestic help or receive cash for something like a rental and spend it. Pretty much any message board software records your IP address. The IRS, state governments, and law enforcement can obtain your identity. Yeah, the odds are rea...
by GeoffD
Tue Feb 25, 2020 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows 10 Performance Problem
Replies: 19
Views: 1520

Re: Windows 10 Performance Problem

If it looks like a DNS problem, just manually change DNS servers. When Comcast had their DNS meltdown, I was fine using OpenDNS. Normally, your PC learns it’s DNS servers when it obtains it’s IP address from the home router. Google “Windows 10 how to change DNS server” and Google OpenDNS to get the...
by GeoffD
Tue Feb 25, 2020 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Postponed travel due to Corona Virus. Am I am overreacting ?
Replies: 232
Views: 24465

Re: Postponed travel due to Corona Virus. Am I am overreacting ?

I'm one who isn't worried about the Corona Virus at all and if I had tickets purchased already, I would continue to go. But if I didn't already have tickets and really had no reason to be in the area at that particular time, I would probably hold off purchasing. Not because I'm scared about getting...
by GeoffD
Tue Feb 25, 2020 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Relocating back east / Fair Lawn, NJ / Are we crazy?
Replies: 104
Views: 6855

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

If you like super high taxes( Highest in USA), ultra liberal policies and sanctuary cities move to NJ...Everyone is leaving! If you look at the actual numbers, the working age adults who are leaving have an income centered on $75k. That’s generally true in all the high cost of living areas. If I ma...
by GeoffD
Tue Feb 25, 2020 7:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coronavirus (Consumer Issues) How you are preparing?
Replies: 1775
Views: 150319

Re: Coronavirus (Consumer Issues) How you are preparing?

Personally, I think a surgical mask and glasses is useful to stop me from touching my eyes and mouth with my unwashed hands. I’m more concerned about that than picking it up through droplets. An N95 mask is appropriate if you’re a health care worker in the proximity of infected people. For the rest ...
by GeoffD
Tue Feb 25, 2020 6:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows 10 Performance Problem
Replies: 19
Views: 1520

Re: Windows 10 Performance Problem

If it looks like a DNS problem, just manually change DNS servers. When Comcast had their DNS meltdown, I was fine using OpenDNS. Normally, your PC learns it’s DNS servers when it obtains it’s IP address from the home router. Google “Windows 10 how to change DNS server” and Google OpenDNS to get the ...
by GeoffD
Tue Feb 25, 2020 6:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vancouver area trip in Aug - 5 nights
Replies: 20
Views: 1994

Re: Vancouver area trip in Aug - 5 nights

Indian food.. Visit Vij's. I love Indian food to the point I am sometimes tempted to take a weekend trip to London the get my fix. Vij's is excellent and has a nice'ish ambiance that I quite like. Stanley Park.. yes. the few times I traveled to Vancouver for work, I stayed at The Westin Bayshore, V...
by GeoffD
Tue Feb 25, 2020 6:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vancouver area trip in Aug - 5 nights
Replies: 20
Views: 1994

Re: Vancouver area trip in Aug - 5 nights

Double post
by GeoffD
Tue Feb 25, 2020 6:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit Card cancelled for non-use?
Replies: 25
Views: 3035

Re: Credit Card cancelled for non-use?

I have a no-fee Amex Delta Skymiles card I don’t recall using within the last 10 years. I’m surprised it hasn’t been canceled.
by GeoffD
Tue Feb 25, 2020 6:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Iphone cords / cables
Replies: 51
Views: 4147

Re: Iphone cords / cables

I hope the EU forces Apple to change to USB-C. I hate Lightning. You don’t have threads like this about cables for non-Apple devices. I used to buy Monoprice stuff but I gave up on them. I mostly use 6’ Amazon Basics cables. What possible change to their laws would happen? I just think at that poin...
by GeoffD
Tue Feb 25, 2020 5:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you ever use cash?
Replies: 228
Views: 14091

Re: Do you ever use cash?

Scenario: I bought gas outside at the pump using a credit card. Then I went inside and bought a snack using the same card. My credit card company decided I'd had my card stolen/hacked, and deactivated it while I was traveling and depended on it. Solution: I always carry some cash, especially on roa...
by GeoffD
Mon Feb 24, 2020 9:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Relocating back east / Fair Lawn, NJ / Are we crazy?
Replies: 104
Views: 6855

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

If you like super high taxes( Highest in USA), ultra liberal policies and sanctuary cities move to NJ...Everyone is leaving! If you look at the actual numbers, the working age adults who are leaving have an income centered on $75k. That’s generally true in all the high cost of living areas. If I ma...
by GeoffD
Mon Feb 24, 2020 6:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Iphone cords / cables
Replies: 51
Views: 4147

Re: Iphone cords / cables

I hope the EU forces Apple to change to USB-C. I hate Lightning. You don’t have threads like this about cables for non-Apple devices.

I used to buy Monoprice stuff but I gave up on them. I mostly use 6’ Amazon Basics cables.
by GeoffD
Mon Feb 24, 2020 6:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How often do you need new car tires?
Replies: 50
Views: 4152

Re: How often do you need new car tires?

For an always on AWD system like Subaru or a higher end Audi, you get about half the tire life of a vanilla FWD sedan. 30,000 miles out of a 60,000 mile tire is typical. For a Haldex- style AWD system where it only engages the rear wheels when it detects a slip, you see much better tire life. 30,000...
by GeoffD
Mon Feb 24, 2020 6:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco for tires and batteries
Replies: 38
Views: 2828

Re: Costco for tires and batteries

Where do you people live that you’re burning through car batteries? Venus? I’m in a cool climate. Batteries last 8+ years. If I need a battery, I drive to the local auto parts store with a coupon from their web site, unbolt my battery, bring it into the store, buy a replacement, and install it. I b...
by GeoffD
Mon Feb 24, 2020 6:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Relocating back east / Fair Lawn, NJ / Are we crazy?
Replies: 104
Views: 6855

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

The people I know in Bergen County mostly work in Big Pharma where they’re not doing the Manhattan commute. It must be an hour+ from Fair Lawn with a connection to cross the Hudson. Personally, if I had a Manhattan commute that was an hour+, I’d want to be on the coast with no connection. You can bu...
by GeoffD
Mon Feb 24, 2020 5:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco for tires and batteries
Replies: 38
Views: 2828

Re: Costco for tires and batteries

Where do you people live that you’re burning through car batteries? Venus? I’m in a cool climate. Batteries last 8+ years. If I need a battery, I drive to the local auto parts store with a coupon from their web site, unbolt my battery, bring it into the store, buy a replacement, and install it. I bu...
by GeoffD
Sun Feb 23, 2020 9:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do You Have a Long Term Travel Strategy?
Replies: 67
Views: 6149

Re: Do You Have a Long Term Travel Strategy?

It may be easier to do foreign travel when young and healthy and US travel when older. As I age I become less willing to take long plane trips. I think it depends on your zip code. We do our Europe trips from Boston taking the BA or Virgin Atlantic morning flight to Heathrow. With the jet stream ta...
by GeoffD
Sat Feb 22, 2020 6:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving Furniture Yourself
Replies: 40
Views: 3082

Re: Moving Furniture Yourself

Hire A Helper or similar. It’s cheap muscle.
by GeoffD
Sat Feb 22, 2020 5:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do You Have a Long Term Travel Strategy?
Replies: 67
Views: 6149

Re: Do You Have a Long Term Travel Strategy?

I absolutely do not have a long term travel strategy. I did the international road warrior thing so I’ve seen most of the first world. I ski. I took several trips every year for decades including New Zealand and South America trips. At the moment, we’re doing a couple of Europe leisure trips per yea...
by GeoffD
Fri Feb 21, 2020 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rent vs. Buy Advice
Replies: 21
Views: 1456

Re: Rent vs. Buy Advice

The only reason you would buy in those circumstances is if the town with the best public school system in that area has no rental properties.
by GeoffD
Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 4896
Views: 1307512

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

I’m on #5 in the John Scalzi Old Man’s War science fiction series. I’ve been working my way through 21st century Hugo Award authors.
by GeoffD
Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 6260
Views: 1423988

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

My girlfriend did the Criterion Collection free trial. My last movie was Fellini’s Amarcord. We’ve been streaming Acorn content. The Brokenwood Mysteries, a New Zealand series. We have Parasite on Blu Ray. It’s OK in a Roma kind of way but if I’m going to watch Asian with subtitles, I prefer Kung Fu...
by GeoffD
Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Perform own oil change pros & cons?
Replies: 224
Views: 11548

Re: Perform own oil change pros & cons?

I print the coupon and have the dealership do my oil changes. The last one was $40.00. I buy engine and cabin air filters on Amazon and change them in my driveway every summer. Same for wiper blades when they go bad. My local indie tire dealer swaps snow tires on and off for $30 so that’s my tire ro...
by GeoffD
Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Internet and basic tv options?
Replies: 44
Views: 3447

Re: Internet and basic tv options?

There is no proper answer to this without knowing what the original poster watches and what the over-the-air options are where the live. There is no way I’d use a Comcast-supplied modem. It’s a big rental fee and Comcast pushes their own software to it with minimal QA by Infosys contractors so it’s ...
by GeoffD
Thu Feb 20, 2020 7:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spreadsheets - Out of here!
Replies: 237
Views: 25135

Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

Yes, I forgot the Lotus 123 era in which I was a full participant. From Visicalc through Lotus 123 to Excel, I'm approaching 30 years of spreadsheet use. And (I hope) 30 or more years yet to come. It's got to be closer to 40 years or at least 35. PC jrs were out in 86 and I was taking Lotus and Wor...
by GeoffD
Thu Feb 20, 2020 6:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home for Mother In Law
Replies: 10
Views: 1560

Re: Home for Mother In Law

I lived this with pretty much those numbers. In a high cost of living area, $300k and $48k/year in income will fund maybe 5 years of assisted living and then another 3 or so years of memory care. If she spends it to zero before all that happens, either you pay the bill, put her up at your house as c...
by GeoffD
Wed Feb 19, 2020 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spreadsheets - Out of here!
Replies: 237
Views: 25135

Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

The part of my personal finance spreadsheet that I use constantly is tracking all the bills I have to pay. With all the auto-pay, how do you not start bouncing payments if you don't track what's coming in and going out of your household checking account? Paper and pencil in a check register is stra...
by GeoffD
Wed Feb 19, 2020 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spreadsheets - Out of here!
Replies: 237
Views: 25135

Re: Spreadsheets - Out of here!

The part of my personal finance spreadsheet that I use constantly is tracking all the bills I have to pay. With all the auto-pay, how do you not start bouncing payments if you don't track what's coming in and going out of your household checking account? Paper and pencil in a check register is strai...
by GeoffD
Wed Feb 19, 2020 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying High Mileage Truck to Haul Mountain Bikes
Replies: 26
Views: 2270

Re: Buying High Mileage Truck to Haul Mountain Bikes

I have a hitch rack on my car... some will accommodate up to 4 however, if they are a mix of cross-country, fat tire, ... bikes than a truck might make more sense. I suppose you could do both a receiver hitch rack and a roof rack to haul five bikes. The Tour de France road crew look. :) I have a fa...
by GeoffD
Wed Feb 19, 2020 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Downloadable Social Security Benefit Estimator
Replies: 149
Views: 20197

Re: Downloadable Social Security Benefit Estimator (2019 Update)

I keep track of mine in a spreadsheet. A bunch of years ago, I plugged in the numbers from SSA Pub 05-10070 and my earnings history from the Social Security web portal. I have been updating it every year. This is my turn age 62 year so the numbers are all real. For some reason, Pub 05-10070 no longe...
by GeoffD
Wed Feb 19, 2020 6:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying High Mileage Truck to Haul Mountain Bikes
Replies: 26
Views: 2270

Re: Buying High Mileage Truck to Haul Mountain Bikes

A 4x8 folding utility trailer is $348.99 at Harbor Freight. An aluminum one is $579.99. They store against a wall in your garage when you’re not using them. The cheapest beater econobox can haul 5 mountain bikes on a cargo trailer. Why would you clutter your driveway with a spare pickup with that ki...
by GeoffD
Mon Feb 17, 2020 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: do you check your taxes when using tax software?
Replies: 54
Views: 3718

Re: do you check your taxes when using tax software?

I already know my tax liability since I have to do quarterly estimated taxes. I just keep everything in a spreadsheet and copy-paste to Free Fillable Forms. There is no way in the world I’m going to ever give money to those Intuit racketeers who bribed Congress so you can’t trivially file a return f...
by GeoffD
Thu Jan 30, 2020 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Not allowed to board American Airlines flight - Forced to buy second ticket for same flight - Help requested [UPDATED]
Replies: 125
Views: 16428

Re: Not allowed to board American Airlines flight - Forced to buy second ticket for same flight - Help requested [UPDATE

This was an American Airlines problem. It had nothing to do with the TSA since the OP could board the flight purchasing another ticket. Me? I’d demand a cash refund for the second ticket plus appropriate compensation. They’ll play “let’s make a deal” on that. If you were an elite FT with them, I’d d...
by GeoffD
Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need Advice for Cheap Wireless Plans
Replies: 23
Views: 2155

Re: Need Advice for Cheap Wireless Plans

I am looking for a cheap wireless plan for an elderly couple. They only use phone for talking and never do (don’t know how to) text or data. They currently have iPhone 6 from Verizon. I believe the phones are unlocked and can be used on both GMS and CDMA networks. I want to keep the same phones for...
by GeoffD
Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best bank for frequent travel friendly international wire transfers?
Replies: 18
Views: 2443

Re: Best bank for frequent travel friendly international wire transfers?

In the scenario where you use a credit card to fund a payment through TransferWise, I don’t think you’ll get any fraud protection against the ultimate recipient from your credit card company. As far as they’re concerned, the merchant was TransferWise. Unless TW messes something up I would not expec...
by GeoffD
Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Much Is The Value of Your Net Worth Important to You?
Replies: 74
Views: 6837

Re: How Much Is The Value of Your Net Worth Important to You?

Recently, about 10 years ago I began focusing on cash flow vs net worth. It’s a better data point particularly in retirement. This What I care about is “I can spend $xx,000 per year and not run out of money”. I’m 61. I have a max Social Security check coming at age 70. I expect to put a big dent in...
by GeoffD
Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best bank for frequent travel friendly international wire transfers?
Replies: 18
Views: 2443

Re: Best bank for frequent travel friendly international wire transfers?

Bumping this. Need to send some money to Panama. Looks like some votes for transferwise. Anyone got others? I used it to transfer 1.500 euros. I didn’t fully trust it so I told it to use my CapitalOne credit card as the source of funds. The transaction was treated as a cash advance on my credit car...
by GeoffD
Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have you been doing better than your parents?
Replies: 30
Views: 2452

Re: Have you been doing better than your parents?

Nope. My mother was a college professor who married well three times. My father, husband #1, was an oral surgeon. Husband #2 was an orthopedic surgeon. Husband #3 was a Mad Men era corporate exec. President of Birdseye division of General Foods. Leveraged buyout of a cigar company. My mother is now ...
by GeoffD
Sun Sep 08, 2019 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Finding reliable contractor in Boston area?
Replies: 14
Views: 786

Re: Finding reliable contractor in Boston area?

Go to the closest independent lumber yard and ask there.
by GeoffD
Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Actually considering Roth 401k
Replies: 22
Views: 2126

Re: Actually considering Roth 401k

Sorry, I'm confused: I thought the general guidance was prefer traditional when your current marginal rate is higher than [your future rate], and prefer Roth when your current marginal rate is lower and jdilla says their current marginal rate is ~17% and expected to be around ~12% in retirement. Do...
by GeoffD
Fri Sep 06, 2019 5:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy a house now or in the next 3 years?
Replies: 35
Views: 4194

Re: Buy a house now or in the next 3 years?

Personally, I wouldn’t be buying a $1 million 4,000 sf house in North Jersey carrying an $800k mortgage in 2019. Got it. The annoying thing is that it's hard to find newer builds in this area that aren't that big. We don't need 4,000 sf, but we really would like a newer build. And I don't think bui...
by GeoffD
Thu Sep 05, 2019 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your plan for the last few years of a long life?
Replies: 230
Views: 17242

Re: What is your plan for the last few years of a long life?

I guess that we had a large increase (doubled) in home insurance a few years ago because there were many natural disasters in the U.S., even we did not have any claims on our house. For travel, after we reached a certain number, we have been doing more travels, staying at better hotels, and eating ...
by GeoffD
Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Extended Car Warranty
Replies: 24
Views: 1843

Re: Extended Car Warranty

Thanks for all the advice. I really do appreciate you helping me think this through. Thanks for understanding the situation...high end luxury 2019 XT5 fully loaded with every push button imaginable. I'm able to pay for future repairs and I plan on keeping this vehicle around 10 years. Being a compu...
by GeoffD
Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy a house now or in the next 3 years?
Replies: 35
Views: 4194

Re: Buy a house now or in the next 3 years?

Personally, I wouldn’t be buying a $1 million 4,000 sf house in North Jersey carrying an $800k mortgage in 2019.
by GeoffD
Thu Sep 05, 2019 3:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your plan for the last few years of a long life?
Replies: 230
Views: 17242

Re: What is your plan for the last few years of a long life?

My plan is to spend it all and hit decrepitude age with nothing but a max Social Security check and home equity. I think the 4% safe withdrawal stuff is pointless. I’m just fine with my COLA-protected $45k Social Security check in my paid for house with low ownership costs. I’ll keep the ski condo I...