Search found 166 matches

by xb7
Tue Feb 05, 2019 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Does anyone here use First Ascent Asset Management?
Replies: 4
Views: 228

Does anyone here use First Ascent Asset Management?

Cognitive decline --- i.e., Alzheimers, other dementia, etc --- this is a bugaboo for anyone who hopes to live a long life. I think that it makes sense to make some plans for this ahead of time, before any significant decline has started. One such plan involves investment portfolio management. So I ...
by xb7
Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:04 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?
Replies: 61
Views: 3572

Re: Besides your core.. anyone also hold a play account?

I think it's helpful to think about the human brain and how easily in some cases it can be hacked or tricked, whether intentionally or just incidentally. It's well understood that humans don't process information about risk in a purely intellectual, objective way. My concern about people having a pl...
by xb7
Sun Feb 03, 2019 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Veteran Obtain Military ID
Replies: 23
Views: 1555

Re: Veteran Obtain Military ID

For those interested in this, could you perhaps expand on why a person would bother? I.e., what kind of "big box stores" are we talking about and what kind of discounts --- an example or two please?

Thanks!
by xb7
Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Connect cell phone to house line
Replies: 26
Views: 2278

Re: Connect cell phone to house line

Turn the ringer up to the loudest level. Leave the cell phone in a central location in your house, maybe plugged into a charger so you can hear it anywhere in the house. In a moderate sized single-story house that sounds like a reasonable strategy. For me it would often mean going up or downstairs,...
by xb7
Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Connect cell phone to house line
Replies: 26
Views: 2278

Re: Connect cell phone to house line

In that case it will be stuck in GV forever, because Google will never plan ahead for killing off a product. Google was sort of killing off GV back when I had an Obi setup. I had thought it would be long gone by now. And it got muddled with the whole 'hangouts' things, just a lot of complication ke...
by xb7
Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Connect cell phone to house line
Replies: 26
Views: 2278

Re: Connect cell phone to house line

We also have a Panasonic multi-phone setup that connects through bluetooth (model KX-TG7871), for exactly the same reasons as the OP described. Overall I think that we're fine with it, with some caveats/info: It's best to plan to just always have bluetooth turned 'on' on your phones. Which has a bat...
by xb7
Mon Jan 28, 2019 7:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you do backpacking in your 50s or 60s?
Replies: 51
Views: 4021

Re: Do you do backpacking in your 50s or 60s?

I get in at least several hundred miles of backpacking a year; will be hiking in France this year from Le Puy to St Jean Pied de Port (a pilgrim route). If by 'backpacking' you're talking about which luggage to bring or staying in a hostel or the like, it's pretty situational, depends on various tri...
by xb7
Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who's flying?
Replies: 83
Views: 10793

Re: Who's flying?

Seattle Airport precheck line took about 15 minutes at 6:30 this morning.
by xb7
Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone have TCL Series 4 65” TV?
Replies: 21
Views: 2110

Re: Anyone have TCL Series 4 65” TV?

I recently bought the 43" series 5 Roku TCL, and overall I like it fine. One caveat: sometimes it just doesn't turn on. I have to push a little button on the buttom of the set and then it comes on. This doesn't happen all of the time, maybe 3 times total so far in turning it on my 50 times, but I'm ...
by xb7
Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4157
Views: 804300

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

" BTW, even with a Chip and PIN you don't always have to enter a PIN. Most of the times you still sign, PIN only gets used at unmanned stations like train ticket machines " I hiked the Portuguese Camino in 2017 with an English friend, and was using at the time a USAA card that they had assured me w...
by xb7
Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Disciplined with finances, but not so with diet
Replies: 242
Views: 14499

Re: Disciplined with finances, but not so with diet

Biggest factor in success (or failure) for me seems to be discipline in my sleep/wake schedule. Will power isn't much of a problem during the day, but I'm inclined to be a night owl. If I stay up too late, maybe watching TV, I get hungry and will power crumbles. So setting and keeping a good schedul...
by xb7
Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Road Scholar" Travel
Replies: 18
Views: 2517

Re: "Road Scholar" Travel

I've done one trip with them and my wife has done two. The trip we both did was to China a few years ago, and we found it to be a great experience, I'd definitely recommend them based on that trip. My wife did a sort of "easy hiking in the southwest" trip along with a friend with them, if I recall c...
by xb7
Sun Dec 30, 2018 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Have you moved to ETF's? Why or why not?
Replies: 84
Views: 12411

Re: Have you moved to ETF's? Why or why not?

I've skimmed previous posts, so forgive me (when) if I'm repeating anything ... ETF Benefits: I have flagship funds, so there's no expense ratio advantage to ETFs. I'd definitely use ETFs otherwise. As someone else said, I'm uninterested in intra-day trading, just buying or selling at end-of-day NAV...
by xb7
Fri Dec 28, 2018 2:09 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard personal advisor service (PAS) for high net worth?
Replies: 70
Views: 8530

Re: Vanguard personal advisor service (PAS) for high net worth?

I'm waiting for someone to start the chain of financial advisor company that has the advisor and tax cpa in adjoining rooms working with you both inputting to the best course of action for you. Excellent observation, I like the way that you're thinking! If the desired investment plan were simple en...
by xb7
Mon Dec 24, 2018 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4157
Views: 804300

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Can’t value the $300 travel credit at face value because you don’t earn rewards on the $300 in spend. So depending on what you value UR at it’s only worth around $285. Good point; I don't anticipate getting a 5% return on credit card stuff in general, so might value it a little higher, but this men...
by xb7
Fri Dec 21, 2018 10:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4157
Views: 804300

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

One point, if I understand what I just read correctly, I've a slight quibble with your summary above. You said that each point is worth 1.5 cpp on redemption, which is true, but only if used through the U.S. Bank travel portal --- offsetting your comment about not being beholden to the Chase portal...
by xb7
Fri Dec 21, 2018 10:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4157
Views: 804300

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

If your intent is to use UR points in the Chase portal you should not use Chase cards except for snagging the sign up bonuses. You should get a US Bank Altitude Reserve as it offers better rewards for a lower annual fee. $400 annual fee with a $325 rebate vs $450 annual fee with a $300 rebate 3x on...
by xb7
Fri Dec 21, 2018 9:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4157
Views: 804300

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

If your intent is to use UR points in the Chase portal you should not use Chase cards except for snagging the sign up bonuses. You should get a US Bank Altitude Reserve as it offers better rewards for a lower annual fee. ... ... If your intent is to transfer points you should serious consider AMEX ...
by xb7
Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4157
Views: 804300

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Also, try not to use any Chase UR’s till you get the CSR, cause the points are then 1.5x more valuable vs 1.25x. This is one of the things about the UR universe that I find confusing --- I'm considering moving to a Chase-card-centric approach in future. Some people and some reviews say the same thi...
by xb7
Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stoic philisopher of Rome: Epictetus
Replies: 39
Views: 3068

Re: Stoic philisopher of Rome: Epictetus

I'm more of a fan of Epicurus. Not the stereotype of living just for pleasure in a sort of hedonistic way, but what he and followers actually wrote.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epicurus
by xb7
Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?
Replies: 59
Views: 6786

Re: Cell Phone Plan/Carrier Recommendation?

As with a lot of comparisons between companies that serve consumers, I think that folks have a combination of objective data and personal bias based on their own experiences, a bit like the story of several blind people describing what an elephant is. My own experience was that two of the companies ...
by xb7
Tue Dec 18, 2018 6:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you pay for cable/internet/cellphone
Replies: 95
Views: 6605

Re: How much do you pay for cable/internet/cellphone

Also T-Mobile 55+. This seems like a good program to us; it's nice not to be metered for internet usage and yet not pay a ton. Looking online now they list the price as $70 for two people. Someone earlier said they're paying $50. I THINK what they're doing is 'grandfathering' you in at the price you...
by xb7
Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to learn a second language
Replies: 128
Views: 16500

Re: How to learn a second language

I believe that was me who supplied the quote about Asterix you inserted above. Where are you going to take classes in France? In September I took 2 weeks of classes at a school in Lyon and stayed with a local family. I'm thinking about doing the same at a school in Rouen. Montpellier for us. There ...
by xb7
Fri Dec 14, 2018 7:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Questions
Replies: 20
Views: 2749

Re: Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Questions

The absolute best strategy, if you are married or in a committed relationship where you co-mingle your finances is as follows: ... ... 2. The other partner signs up for Chase Sapphire Preferred. I'm thinking that I might switch to the Chase UR universe in a year or two, but am not understanding thi...
by xb7
Fri Dec 14, 2018 6:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to learn a second language
Replies: 128
Views: 16500

Re: How to learn a second language

Sometimes it's fun when zombie threads like this are resurrected! From one of the earlier posts: On my recent trip to France I was able to purchase the 3 volumes of Asterix that complete my collection They're a bit of a challenge to obtain in the U.S. but I now have all four of the Asterix & Obelix ...
by xb7
Mon Dec 10, 2018 1:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4157
Views: 804300

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

USAA 2.5% back (primary) Amex Blue Cash Preferred (gas 3%, grocery 6%) I don't believe that the USAA 2.5% cash back is available for new applicants. Great if you're grandfathered in (?), but not a factor for those looking to make a change. Wish it was! We've been paying an annual fee of $45 for qui...
by xb7
Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alternatives to TIVO
Replies: 25
Views: 15863

Re: Alternatives to TIVO

I have a Tivo Roamio (OTA only unit) on one TV, and was using a Tivo, I think it's called mini to use the same DVR on a second TV. But the second unit was always flaking out, a replacement was expensive and I wasn't confident that it would work reliably either, so over Black Friday I got a couple of...
by xb7
Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Daniel Kahneman: Your Intuition Is Wrong, Unless These 3 Conditions Are Met
Replies: 14
Views: 3755

Re: Daniel Kahneman: Your Intuition Is Wrong, Unless These 3 Conditions Are Met

Great stuff. I've always felt that intuition is something to rely on relatively more or less based also on how much homework/other work I've done to "feed my intuition engine". So if I don't have a lot of data about something, or I haven't done much or any work to convert data into 'information' ---...
by xb7
Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: credit cards
Replies: 13
Views: 1299

Re: credit cards

For strictly cash back, I am not, and my wife is particularly not inclined to try to keep up with the 'rotating categories' approach. So for just a straight X% back across the board, 2% back seems like the best you can get. We don't have Fidelity accounts, and so opted to go with the Citi double cas...
by xb7
Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The S&P 500 Goes Supernova
Replies: 117
Views: 18185

Re: The S&P 500 Goes Supernova

Every time period, every day is unique; therefore, I should get off this blog and go for a run before it starts raining again!
While not a frequent event, once in a while I wish this forum had a Facebook-style 'thumbs up'.

:thumbsup
by xb7
Thu Nov 29, 2018 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smart Home: Google, Apple, or Amazon?
Replies: 45
Views: 4895

Re: Smart Home: Google, Apple, or Amazon?

Turning on devices We have a small heater in our room. Running it from our bed, priceless. I'm a Fantastic Four fan so my command is "Alexa Flame on [/i] Nice. One sensor that still works for me is in the bedroom, and --- while it's nominally a motion detector --- it includes a thermometer. So usin...
by xb7
Wed Nov 28, 2018 7:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smart Home: Google, Apple, or Amazon?
Replies: 45
Views: 4895

Re: Smart Home: Google, Apple, or Amazon?

" I'm not really a voice activation kind of guy, I do have a Samsung SmartThings Hub that I'm pretty happy with, it runs my zwave switches for my lights. I have a simple remote that triggers the hub automation scripts, and I can also run the scripts from my phone. " I too have a SmartThings hub, an...
by xb7
Sun Nov 25, 2018 6:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home security system and outside cameras
Replies: 23
Views: 4210

Re: Home security system and outside cameras

I've got a couple of Blink cameras and I like them overall --- almost bought another one or two on black Friday sale, but --- I'm thinking that I might go all-in on the Amazon ecosystem --- Echo/Alexa, Fire TV, Ring security, etc. Now: Amazon bought Blink, but what I read suggests that this might ha...
by xb7
Sun Nov 25, 2018 6:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard now supports Yubikey 5 and 5C
Replies: 54
Views: 9662

Re: Vanguard now supports Yubikey 5 and 5C

Maybe all of us who would like to see an option to disable SMS should send Vanguard and/or their flagship reps a note about that. Perhaps coordinated on a particular date Did this a while back. He wasn't aware of the issue, and said that he would pass on my preference. I suspect that the subset of ...
by xb7
Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good audio book for a family?
Replies: 33
Views: 2157

Re: Good audio book for a family?

+1 to the Terry Pratchett recommendations. My wife and I find that we really enjoy long car trips with these (audio) books. The readers for most of them are really good, and the content is fun.
by xb7
Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:19 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: First grandchild
Replies: 21
Views: 1950

Re: First grandchild

... question for all you grandparents who are contributing to 529s for grandchildren: Are you the owner of the account, or are you encouraging son/daughter to set up an account and then you contribute to that? I read somewhere that if the parents set up the 529, it's treated differently when financ...
by xb7
Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Magic Jack Go vs Obihai obi200- which one as landline replacement?
Replies: 37
Views: 6495

Re: Magic Jack Go vs Obihai obi200- which one as landline replacement?

We used Obihai for several years and overall it worked, but it's somewhat 'geeky' to set up and occasionally maintain if anything at all comes up. We finally moved away from it because, if I recall correctly, it seemed like sometimes we just wouldn't get a call, someone would call and get no answer ...
by xb7
Fri Oct 26, 2018 9:57 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is it risky to have all retirement savings with vanguard?
Replies: 43
Views: 6381

Re: Is it risky to have all retirement savings with vanguard?

I'm moving down this same road, and I think like many of us I've had the same thought/concern. I too think that the benefits outweigh the potential risk, and would add that two things factor in as I get older: (1) the benefit of simplicity is higher when I get old enough that someone else might have...
by xb7
Fri Oct 26, 2018 9:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard, Costco, Coursera...
Replies: 39
Views: 5763

Re: Vanguard, Costco, Coursera...

I used to include USAA in this short list --- of companies that can seem to swim against the worst aspects of capitalism, where it becomes more like an on-going contest between consumer and corporation. As Vanguard says, they're a "mutual" mutual fund company, interests aligned with those of their i...
by xb7
Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4157
Views: 804300

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I don’t know how often you expect to use customer service - other than some shifting of credit limits I have really not much need to interact with Chase customer service. And no interactions with Amex customer service at all. Good point. I've only had my Amex Plat for a short time, and have called ...
by xb7
Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4157
Views: 804300

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I'm glad the math works for you, but it certainly wouldn't for me. ... Same here. ... Boglesmind I agree too, or at least I'm coming round to this way of thinking pretty quickly. I'm new to the high-fee rewards card thing, got an Amex Platinum just a few months ago. As I'm a thrifty person and want...
by xb7
Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has anyone cruised with Voyages to Antiquity?
Replies: 11
Views: 974

Re: Has anyone cruised with Voyages to Antiquity?

I would add that when I look towards the bottom of the page just now, I see a list of "users browsing this forum". This list contains a few normal-looking user names, and a couple of not-so-normal ones: Baidu [Spider] and FAST Enterprise [Crawler]. I.e., spider bots. And after the few real-looking u...
by xb7
Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has anyone cruised with Voyages to Antiquity?
Replies: 11
Views: 974

Re: Has anyone cruised with Voyages to Antiquity?

Would you be willing to reveal which cruise you'll be taking next year? Probably over-the-top/paranoia here, but I'm disinclined. Yes, no one here knows my name, but I reckon it's still not a great idea to post to the internet at large a stretch of dates where a person is away from home. Eventually...
by xb7
Tue Oct 23, 2018 12:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has anyone cruised with Voyages to Antiquity?
Replies: 11
Views: 974

Re: Has anyone cruised with Voyages to Antiquity?

My wife and I will be cruising with them next year, so interested in replies to this as well. I looked at cruisecritic, etc, and while there are some negative mentioned, I very much like the approach, the "style", and I suspect not just for what is and is not offered, but for the likelyhood of meeti...
by xb7
Fri Oct 19, 2018 12:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Personal Adventure - recommendations
Replies: 97
Views: 7264

Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

I have been looking at reports on the Camino during the winter months. This looks promising despite some snow and mud. Actually it seems to present a bit more of an interesting challenge in winter conditions. I've no experience in winter months, but note that a lot of albergues will be closed, and ...
by xb7
Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Personal Adventure - recommendations
Replies: 97
Views: 7264

Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

A comment w.r.t. the Portuguese Caminho: The only recommendation I would give would be to stay in hotels or B&Bs vs. hostels (auberges) I think the heavy majority of pilgrims hike from Porto to Santiago. In the Lisbon to Porto stretch pilgrims are a lot thinner on the ground, and sometimes accomodat...
by xb7
Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Personal Adventure - recommendations
Replies: 97
Views: 7264

Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

I've thru-hiked the "big three" trails: PCT, AT, CDT. Of the three, I'd recommend the PCT --- they all can be challenging in their own way, but the PCT offers better trail quality and better trail grading, just generally "better walking" than does the AT, and a lot more in the way of views and more ...
by xb7
Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Chase Private Client -- Worth it to hold Vanguard Funds?
Replies: 33
Views: 16907

Re: Chase Private Client -- Worth it to hold Vanguard Funds?

I was interested in this thread as there are Chase branches quite close to where I live, and we use them as our "local" checking account, plus I'm interested perhaps in a Chase credit card in future. But. I'd appreciate if someone could help me better understand why the suite of benefits for Chase P...
by xb7
Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Debunking Bonds in Taxable
Replies: 155
Views: 18324

Re: Debunking Bonds in Taxable

As others have suggested, different investors have different financial circumstances, some of which IMO are good situations in which to have some bonds on the taxable side. One factor is whether you're already retired (perhaps pre-RMD retirement) and living off of current income & capital gains --- ...
by xb7
Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Argument for taking social security before 70. Comments?
Replies: 134
Views: 10987

Re: Argument for taking social security before 70. Comments?

Okay, I see a little spreadsheet work in my future --- I had been sort of taking it on faith that waiting to age 70 was the way to go. One other wild card that I don't know how to 'weight' in the calculation is the possibility of the government changing the rules of the game as we age. I do NOT mean...