Search found 1263 matches

by obgraham
Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do others dislike Vanguard's new website as much as me?
Replies: 205
Views: 14316

Re: Do others dislike Vanguard's new website as much as me?

I find when I deal with a company thru their "app" I often have to change the way I do stuff to fit with their ways.
But when I simpy go to their website, it is usually easier to use my own ways.

Vanguard is like that. So is Ally.
by obgraham
Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why efile if you owe?
Replies: 47
Views: 4793

Re: Why efile if you owe?

Write a check? What's that? We efile every year as soon as we have the documentation together, and schedule the payment April 15. IRS pulls it usually at midnite + 1 minute! I look at OP's question the other way: Why NOT efile? That way I know they got it, odds of a manual looky might be less, and i...
by obgraham
Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How will you spend your retirement money?
Replies: 86
Views: 10960

Re: How will you spend your retirement money?

Right now I am spending mine by posting this from a cruise ship in the Indian Ocean. Trying to decide which of 3 venues to go to for dinner tonight.

It's a tough life, but I will persist.
by obgraham
Tue Jan 22, 2019 7:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it ever worth purchasing an extended warranty for a vehicle?
Replies: 119
Views: 7940

Re: Is it ever worth purchasing an extended warranty for a vehicle?

The whole logic of the Extended Warranty pitch has always escaped me. First they sell you a car, during which the friendly salesman emphasizes over and over how reliable and trouble free his cars are, and what a wonderful product it is compared to the competition. Then you get sent into the Finance ...
by obgraham
Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying Property in Northwest USA - Advice?
Replies: 18
Views: 2276

Re: Buying Property in Northwest USA - Advice?

Eastern Washington resident here, for 40 years. TriCities (Richland,Pasco,Kennewick) has doubled its population in the past 20 years or so, now 260k. Lots of retirees. Fortunately, the California and Seattle types think it is godawful here. Pros: desert climate, nice spring and fall, mild winter, ho...
by obgraham
Sun Jan 20, 2019 5:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cruise to China, Japan and South Korea— ship tours or booking private tours
Replies: 8
Views: 808

Re: Cruise to China, Japan and South Korea— ship tours or booking private tours

I think it depends on your priorities. We are just today embarking on a month-long cruise, Africa and Indian Ocean. Having paid a lot for ship-organized tours before, I spent some time looking for private tours. And indeed I booked a couple, mainly just a private driver to tour the city at the port ...
by obgraham
Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which iPad?
Replies: 19
Views: 1315

Re: Which iPad?

As far as I know, iPad memory cannot be supplemented by the user. So get the model with the highest amount of memory you might use. In my case a year or so back that was 256G. I never thought I would need that, till loading it up with movies for an upcoming trip, and using virtually all that 256. If...
by obgraham
Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone ever buy Hilton's Timeshares (HGVC)?
Replies: 51
Views: 10577

Re: Anyone ever buy Hilton's Timeshares (HGVC)?

Interesting to resurrect this thread after a couple of years. Just sat through the HGVC spiel in Las Vegas. What a slick bunch of operators. Smooth talking salesman, more aggressive "manager" (aka the Closer!), and finally brusque final manager to shuffle you out if you don't buy. Where else would f...
by obgraham
Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel Companies Similar to "Road Scholar"?
Replies: 21
Views: 2183

Re: Travel Companies Similar to "Road Scholar"?

I had the opposite problem with RS. Trip to Rome, art focus. RS cancelled the trip 30 days out, due to not enough signups.
Since I had booked a private week in Florence after it, I was not happy. Lost my deposit for that sector. RS claimed not their problem, please see the fine print.
by obgraham
Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: world war one research
Replies: 7
Views: 781

Re: world war one research

Probably a lot of information in the vaults in Salt Lake City. They are very good at letting anyone have access to their records.
by obgraham
Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard Statements - Print or Electronic
Replies: 70
Views: 5191

Re: Vanguard Statements - Print or Electronic

I can't see why anyone would insist on mailed statements, even just the year end. They are all there on the website for me. I download and/or make a pdf of them. That copy is in a well organized computer folder, just like a paper copy used to be. In the unlikely event that I need one, print a copy t...
by obgraham
Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Road Scholar" Travel
Replies: 18
Views: 2601

Re: "Road Scholar" Travel

We've done a couple of RS overseas trips, and feel about the same as Allocationist posted below. They really do look out for the people on their trips, and they keep the group size to a manageable amount -- usually not a 35-busfiller. The pace of the trips is geared to older folks -- for some that i...
by obgraham
Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: keeping warm in outside windy, freezing temperature and also inside office
Replies: 35
Views: 2369

Re: keeping warm in outside windy, freezing temperature and also inside office

Spent all my young years in cold places. Practicality over-rules style. You wear what it takes to stay warm. When you get where you are going (school, work, whatever) you take off the heavy stuff. Everyone else does the same. Nobody worries about looking nifty.
by obgraham
Tue Jan 01, 2019 9:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Save expired passports?
Replies: 26
Views: 2350

Re: Save expired passports?

I scan mine, as I like to rummage through them periodically, and since I carry all my documents with me on a usb drive, I could produce a copy of an old one any time. Interestingly, an expired US passport does not meet the requirements for TSA. And also, after some discussion, I was told that some v...
by obgraham
Fri Dec 28, 2018 11:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pre Cruise Ft Lauderdale Hotel
Replies: 36
Views: 2523

Re: Pre Cruise Ft Lauderdale Hotel

Being west coasters, we have to go to eastern cruise ports the day before. We dont think high end hotels are worth it for a precruise night. So contrary to my agent's advice we stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Cruiseport before a recent cruise out of FLL. It was fine. Clean room, nice bed, several ...
by obgraham
Sun Dec 23, 2018 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scissor recommendation
Replies: 11
Views: 1474

Re: Scissor recommendation

Scissors sold as “bandage scissors” are generally useless in my opinion. That knob on the end just gets in the way, especially if you are a lefty. Check with a medical supply place, online, and get a Mayo scissor. Good handy size and shape. Available in varying qualities and prices. I have several f...
by obgraham
Sat Dec 22, 2018 1:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric scooter for 10y old?
Replies: 17
Views: 897

Re: Electric scooter for 10y old?

My daughter the ER doc tells me these things are great for her business.
by obgraham
Sat Dec 22, 2018 1:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Earbud or Headphone Recommendation
Replies: 6
Views: 1081

Re: Earbud or Headphone Recommendation

By coincidence with OP, I just received a set of Senso Wireless Blutooth S-250 Active Buds. I was tired of getting wound up in the cords. They were $30 a set on Amazon. I have weird earholes, and most earbuds, including everything Apple sells, will not fit in my ears. My Bose in-ear noise cancelling...
by obgraham
Tue Dec 18, 2018 7:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Azamara Cruises
Replies: 13
Views: 1620

Re: Azamara Cruises

I suppose it's really the entertainment factor I'm trying to get a sense of. My wife and I really enjoy live music; at home we probably get out twice a week for blues, jazz, rock, opera, symphony, etc. On a cruise ship, we've really enjoyed hanging out in various lounges with live music, but have f...
by obgraham
Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Azamara Cruises
Replies: 13
Views: 1620

Re: Azamara Cruises

We are great fans of tbe R ships. Originally with Princess, and now with Oceania several times. About to head off with Oceania for 30 days. We like the size, the amenities, and the avoidance of tbe huge crowds. The cabins are nothing much, but we just sleep there. The suites are nicer, but not in ou...
by obgraham
Sat Dec 08, 2018 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist
Replies: 47
Views: 4010

Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

There’s the “good ol days” and there’s these days. I had a root canal by a young general dentist 50 years ago. He capped it with a gold “partial onlay”. Every dentist who sees it calls it a true dental work of art. I have had several since then, mostly all sent to endodontist. Last one very nicely d...
by obgraham
Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quicken 2006
Replies: 7
Views: 798

Re: Quicken 2006

I use Quicken the old manual way also. No downloading. I use Quicken 2009 because I have the disc and can install it on any new computer without difficulty. Works fine. Why use it? Number 1 reason is that's where I keep track and be sure my bills are paid on time and that I have enough in my checkin...
by obgraham
Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Want to do non-religious, short-term medical volunteer work outside the US
Replies: 13
Views: 1936

Re: Want to do non-religious, short-term medical volunteer work outside the US

Sometimes volunteers without medical credentials can be of great assistance as part of groups doing this work. They can often help if they have language skills of the local populations and with organizing the clinics. This assistance can allow the medical folks to see and treat more patients and be...
by obgraham
Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for a nice travel watch... recommendations?
Replies: 41
Views: 2854

Re: Looking for a nice travel watch... recommendations?

Never been a watch person in particular, but Mrs Ob gave me a nice watch recently for our 50th. I wear it every day now. Nowhere near a Rolex, but too nice to wear on cruise excursions. We leave for a month-long cruise in the New Year. My plan is to get a walmart watch for under $15 for the cruise. ...
by obgraham
Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Want to do non-religious, short-term medical volunteer work outside the US
Replies: 13
Views: 1936

Re: Want to do non-religious, short-term medical volunteer work outside the US

OP, I speak from experience, having done some 15 such trips. The large outfits like MSF are bureaucracies, given to meetings about everything. The most effective overseas work has been with small agencies, often run by a handful of people. They can make all the needed arragements, you the doc just g...
by obgraham
Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:40 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: US->Canada Money Transfer
Replies: 5
Views: 575

Re: US->Canada Money Transfer

I recently had such a need, and after researching the options decided that carrying the Benjamins across the border myself was the best way. Keeping in mind the regulations regarding cash across borders. (In fact I had to report to the CDN side, and they were very efficient and above board about it.)
by obgraham
Sat Dec 01, 2018 3:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Restaurant Budget
Replies: 113
Views: 7478

Re: Restaurant Budget

What an interesting topic -- it really gets to the heart of how people vary in their evaluation of the things in their life. Work through the thread and we see a real spread from "I never eat out" to "I never eat at home". I suspect most of us here support the opinion that a person should spend his ...
by obgraham
Sat Nov 24, 2018 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Networth to buy a dual turboprop aircraft?
Replies: 72
Views: 10027

Re: Networth to buy a dual turboprop aircraft?

When I had my 172R, ongoing fixed costs for space in another guy’s hangar, insurance, and annual service ran me $6k.
Not including depreciation, purchase price, fuel, incidental service, or training/instruction costs.

Airplanes are spendy afflictions!
by obgraham
Sat Nov 24, 2018 12:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Networth to buy a dual turboprop aircraft?
Replies: 72
Views: 10027

Re: Networth to buy a dual turboprop aircraft?

There are other choices, not necessarily a turbo-twin. A Cessna 414 for example. Or even a 337, with its twin centerline layout. Couple of friends of mine flew one of them very nicely all over the US and Canada. Still spendy for maintenance, and, obviously, now pretty old machines. Still much cheape...
by obgraham
Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Financial] Habits of the Rich
Replies: 238
Views: 37464

Re: [Financial] Habits of the Rich

Since I hung out with a lot of doctors, I saw what it took to be financially stable, and it seemed very simple: 1.Stay married to the same person 2.Avoid building that big "doctor house" 3.Buy no more than one "stupid" car during your time. Amazed how many were unable to be successful financially an...
by obgraham
Tue Nov 13, 2018 6:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone use a Wealth Manager?
Replies: 26
Views: 3747

Re: Anyone use a Wealth Manager?

Just listen carefully to the pitch by that "advisor" guy who advertises on TV: "We do better when you do better". Of course. When your assets rise, his amount rises, as it is a fixed percentage of your assets. What he fails to add is that he does just fine when your assets decline, also. Meanwhile h...
by obgraham
Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 20th Anniversary vacation ideas wanted
Replies: 29
Views: 2400

Re: 20th Anniversary vacation ideas wanted

Depends on what you seek. If you are not urban dwellers now, but would find a city trip to be a nice change of pace, here is a little offbeat one to consider: Lima, Peru. World class cuisine. Some interesting museums and neighborhoods to visit (homework required) Excellent hotels, in Miraflores and ...
by obgraham
Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity
Replies: 86
Views: 4564

Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Why am I always the contrarian?! We went on a cross country plane trip for a week in Vegas with our first who was 6 weeks old. Piece of cake. She was very easy, but it is true, we did not venture very far afield. We hired sitters and attended a couple of shows. We then went on a 3 week rented-RV tri...
by obgraham
Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paper or Paperless? How and what financial records do you keep?
Replies: 51
Views: 4602

Re: Paper or Paperless? How and what financial records do you keep?

The key to workable electronic filing is organization. You need a way to find something when you want it. In paper times, that is why we used file folders. Mine is very simple...the PC’s standard file structure. I have a data directory literally called “Filing Cabinet”. Within that, are subfolders w...
by obgraham
Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much does a car need to be driven?
Replies: 43
Views: 3878

Re: How much does a car need to be driven?

As a snowbird, I hang with a bunch of other like types. Most of us leave a vehicle at the other end of the country for up to 6 months at a time. I've done that for 5 years now also. I simply clean the car up, check the fluids, add some stabilizer then fill the fuel tank, and leave the vehicle with a...
by obgraham
Sat Oct 27, 2018 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Indoor Play toys for toddler
Replies: 31
Views: 2024

Re: Indoor Play toys for toddler

Since we are now the grandparents, we observe what is happening in our kids’ home, with 2 girls, almost 4 and almost 2: They have a good income, so the house is jammed with every toy you can imagine. All the way from simple alphabet blocks, up to electric cars to ride in the basement. What we find i...
by obgraham
Fri Oct 26, 2018 11:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How many miles (total) on car before buying another car ?
Replies: 114
Views: 7845

Re: How many miles (total) on car before buying another car ?

If those are the 3 factors that concern you, nobody else could put a mileage value on them.

Certainly those are not the issues that bother me about an older vehicle.
by obgraham
Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need New Refrigerator
Replies: 20
Views: 2533

Re: Need New Refrigerator

I suspect a cabinet guy could reconfigure that space for a different reefer.
by obgraham
Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best location to rent in Rome for vacation?
Replies: 7
Views: 854

Re: Best location to rent in Rome for vacation?

We went to Rome for the first time in March ‘18. Stayed very near Vatican. Our old legs don’t go as far these days, so we did use the bus and metro. Once you figure it out it gets you where you need to be. Biggest problem for us: Snow and Rain! Rained hard every day, all day for the week. Pretty muc...
by obgraham
Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on Three-Night English Road Trip
Replies: 30
Views: 2445

Re: Advice on Three-Night English Road Trip

I know OP says he has booked his arrangements, but: I've done several driving tours in England over the years. (Oddly, the first, many years back, was almost identical to OP's plan: Winchester, Salisbury, Wells, Stonehenge, Bath.) I just enjoy driving through the little villages on the way to somepl...
by obgraham
Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Online statements/ mail Vs paper
Replies: 6
Views: 1096

Re: Online statements/ mail Vs paper

I keep virtually NO paper any more, since 2005. Vehicle titles, signed and witnessed estate planning papers, real estate recorded papers, and that's about it. Everything else is a pdf. Including all my tax documentation. If some outfit thinks that's not adequate, that's their problem, not mine. I se...
by obgraham
Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What would you do with some bulk silver?
Replies: 41
Views: 2973

Re: What would you do with some bulk silver?

Not sure if this is a "personal investments" or consumer question. This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (collectible). I purchased 25 oz of silver bars as a 25th anniversary gift to my husband (silver is the 25th). It's worth less today than when I bought it. My husband is a coi...
by obgraham
Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 1.5 liter wine
Replies: 52
Views: 12140

Re: 1.5 liter wine

Easy answer. Pay no attention to finding a 1.5l bottle. Just open 2 regular bottles.
by obgraham
Sat Oct 06, 2018 3:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What purchase saved you the most money?
Replies: 136
Views: 14002

Re: What purchase saved you the most money?

Without a doubt: New England Journal of Medicine Lifetime Subscription. When I was in training NEJM was very cheap (somewhere around $20 yearly). Then, sometime about 1976 they offered a "lifetime subscription" for a one time charge of $300. I thought it rather pricey at the time, and the offer was ...
by obgraham
Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Physical Banking - Any benefits anymore?
Replies: 142
Views: 10643

Re: Physical Banking - Any benefits anymore?

I'm a millennial and I write two checks each year, for property and state income tax. How do you work around this (without paying fees)? My county charges $1.50 to pay taxes via ACH. Deduct the price of a stamp required for mailing, and the net cost is $1.01. It's worth that to me to do it easily o...
by obgraham
Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Digitalizing Old Photos Help
Replies: 22
Views: 1891

Re: Digitalizing Old Photos Help

I did exactly the same as the post below, some 11000 scans, prints, negs, and slides. The V500 produced great scans. Batch scanning was not appropriate for me, as my boxes of stuff were of all sorts of sizes, and most of them required that I bring up the image for repair or adjustment before making ...
by obgraham
Sat Sep 22, 2018 3:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Physical Banking - Any benefits anymore?
Replies: 142
Views: 10643

Re: Physical Banking - Any benefits anymore?

watchnerd wrote: Sat Sep 22, 2018 3:45 pm
What do you put in your safe deposit box?

We have a fire safe for important docs and such.
I use mine for backup hard drives off site. I know, "why don't I just use cloud?" No thanks. All my life and records are digital now, and I prefer to keep it nearby, though not all in the same building.
by obgraham
Sat Sep 22, 2018 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC Options -- Any advice?
Replies: 29
Views: 2530

Re: HVAC Options -- Any advice?

Something is funny with this quote. They are giving you a heat pump ac/heater condenser and related stuff. Why? Then they are quoting a fulll gas heater. Not the way I read it: he's looking at a gas furnace and electric a/c. Having had both this layout and heat pumps, I'd go this way in a heartbeat.
by obgraham
Sat Sep 22, 2018 3:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC Options -- Any advice?
Replies: 29
Views: 2530

Re: HVAC Options -- Any advice?

Price seems good to me. I'd upgrade to variable stage and improved efficiency if I planned to stay for 5+ years. Wouldn't bother with the humidifier. This is the right answer. You're looking at a reputable brand. Get whatever upgrades there are that are reasonably priced. More important to me is th...
by obgraham
Fri Sep 21, 2018 5:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on Using Medicare Consultant that is Paid by the Insurers
Replies: 25
Views: 1508

Re: Thoughts on Using Medicare Consultant that is Paid by the Insurers

When we first went on Medicare we used a Medicare Broker, same idea as your consultant. It worked out well, as he went through every company and plan offered in my state/county. He had no bias toward one or the other, and once we decided he completed the applications for us. No charges, and we have ...