Search found 1263 matches

by obgraham
Sun Jul 01, 2018 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are your property taxes?
Replies: 375
Views: 25086

Re: What are your property taxes?

E. Washington:
~$4k tax on about 375k home
8.6% sales tax
No state income tax (so far)
High business taxes.
by obgraham
Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:42 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Inheritance by U.S. Citizen from Former U.S. Green Card Holder
Replies: 29
Views: 3795

Re: Inheritance by U.S. Citizen from Former U.S. Green Card Holder

Here is my decidedly un-PC take: When my mother, living in Canada (but who had had green card status for 13 years until about 25 years before she passed), passed away, my modest inheritance came directly to me as a paper check, Canadian funds, from her estate attorneys' offices. I deposited it, afte...
by obgraham
Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family dynamics/in laws/am I being petty?
Replies: 143
Views: 8905

Re: Family dynamics/in laws/am I being petty?

It's hard enough for most of us to be civil all the time to all our relatives.

I believe in picking the battles. This is not one of them. After making a generous offer, I prefer to just go along with what the others want.
by obgraham
Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on Canadian Universities [Dual US / Canadian citizen]
Replies: 33
Views: 2422

Re: Thoughts on Canadian Universities [Dual US / Canadian citizen]

I am another dual citizen. In our family we have young people who have recently attended Universities across Canada and also in the US, from small liberal arts schools, to big state schools and at least one to an elite eastern college. I can safely say that presenting a degree from Canada has never ...
by obgraham
Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I was rear ended and the other guy wants a payout!
Replies: 109
Views: 11467

Re: I was rear ended and the other guy wants a payout!

When I had a minor rear-ender last year, I called my agent (State Farm), and after explaining the story, the first thing they asked me is what the other carrier was. When I said Nationwide, they said all the majors are pretty good about small non-injury incidents like this, and it would be faster t...
by obgraham
Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I was rear ended and the other guy wants a payout!
Replies: 109
Views: 11467

Re: I was rear ended and the other guy wants a payout!

This thread points out why people buy insurance. And an Umbrella policy. There's too much fakery and foolishness going on these days when it comes to liability.
by obgraham
Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Drive from Phoenix to San Diego
Replies: 42
Views: 3409

Re: Drive from Phoenix to San Diego

What a bunch of naysayers we have here! If those are the places you want to go, OP, your trip will be just fine. Sure, it is 108 right now (Thursday 1530hrs) in Phoenix. So what? You can see Grand Canyon easily in 2 days -- it's not like you are going to hike to the bottom with 2 kids. Joshua Tree i...
by obgraham
Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I was rear ended and the other guy wants a payout!
Replies: 109
Views: 11467

Re: I was rear ended and the other guy wants a payout!

As I read OP’s description, and then looking at it from the other driver’s view, I think he has a point. You pulled out and went slow enough that he had to brake to avoid you.

File your claim with your insurance, and let it play out. Consider yourself fortunate you were not cited.
by obgraham
Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella Insurance Policy
Replies: 3
Views: 630

Re: Umbrella Insurance Policy

To some extent it depends on what you do for a living, and your future earning potential. For example, a doctor is a “target risk”, and perhaps more likely to be sued because of what he might be able to earn in the future, in contrast to, say a warehouse worker. The former needs an umbrella, IMHO. T...
by obgraham
Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best solution for digitizing documents?
Replies: 55
Views: 7252

Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

I've been meaning to scan all my paper clutter for years now. This looks like a fun worthwhile project. I don't recommend that approach. Just start with, say, today, and scan or download everything. Try to not add any paper from today onwards. After that, once you've worked out your system, you can...
by obgraham
Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best solution for digitizing documents?
Replies: 55
Views: 7252

Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

As long as it will produce the scan you wish, i.e. a PDF, it doesn’t really matter what scanner you use. I use the one I got for photo scanning, and as that job is now done, like you I scan maybe 15 pages a month.

Get what will serve your needs. The cheaper the better!
by obgraham
Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water Heaters
Replies: 27
Views: 2595

Re: Water Heaters

I too live in an area where basements are uncommon. Builders here love to put the HVAC and the WH in the attic. Though my current house is a spec, I contracted it before it was built. Insisted on several things: HVAC and WH on ground level, in the garage. Right out where I can get at them and pop a ...
by obgraham
Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need advice on 1st international vacation
Replies: 106
Views: 8461

Re: Need advice on 1st international vacation

Netherlands.

Friendly people, English widely spoken everywhere, lots to see, and the culture is different enough that you will really feel you went “someplace foreign”.
by obgraham
Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is our monthly Personal money out of line?
Replies: 74
Views: 8879

Re: Is our monthly Personal money out of line?

My suggestion:
Ask wife how much she wants.
Give it to her.
Get on with what will now be a long and happy life.
by obgraham
Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Leave Job (Philly) and move To Arizon (Phoenix)?
Replies: 67
Views: 6457

Re: Leave Job (Philly) and move To Arizon (Phoenix)?

The majority in the Phoenix area are “from” someplace. That’s the type of diversity you find there. Not a lot of old time Phoenixers. So in that regard, OP, you would be in good company. The Phoenix area itself however is very diverse. If you like high end living, there’s Scottsdale. If you like ord...
by obgraham
Tue May 29, 2018 10:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: get sued for posting nagative online review?
Replies: 64
Views: 8291

Re: get sued for posting nagative online review?

I’m glad the doc sued. These online reviews are a 1way street. Someone can post any amount of negative stuff, which may or may not be accurate. Often the thing that ticked them off is something completely different to what is written. The doc has no defense. And if he posts his review of the patient...
by obgraham
Sun May 27, 2018 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: electrical outlet dead; fuse not tripped
Replies: 23
Views: 1911

Re: electrical outlet dead; fuse not tripped

One other that I forgot: happened to me this past year. I had a whole circuit go down. Breaker good. While he was doing some other work, I had an electrician go after it. He spent two hours of my money tracking it down, convinced that it was a wire in the wall somewhere with a nail driven through it...
by obgraham
Sun May 27, 2018 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering iPad to replace failing Nexus tablet
Replies: 60
Views: 5610

Re: Considering iPad to replace failing Nexus tablet

I had a Nexus 7, then a couple of Fire's (I don't mind the little $35 one for kindle reading). A year ago I sprang for an iPad Pro. Yes it cost more. But it is a far superior piece of kit. I didn't have any problem adapting to the Apple way of doing things, though figuring out how to transfer photos...
by obgraham
Sun May 27, 2018 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: electrical outlet dead; fuse not tripped
Replies: 23
Views: 1911

Re: electrical outlet dead; fuse not tripped

Likely a loose wire at one of the outlets in the chain.
Or one of them burned through.

I would take my voltmeter to each outlet to track down where the failure begins.
by obgraham
Tue May 22, 2018 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy an old farmhouse?
Replies: 52
Views: 6688

Re: Buy an old farmhouse?

Considering that you will likely have more expenses to bring this house up to the way you like it, I have some question if your 90k income is sufficient to fund this rural lifestyle. Especially if one of you should not work, for whatever reason.
by obgraham
Mon May 21, 2018 10:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medicare and Cataract surgery - one or two charges?
Replies: 31
Views: 2179

Re: Medicare and Cataract surgery - one or two charges?

As a doc, I prefer to keep things as simple as possible. So I went with the basic lenses. I used a private ophthalmologist rather than a cataract mill, and he told me well over 90% went with standard monofocal lenses, and that's what he would choose for himself. After my supplemental plan F, I paid...
by obgraham
Mon May 21, 2018 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medicare and Cataract surgery - one or two charges?
Replies: 31
Views: 2179

Re: Medicare and Cataract surgery - one or two charges?

Here's my opinion on doc choice. It is just my opinion. Feel free to disagree. I do not live in a community with any teaching or university hospitals/clinics. Around here there are two different approaches to the cataract surgery. There are clinics that just do cataracts. An MD Ophthalmologist does ...
by obgraham
Mon May 21, 2018 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medicare and Cataract surgery - one or two charges?
Replies: 31
Views: 2179

Re: Medicare and Cataract surgery - one or two charges?

As a doc, I prefer to keep things as simple as possible. So I went with the basic lenses. I used a private ophthalmologist rather than a cataract mill, and he told me well over 90% went with standard monofocal lenses, and that's what he would choose for himself. After my supplemental plan F, I paid ...
by obgraham
Sat May 19, 2018 6:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lease buyout negotiation tips?
Replies: 21
Views: 4933

Re: Lease buyout negotiation tips?

I've gone through this three times with end-of-lease discussion, and never yet been able to convince the lessor or a dealer to take anything different than the original lease specifications.

The dealers don't care, because it's the leasing company that owns the car.
by obgraham
Fri May 18, 2018 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?
Replies: 93
Views: 8503

Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

We have gone on at length here about the value of the Private school, largely as to how it might affect getting into an "elite" university. However, it seems to me the primary duty of the parents should be different: raising a child who is well grounded, respectful, able to get along with others bot...
by obgraham
Wed May 16, 2018 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any experience with Blue Apron?
Replies: 34
Views: 3930

Re: Any experience with Blue Apron?

We tried BA for a few months a year or so back. We canceled mostly because we just didn't like the menu choices. A bit too heavy on the current fad components, and the sauce/spice combinations were not what we liked. Why eat stuff you don't really care for? I did think the portion size was interesti...
by obgraham
Wed May 16, 2018 12:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: External Portable Hard Drive
Replies: 15
Views: 1663

Re: External Portable Hard Drive

IMHO all the readily available ones are pretty reliable.

That said, failures happen. Get 2 drives. Alternate or duplicate your backups. Odds of 2 failures is slim.
by obgraham
Tue May 15, 2018 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving Books
Replies: 7
Views: 949

Re: Moving Books

It's not so much the size of the box, but the number that makes the problem. We too were bookaholics. When we moved to our current home we had over 100 banker boxes of books, and the new shelves were in the basement. The two young bucks who were doing the lifting thought it was a piece of cake -- wh...
by obgraham
Fri May 11, 2018 4:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?
Replies: 111
Views: 7066

Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

I still have trouble with this "offset" idea: If I buy a chunk of Chile to prevent it from being "developed", won't some other part of Chile be "developed"? And just what is the overhead percentage of the outfit running this project?
by obgraham
Tue May 08, 2018 10:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental Cars:National, Budget, Alamo or Thrifty
Replies: 33
Views: 3569

Re: Rental Cars:National, Budget, Alamo or Thrifty

I always start my search at Hertz, then check out Alamo, National, and Budget. I like the "gold" service at Hertz, and never have to stop at the desk with them. Often as not they give me a car a couple of levels above what I booked. I think the others have a similar plan also. I'll go with Hertz as ...
by obgraham
Tue May 08, 2018 12:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Comparing 2 physician jobs
Replies: 69
Views: 8230

Re: Comparing 2 physician jobs

I'm not a physician, so should probably not reply, but I will anyway. I would be very wary about accepting a job in a place you did not want to live. ... Think long term. Where would you be most happy in 10-30 years? Choose that Wise man here (or woman!). My view is that the type of community is th...
by obgraham
Tue May 08, 2018 12:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When to buy new underwear?
Replies: 86
Views: 8247

Re: When to buy new underwear?

A secondary question on this topic:

Should you replace them ALL at the same time, or just on an "as needed" basis?

Finally, how many does a man need? I have exactly 15, because sometimes my launderess plans on a 2-week cycle, and I need one to wear on the washday.
by obgraham
Sat May 05, 2018 3:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: most compelling TV character ever
Replies: 260
Views: 29024

Re: most compelling TV character ever

Maybe not THE most compelling, but getting there:

Andy Sipowicz, NYPD Blue (Dennis Franz)

The rest of the cast was wonderful also.
by obgraham
Thu May 03, 2018 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Article about new Medicare cards coming soon to a mailbox near (some of) you
Replies: 9
Views: 1642

Re: Article about new Medicare cards coming soon to a mailbox near (some of) you

Do you think that the new Medicare number is going to be a new SSN someday? Agreed. How is replacing one easily stolen number, with a more complex but still stealable number, solving any problems? As time goes on, private insurance will "standardize" on the new style Medicare numbers, and we will b...
by obgraham
Tue May 01, 2018 6:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nontraditional Cruising
Replies: 21
Views: 3248

Re: Nontraditional Cruising

Take a look at Viking Ocean Cruises. True, food is a big item, but there are several alternative dining venue. No "Broadway Shows". No formal nights. Good talks. 1000 passengers, not 6000. No Bordello-like decor.

All the mainline cruise benefits without the glitzy rubbish.
by obgraham
Sun Apr 29, 2018 1:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 300k vs 500k house?
Replies: 32
Views: 5889

Re: 300k vs 500k house?

I have a very un-Boglehead view when it comes to houses. I prefer to have the house that serves the need of me and my family at the time. When we wanted something different, go for it, and trade up or down as the situation suggests. So now, retired, we are in a house with everything on one level exc...
by obgraham
Sat Apr 28, 2018 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Learning to drive a stick [car with manual transmission]
Replies: 126
Views: 10479

Re: Learning to drive stick

NEVER get a stick without a hand brake. You need a hand brake (NOT the foot push type) to be safe on a hill Though I've ridden with people who use the handbrake all the time with their stickshift cars, I'll admit that in decades of stick driving I've not used this method more than 2-3 times. And I ...
by obgraham
Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Paperless Life
Replies: 45
Views: 5615

Re: The Paperless Life

A lot like the others here, I've been paperless since 2005. Virtually no paper records now except vehicle and home titles, and vital records (birth certs, passports, etc.) If some outfit later demands "the originals", my answer will be simply "there aren't any, deal with it". I keep all mine on my o...
by obgraham
Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mid May trip to Malta
Replies: 5
Views: 1339

Re: Mid May trip to Malta

We found Malta one of the most interesting places we have visited. But then, we like history, ruins, old churches, and old cities. Malta has these in abundance. Pretty good food, too. Day trip by ferry to Gozo is very nice.
by obgraham
Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Factor in evaluating Physicians
Replies: 86
Views: 8108

Re: Factor in evaluating Physicians

The issue, it seems to me, is the bias (especially woth drugs) of receiving compensation related to prescribing expensive drugs from the manufacturers. Do you really think that the average physician is going to be influenced adversely by a pizza or sub-sandwich lunch for him/her and some of the off...
by obgraham
Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Factor in evaluating Physicians
Replies: 86
Views: 8108

Re: Factor in evaluating Physicians

I'm surprised I'm not on the list. Except I'm retired. However, several dead guys in my town are on there. Interesting when you get to the details. A company comes out with some new device. You go and have them show you how to use it. Then you get listed as "non-accredited training", and someone on ...
by obgraham
Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Allegiant Airlines...Anyone watch CBS 60 Minutes?
Replies: 55
Views: 8351

Re: Allegiant Airlines...Anyone watch CBS 60 Minutes?

I'm not surprised by anything in the 60 minutes story, despite my loathing of that program in general. I've flown Allegiant perhaps 20 times, because they have a direct flight from where I live to Phoenix-Mesa, and the 2 airports are close to my house. My travel time is half as long if I go with All...
by obgraham
Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recordkeeping system for retirees
Replies: 25
Views: 3834

Re: Recordkeeping system for retirees

On what device or cloud is Filing Cabinet stored? Is there redundancy in case of fire or crash? I'm like the guy who posted just below me here. I don't like cloud storage. It's on my desktop computer. It's backed up onto 2 usb drives, and a third backup drive (every 3 months) is in the bank's safe ...
by obgraham
Fri Apr 06, 2018 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to re-wire an antique lamp
Replies: 15
Views: 1314

Re: How to re-wire an antique lamp

It's not difficult to replace the sockets, wiring, and plug on any lamp. However, if you are not comfortable doing it, I suspect that a neighborhood "handyman" will do it for you easily, and likely cheaper than a commercial outfit. Look on the boards at neighborhood stores or the local "giant nickel...
by obgraham
Thu Apr 05, 2018 10:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I get a loan for a motorcycle?
Replies: 24
Views: 2519

Re: Should I get a loan for a motorcycle?

Decidedly unboglehead opinion here:

You're coming back from Afghanistan.

Buy whatever the hell you want. Loan if necessary!
by obgraham
Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: FB
Replies: 356
Views: 38162

Re: Anyone Deleting Facebook?

VictoriaF wrote: Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:43 pm Most people spend a lot of time looking at their smartphones. Are smartphones garbage?

Victoria
No, some of us do not. And yes, IMHO the benefit versus the downside favors the garbage answer!
by obgraham
Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: taxes: e-file vs. paper
Replies: 52
Views: 5984

Re: taxes: e-file vs. paper

I just can't understand why anyone would prefer to send in paper returns, when e-filing is so much easier, and you get an immediate acknowledgement that your return was in fact filed. I always owe -- haven't had a refund for 25 years. As always, this year IRS will take their money by direct debit on...
by obgraham
Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recordkeeping system for retirees
Replies: 25
Views: 3834

Re: Recordkeeping system for retirees

My system is pretty simple. I don't like cloud storage, but I now save zero paper (deeds, titles, that's about it). I have a folder called "Filing Cabinet". Scanned documents go there, into subfolders with the same names as my old paper ones did: "Medicare", "Vehicles", "Insurance,House"...you get t...
by obgraham
Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Microsoft tech support scam - how to recover?
Replies: 39
Views: 7198

Re: Microsoft tech support scam - how to recover?

Though I sympathize with folks being scammed, I actually quite enjoy messing with these "windows support team" crooks. This week he got a couple of minutes into the spiel, when I interrupted and asked if he was still trying to pull off this scam after being prosecuted by the Feds. "Yes", he said, "i...
by obgraham
Mon Apr 02, 2018 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Online meals, anyone do these?
Replies: 28
Views: 4537

Re: Online meals, anyone do these?

We got tired of Blue Apron after about 6 weeks. Sure, you get different food than maybe you're used to, but after a while the constant arrival of kale, cauliflower, pesto, aioli this and that, got tiresome. We decided we just don't eat that stuff, and went back to our old unadventurous and (by today...