Search found 727 matches

by GmanJeff
Sat Apr 17, 2021 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where do you buy coffee beans?
Replies: 185
Views: 16305

Re: Where do you buy coffee beans?

Costco for me - kirkland signature is good but also the Ruta Maya is good. Haven't tried the other ones they sell at costco yet because I'm happy with those two. Although I also buy occasionally from local roasters - but the price per pound is way more from local roasters and the flavor is about eq...
by GmanJeff
Sat Apr 17, 2021 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Protective Coating on New Subaru?
Replies: 13
Views: 659

Re: Protective Coating on New Subaru?

Ceramic paint coatings are intended to make washing the car easier, by limiting the ability of soil to adhere to the paint surface. Ceramic paint coatings provide no protection against impact damage from rock chips and the like. Professionally applied coatings are generally said to typically last ar...
by GmanJeff
Fri Apr 16, 2021 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling old car - CarMax etc.
Replies: 40
Views: 2825

Re: Selling old car - CarMax etc.

Try AutoNation and Vroom, too. When I sold a car last year, I obtained bids from CarMax, Vroom, AutoNation and Carvana. AutoNation's offer was materially better than the others, which together spanned a fairly wide dollar range. It pays to obtain multiple offers from commercial buyers.
by GmanJeff
Sun Apr 11, 2021 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DC WMATA is phasing out old(er) SmarTrip cards
Replies: 4
Views: 383

Re: DC WMATA is phasing out old(er) SmarTrip cards

You can replace the physical card with a digital card in a iPhone wallet, if you have a iPhone 8 or later model.
by GmanJeff
Mon Apr 05, 2021 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: PAS Experience
Replies: 6
Views: 773

Re: PAS Experience

PAS does accommodate asset allocation preferences insofar as those relate to managing volatility to align with client risk tolerance, investment horizon, and goals, but only to the extent of varying the ratio between equity ETFs and bond funds which generally hold the market as a whole, not usually ...
by GmanJeff
Sun Apr 04, 2021 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My Next Car: Tesla S vs BMW 540iX
Replies: 25
Views: 2925

Re: My Next Car: Tesla S vs BMW 540iX

Apples and oranges. I'd get the BMW with the thought in mind that it is a well-engineered and fine-performing car which might be my last equipped with an internal combustion engine as electric vehicles and their supporting infrastructure mature and improve. Tesla seems to evoke strong loyalty from m...
by GmanJeff
Sat Mar 27, 2021 5:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should a Retired Federal Employee Sign Up for Medicare Part B?
Replies: 27
Views: 1889

Re: Should a Retired Federal Employee Sign Up for Medicare Part B?

FEHB plans alone cover virtually all but trivial medical expenses, especially the HMO plans. Adding Part B can eliminate or reduce co-pays, but you'd need a lot of co-pays to ever spend as much on them as you'd pay in Medicare premiums, especially if you are paying IRMAA penalties for having a high...
by GmanJeff
Sat Mar 27, 2021 3:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should a Retired Federal Employee Sign Up for Medicare Part B?
Replies: 27
Views: 1889

Re: Should a Retired Federal Employee Sign Up for Medicare Part B?

FEHB plans alone cover virtually all but trivial medical expenses, especially the HMO plans. Adding Part B can eliminate or reduce co-pays, but you'd need a lot of co-pays to ever spend as much on them as you'd pay in Medicare premiums, especially if you are paying IRMAA penalties for having a highe...
by GmanJeff
Sat Mar 27, 2021 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 68yo, considering leaving Vanguard
Replies: 27
Views: 4007

Re: 68yo, considering leaving Vanguard

PAS recommends different asset allocations for different clients, depending on client circumstances. 50/50 is not a universal or mandatory PAS allocation for all retirees or for anyone. It may be their recommendation for you , based on the information you provided them about your goals, timeframes, ...
by GmanJeff
Fri Mar 26, 2021 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling a Rolex
Replies: 24
Views: 2554

Re: Selling a Rolex

Another reputable potential buyer: https://www.bernardwatch.com/
by GmanJeff
Thu Mar 25, 2021 3:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which car supports easy upgrades of driver assist features year over year without buying a new car every year ?
Replies: 34
Views: 3014

Re: Which car supports easy upgrades of driver assist features year over year without buying a new car every year ?

As others have indicated, substantially new capabilities usually require additional equipment in the form of additional/different cameras and sensors. Consequently, a better approach might be to select a vehicle which is currently state-of-the-art in terms of Level 2 or 3 automation, and just acknow...
by GmanJeff
Tue Mar 23, 2021 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need career suggestions for adult son
Replies: 72
Views: 6648

Re: Need career suggestions for adult son

Perhaps revisit factory work, where your son seems to have previously found a decent fit. I am reminded of touring the BMW factory in Spartanburg, S. Carolina, where the workers assembling vehicles appeared to be engaged in the kind of work you describe as suiting your son - well-defined tasks, seem...
by GmanJeff
Mon Mar 22, 2021 8:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealing with an extremely weird seller
Replies: 34
Views: 3867

Re: Dealing with an extremely weird seller

If you get no response to your request for a price, consider the matter closed. The seller's reasons for not responding don't really matter. And, do you really want to engage in business with someone who is unresponsive?
by GmanJeff
Mon Mar 15, 2021 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric shaver
Replies: 33
Views: 2391

Re: Electric shaver

I had a very expensive Braun which eventually died of battery failure. It worked well, but the trimmer blade housing eventually would not stay closed, which I discovered is not an uncommon point of failure. The cleaning solution was an ongoing expense. I also have an older Remington which works just...
by GmanJeff
Sun Mar 14, 2021 6:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hiring help for 90yo Mom
Replies: 15
Views: 1773

Re: Hiring help for 90yo Mom

I used an agency for two years as my mom’s memory declined. The agency took 50% overhead and sent out poorly trained individuals who required almost as much oversight as my mom. Finding several independent and experienced caregivers may have allowed my mom to stay safely in her home longer. I think...
by GmanJeff
Sat Mar 13, 2021 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hiring help for 90yo Mom
Replies: 15
Views: 1773

Re: Hiring help for 90yo Mom

You want to use an agency. Managing schedules yourself is tedious and frustrating; you also have to recruit people, screen them for suitability, reliability, and trustworthiness; train them, and replace them at the last minute if they are ill, resign, or want to take time off. If there are any issue...
by GmanJeff
Thu Mar 11, 2021 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's It Really Like to Work With Vanguard's Personal Advisory Service?
Replies: 112
Views: 9015

Re: What's It Really Like to Work With Vanguard's Personal Advisory Service?

Most critics seem to assume that paying PAS fees will necessarily result in lower total returns compared to self-management. That is, there is an exclusive focus on the cost of the fees without reference to other factors which differentiate any self-managed portfolio from any PAS portfolio. Rarely ...
by GmanJeff
Thu Mar 11, 2021 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ring video doorbell question
Replies: 13
Views: 1637

Re: Ring video doorbell question

I just installed a Eufy 2K wired doorbell and am very favorably impressed with it. Despite an extensive and sophisticated feature set, it was remarkably easy to install and works flawlessly so far. The field of view allows me to see packages left in most, but not all, areas in front of the door. It ...
by GmanJeff
Thu Mar 11, 2021 8:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's It Really Like to Work With Vanguard's Personal Advisory Service?
Replies: 112
Views: 9015

Re: What's It Really Like to Work With Vanguard's Personal Advisory Service?

I think it's pretty clear that most Bogleheads on this forum think it's a waste to hire anyone to do - almost - anything. It's been proved in thread after thread, including when discussing Vanguard PAS. To each their own, and if you want to manage everything yourself, go right ahead. But at the sam...
by GmanJeff
Wed Mar 10, 2021 8:02 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Looking for recommendation for financial newsletter
Replies: 9
Views: 737

Re: Looking for recommendation for financial newsletter

Value Line may be of interest: https://www.valueline.com/ Another useful resource might be the Investors Business Daily, which adheres to William O'Neill's CAN-SLIM approach to investment selection: https://www.investors.com/ The American Association of Individual Investors also offers stock and fun...
by GmanJeff
Wed Mar 10, 2021 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's It Really Like to Work With Vanguard's Personal Advisory Service?
Replies: 112
Views: 9015

Re: What's It Really Like to Work With Vanguard's Personal Advisory Service?

So far we seem to have no idea if VPAS actually advises and manages on tax issues (which tax issues?), estate planning, or income issues such as Social Security plan, or more complex investment issues such as IRA conversions. There seem to be statements that tax and estate advice is a no-no though ...
by GmanJeff
Tue Mar 09, 2021 7:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's It Really Like to Work With Vanguard's Personal Advisory Service?
Replies: 112
Views: 9015

Re: What's It Really Like to Work With Vanguard's Personal Advisory Service?

You may find it helpful to search for and review the many prior threads on this topic.

Vanguard itself describes the service thus: https://personal.vanguard.com/pdf/vpabroc.pdf
by GmanJeff
Mon Mar 08, 2021 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Estate (Home) clean-out after my parents passing - tips and best practices?
Replies: 53
Views: 5831

Re: Estate (Home) clean-out after my parents passing - tips and best practices?

I went through the apartment to identify and remove cash and documents which I reviewed and mostly discarded later at my leisure. I also took those items I wanted. Then, I brought in: https://www.wayforth.com/ They identified and moved items suitable for auction to a auction house, donated items to ...
by GmanJeff
Sun Mar 07, 2021 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Major Disruptions To Retirement Income and How To Mitigate
Replies: 52
Views: 4343

Re: Major Disruptions To Retirement Income and How To Mitigate

Don't retire on a knife-edge financially, where your retirement income and assets are sufficient for your immediate needs but not for later-life large unanticipated expenses which may occur with varying degrees of probability. As you note, you can insure against some kinds of potentially otherwise c...
by GmanJeff
Sat Mar 06, 2021 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home fire safe or safe deposit box?
Replies: 28
Views: 2228

Re: Home fire safe or safe deposit box?

Another Liberty Safe owner here, also a Lincoln 40. It weighs 954 lbs and is supposed to protect contents for 110 minutes at 1200 degrees. Useful for storing valuables of different kinds in addition to documents, and certainly more convenient to access than a safe deposit box. If you use a small fir...
by GmanJeff
Sat Mar 06, 2021 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Daughter taking a Job in DC - where to live?
Replies: 111
Views: 7150

Re: Daughter taking a Job in DC - where to live?

Consider living near the Silver Line. There are many new apartments and condos going up in the Mc Lean and Tyson's areas, and out the Dulles Toll Road/Rt. 267 corridor out to and beyond Dulles Airport. Others have already mentioned Ballston and the closer-in neighborhoods which are more crowded, mo...
by GmanJeff
Sat Mar 06, 2021 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Daughter taking a Job in DC - where to live?
Replies: 111
Views: 7150

Re: Daughter taking a Job in DC - where to live?

Consider living near the Silver Line. There are many new apartments and condos going up in the Mc Lean and Tyson's areas, and out the Dulles Toll Road/Rt. 267 corridor out to and beyond Dulles Airport. Others have already mentioned Ballston and the closer-in neighborhoods which are more crowded, mor...
by GmanJeff
Sun Feb 28, 2021 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal Finances and Minimalism
Replies: 52
Views: 5907

Re: Personal Finances and Minimalism

You cope by recognizing that risk of the type you fear is minimal. Not zero, but not enough to mitigate through greater complexity and inconvenience. Risk is a calculation which takes into account the value of an asset, the probability of an adverse event, and the impact of that event. In the case y...
by GmanJeff
Fri Feb 26, 2021 5:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend nightly for hotels (leisure/vacation)?
Replies: 213
Views: 12799

Re: How much do you spend nightly for hotels (leisure/vacation)?

In Europe it's Relais & Chateaux, Four Seasons, or similar properties. Same in the U.S. if going on a destination vacation. If just stopping on the road en route to somewhere while driving, any mid-price reputable hotel. If on my motorcycle, as another posting said, cheap and cheerful does just ...
by GmanJeff
Fri Feb 19, 2021 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: best wristwatch for the price
Replies: 184
Views: 17394

Re: best wristwatch for the price

For something relatively inexpensive, a Timex Marlin mechanical watch. Classic, somewhat retro looks which would not be out of place in an office environment. It's hard to argue with Rolex, if affordable, as they are generally accepted to be universally recognizable signals of success and accomplish...
by GmanJeff
Tue Feb 16, 2021 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best golf bag/push cart combo
Replies: 9
Views: 561

Re: Best golf bag/push cart combo

I use and like this one. Very maneuverable. https://www.bagboy.com/collections/bag- ... -push-cart
by GmanJeff
Tue Feb 16, 2021 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: home security camera
Replies: 56
Views: 4696

Re: home security camera

I recently installed some Eufy doorbell cameras. I liked them so much I bought some outdoor cameras as well and plan to buy some indoor cameras when I catch a sale (happens about once a month on Amazon etc.). Local hosting, all camera types appear in one phone app, no monthly fees, reviews generall...
by GmanJeff
Tue Feb 16, 2021 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Assisted Living Expenses
Replies: 45
Views: 4443

Re: Assisted Living Expenses

Costs can be quite variable, depending not only on local market conditions but on the nature of the specific accommodations desired and level of service needed. In a well-regarded suburban CCRC near me, Assisted Living starts at $6381/month for a studio and can go as high as $9802/month for a 2-bedr...
by GmanJeff
Sun Feb 14, 2021 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial tools mentioned on the forum - strengths and weaknesses
Replies: 38
Views: 4997

Re: Financial tools mentioned on the forum - strengths and weaknesses

I consider this a useful resource, even if different in character from on-line calculators already cited. It provides a way to compare one's own historical returns with those of a range of low-cost robo and hybrid-robo advisory services: https://www.backendbenchmarking.com/the-robo-report/
by GmanJeff
Fri Feb 12, 2021 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Build or buy a home?
Replies: 50
Views: 5665

Re: Build or buy a home?

Be mindful of the potential impact on resale of building something which is too idiosyncratic. It is sometimes the case that people who build to satisfy their specific and perhaps even unique tastes and/or perceived needs later find themselves with a property which does not appeal to many other peop...
by GmanJeff
Thu Feb 04, 2021 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Continue with VPAS or Self Manage
Replies: 16
Views: 755

Re: Continue with VPAS or Self Manage

It depends. The cost is relatively trivial, but it is a cost. If you'll be as attentive to your portfolio without the quarterly scheduled PAS reviews, and do not have any need for investment or financial advice, and do not expect any need for counsel when adjusting your asset allocation or specific...
by GmanJeff
Thu Feb 04, 2021 8:42 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Continue with VPAS or Self Manage
Replies: 16
Views: 755

Re: Continue with VPAS or Self Manage

It depends. The cost is relatively trivial, but it is a cost. If you'll be as attentive to your portfolio without the quarterly scheduled PAS reviews, and do not have any need for investment or financial advice, and do not expect any need for counsel when adjusting your asset allocation or specific ...
by GmanJeff
Tue Feb 02, 2021 8:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Building our retirement home
Replies: 102
Views: 7166

Re: Building our retirement home

We envision hiring a caregiver(s) . . . In addition to the proximity to hospitals/specialists as noted by a ton of previous posts, you may want to think through the practical realities of aging-in-place, particularly if you intend to hire caregivers. A number of elderly relatives (including my late...
by GmanJeff
Mon Feb 01, 2021 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any suggestions on reliable Recumbent/ Seated Elliptical bikes?
Replies: 15
Views: 973

Re: Any suggestions on reliable Recumbent/ Seated Elliptical bikes?

https://www.lifefitness.com/en-us/life- ... bent-bikes

I have owned one from this brand for about 7 years and have had no problems with it.
by GmanJeff
Sat Jan 30, 2021 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone prefer their old golf clubs?
Replies: 54
Views: 4218

Re: Anyone prefer their old golf clubs?

The better approach would be to take your clubs and go for a fitting. It may be that one or the other set can be adjusted to improve performance and feel, or you might find that a new product is better yet after being fitted to you. Measured objectively, newer equipment generally outperforms gear wh...
by GmanJeff
Sat Jan 23, 2021 6:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any recs for HIGH quality webcams? Has to be better then a Macbook Pro webcam
Replies: 15
Views: 1218

Re: Any recs for HIGH quality webcams? Has to be better then a Macbook Pro webcam

I too have a Brio and find it more than adequate for on-line meetings. Image quality and resolution is noticeably superior to most alternatives. With good lighting it leaves little to be desired.
by GmanJeff
Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Housing advice - current plan not working
Replies: 47
Views: 2753

Re: Housing advice - current plan not working

A high crime environment of the type you describe hardly seems conducive to a good quality of life. The personal risk seems significant, you're finding your freedom of movement constrained, and the psychological impact of living under such circumstances may take a toll even if you manage avoid being...
by GmanJeff
Fri Jan 22, 2021 7:08 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: UHNW Investors using Vanguard PAS?
Replies: 34
Views: 2599

Re: UHNW Investors using Vanguard PAS?

PAS could work well for you. As you are aware, the fee for investment management is very reasonable, and you'll benefit from an assigned advisor who handles only larger portfolios and who is consequently likely to be familiar with the types of issues typically of concern to such clients. Vanguard's ...
by GmanJeff
Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Shopping around for umbrella insurance
Replies: 10
Views: 793

Re: Shopping around for umbrella insurance

As exodus suggests, above, check first with your homeowner's insurance provider. In the case of USAA, for example, they will provide the first $5M in coverage, and then will coordinate with a second carrier for however much excess you want.
by GmanJeff
Tue Jan 19, 2021 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Continue using Vanguard Personal Advisor Services?
Replies: 41
Views: 4370

Re: Continue using Vanguard Personal Advisor Services?

I am curious about the services that PAS provides. For estate planning, $36,000 will get you a lot of time with top level lawyers. Since you need the lawyers anyway, unclear what PAS is contributing. What, exactly, did PAS contribute? Did they give you something that your estate planning attorneys ...
by GmanJeff
Tue Jan 19, 2021 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Don't enjoy being a federal supervisor: is the problem with me?
Replies: 30
Views: 3951

Re: Don't enjoy being a federal supervisor: is the problem with me?

What are your ambitions? If you'd like to eventually rise to a SES/SIS level position where you can make policy, set priorities, goals, and objectives, and influence the work environment more widely, you need to keep moving forward to achieve that. If you just want to put it enough time to qualify f...
by GmanJeff
Mon Jan 18, 2021 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Family support for an artist
Replies: 188
Views: 10965

Re: Family support for an artist

What do your other children think? Thought exercise: Why should that matter? Can the parents do whatever they want with their money? Do the parents have any obligation to discuss their affairs with anyone else? It's your money. Parents can do whatever they want to do with their money. However, fami...
by GmanJeff
Mon Jan 18, 2021 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Family support for an artist
Replies: 188
Views: 10965

Re: Family support for an artist

[/quote] Parents who can support themselves in retirement is a gift many, if not most, children would appreciate. Broken Man 1999 [/quote] This merits further reflection by the OP. Aging does not always happen gracefully or inexpensively. Dementia, other physical ailments, unexpected longevity and e...