Search found 1826 matches

by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reverse Snowbirds?
Replies: 35
Views: 4474

Re: Reverse Snowbirds?

You might look into renting a summer home in a college town up north. Faculty often head out for the summer to do research and the like. Sabbaticalhomes.com might turn up some possibilities.
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Dec 10, 2019 8:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $1.05 fee for changing my address?
Replies: 23
Views: 3687

Re: $1.05 fee for changing my address?

On a similar topic, you can’t submit a mail hold anymore by just filling out a web form. You now have to create a USPS account. Always thought the prior method was ripe for pranking. When I last tried this (a month ago), I needed to wait for a mailed verification number and then log into my account...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Dec 06, 2019 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Part D Plan? Seeking advice.
Replies: 21
Views: 1200

Re: Medicare Part D Plan? Seeking advice.

Thank you all - I will pass on all your suggestions and thoughts including FIREchief's mention of GoodRx. I assume you are talking about https://www.goodrx.com/ ? I hadn't heard of that. It sounds like it has a saved a few folks some $$$. But GoodRx is not creditable coverage, when your friend does...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Toyota loyalty cash work around question
Replies: 19
Views: 1958

Re: Toyota loyalty cash work around question

How about titling the new vehicle in both your names then a month later taking Dad off of it??
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Nov 02, 2019 6:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does leasing make sense in this case?
Replies: 48
Views: 3367

Re: Does leasing make sense in this case?

I have never seen an example where leasing (at that point) made economic sense personally (although for business it might). Until recently, I shared that thought but have found that there are times when leasing is less expensive than purchasing. It takes a bit of research and some willingness to be...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Nov 01, 2019 8:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What frugal thing did you do today?
Replies: 1503
Views: 178614

Re: What frugal thing did you do today?

After roaming through town to retrieve bags of leaves left for town pickup, I brought the leaves home (frugal action #1) to use as compost browns and once I emptied the leaves into my storage bin, I carefully folded up the paper bags to use again (frugal action #2).
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Oct 27, 2019 6:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Talk to me about electric heating on a solar home
Replies: 18
Views: 1783

Re: Talk to me about electric heating on a solar home

All these calculations are based on the best ideas on how rates are going to change in the future. One trend that has emerged as more dispersed generation has increased, is the shift to electric rates shifting away from a kWh basis and towards things like delivery and meter charges. These latter are...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Considering Foregoing Medicare Part B to Make Roth Conversions
Replies: 8
Views: 1179

Re: Considering Foregoing Medicare Part B to Make Roth Conversions

I believe the FEHB would exempt them from the penalty of late enrollment
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SodaStream: a good replacement for Costco Kirkland sparkling water?
Replies: 26
Views: 4423

Re: SodaStream: a good replacement for Costco Kirkland sparkling water?

Or the DIY approach, invest about $120 and make seltzer for about $.02 a bottle. The link below gets you the hardware, you also need to purchase a CO2 tank; each refill of the tank is about $20, we are going on 18 months with ours and still plenty of gas left. https://www.kegman.net/home-seltzer-kit/
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Oct 14, 2019 6:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 1 week camping tour, Phoenix-El Paso, suggestions?
Replies: 21
Views: 1613

Re: 1 week camping tour, Phoenix-El Paso, suggestions?

Will you actually do any camping or will you be sleeping in your van? Do you want to be at a spot with running water in a restroom or will you be happy to park at a trail head and do primitive camping? Do you need to have paid-for spot in a state or national park? You can go to Big Bend and the Chi...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Oct 14, 2019 5:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 1 week camping tour, Phoenix-El Paso, suggestions?
Replies: 21
Views: 1613

Re: 1 week camping tour, Phoenix-El Paso, suggestions?

Lots of great ideas, thanks>

I am driving a small van, Ford Econoline size so no worries about adjusting to pulling or maneuvering any big rig!
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 1 week camping tour, Phoenix-El Paso, suggestions?
Replies: 21
Views: 1613

Re: 1 week camping tour, Phoenix-El Paso, suggestions?

Thanks for the replies, keep them coming.

I will be leaving Phoenix on November 7 and getting to ElPaso on the 14th. Any suggestions for a camping sot an hour or two east of Phoenix??
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Oct 13, 2019 6:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 1 week camping tour, Phoenix-El Paso, suggestions?
Replies: 21
Views: 1613

1 week camping tour, Phoenix-El Paso, suggestions?

I am renting a basic camper in Phoenix and taking a week to get to El Paso (where I meet a friend and head down to Big Bend). I will be looking for decent hiking, some interesting food experiences, and having some interactions with residents. Does anyone have some ideas of where to stop along the wa...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Oct 02, 2019 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Craigslist apartments in NYC, too cheap to be true!
Replies: 8
Views: 1533

Re: Craigslist apartments in NYC, too cheap to be true!

Obviously the poster has never been to NYC. CL does not monitor ads, except maybe by some AI. These are obvious scams. There may be some legitimate vacation rentals on craigslist, but anyone posting there must know that they will be suspect. So CL is not a good place to find a vacation rental. Oh m...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Craigslist apartments in NYC, too cheap to be true!
Replies: 8
Views: 1533

Craigslist apartments in NYC, too cheap to be true!

Ads for big, lux apartments for $100 a night, written in not standard English, and incorrect references to services, etc. Like this one: The subway is located really close to the apartment with direct connections to all the main lines (red, blue, orange and yellow). I can take numbers, letters or ev...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Oct 01, 2019 6:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Humana Part D - ILLINOIS - premiums up up up
Replies: 94
Views: 10201

Re: Humana Part D - ILLINOIS - premiums up up up

Medicare rules changed for Part D,I think it explains the increases (I got such a notice as well)

[urlhttps://www.medicare.gov/drug-coverage-part-d/c ... rough-2020[/url]
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Oct 01, 2019 6:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AA batteries (in a blood pressure monitor for example)
Replies: 39
Views: 3442

Re: AA batteries (in a blood pressure monitor for example)

When the batteries n my blood pressure cuff died, I replaced with rechargeables. Immediately my reading skyrocketed, I switched them for "use and dispose" ad things returned to normal. They were not enloops if that matters.
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Sep 21, 2019 8:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flexible cheap flights
Replies: 6
Views: 759

Re: Flexible cheap flights

02nz wrote: Sat Sep 21, 2019 8:23 pm Doesn't Google Flights' fare calendar do pretty much exactly what you're asking for?
Indeed, put in your city pairs and estimate date and the calendar will show the fares for a month; scroll to the next month and fares will show once again.
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Sep 21, 2019 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking at a new (used) car!
Replies: 15
Views: 1569

Re: Looking at a new (used) car!

telecaster wrote: Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:52 pm Well, cheap as I am, ... we are looking to replace my wife's 2007 civic. It has 160k miles and plenty of life left in it, but we have a young child now and need something with more room and better snow handling.
What sort of snow tires are you installing in winter??
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used Tesla S or new Tesla 3?
Replies: 40
Views: 3924

Re: Used Tesla S or new Tesla 3?

I am 6'3" and cannot sit upright in the rear seat of the S, in the 3, no problem. The S is wider but not being able to put a tallish person in the rear was decisive.
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Berkshires or Finger Lakes?
Replies: 15
Views: 2080

Re: The Berkshires or Finger Lakes?

Another vote for the Finger Lakes. I grew up close to Ithaca, great town. There are many outdoor activities. Some personal favorites: 1. Taughannock Falls: This park is just outside Ithaca and is a great little hike either up the gorge on the bottom, or from the top. Highest single drop waterfall e...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Sep 04, 2019 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alumni donations to help children get into college
Replies: 64
Views: 6183

Re: Alumni donations to help children get into college

Roughly 30 percent of the seats in every Harvard class go to athletes, legacies, the children of faculty and applicants on the dean’s interest list, composed in large part of the children of donors.
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/28/maga ... rvard.html
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Aug 17, 2019 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving for better public schools?
Replies: 64
Views: 6066

Re: Moving for better public schools?

Keep in mind that for college acceptance, many private and upper-tier public schools will be over-represented in the applicant pool. Think Newton, MA, Millburn, NJ, Shaker Heights, OH.... But a student from East Podunk with good grades and the like can stand out as the schools seek geographic divers...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Aug 04, 2019 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Purchasing vehicle that was bought back by Audi
Replies: 7
Views: 895

Re: Purchasing vehicle that was bought back by Audi

THANK YOU all for the responses, you have brought me back to my senses. I have taken an oath, several times, never again buy a VW/Audi product but then, like a crack head, I am back on the lot of the Audi/VW dealer kicking tires.
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Aug 04, 2019 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Purchasing vehicle that was bought back by Audi
Replies: 7
Views: 895

Purchasing vehicle that was bought back by Audi

I am looking at Q7 Audi and have found a couple of low mileage examples (less than 5000 miles) for a good price. The two ads have verbiage such as this: Please note that back in April, Volkswagen Group of America reacquired this vehicle due to a customer complaint concerning the Malfunction Indicato...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Aug 02, 2019 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lightweight, small, window ACs with well-designed installation?
Replies: 9
Views: 1202

Re: Lightweight, small, window ACs with well-designed installation?

I share Nisi's interest, we get about 8-10 nights a summer when a window ac in the bedroom would be desired. One of his requirements was a unit that could be easily mounted and unmounted on an as-needed basis. None of the comments specifically addressed this matter.
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Odyessey Service questions
Replies: 4
Views: 487

Re: Honda Odyessey Service questions

Hi, I went for oil change for my Honday Odyessey after 3 years. I haven't driven the car much..just 20K miles. The guy said, we will need to change transmission fluid, brake fluid and power steering fluid giving me estimate of around $800. In my Camry, I changed these fluids whenever required, may ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Login for citicard-Citibank [login problems]
Replies: 19
Views: 2046

Re: Login for citicard-Citibank [login problems]

One thing I have found is that the main login page will NOT work with Lastpass. The password always comes back wrong, but if I copy/paste the same exact thing it will log in fine. Ibuavent tried any other password managers yet. Lastpass and Citi work fine for me, logs me right in. I am inclined to ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Jul 22, 2019 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tablet/cell phone combo
Replies: 14
Views: 1515

Re: Tablet/cell phone combo

Chuwi HiPro 9, 8 inch tab. Android,and space for a sim. Not a bad device, high resolution, slmost stock android. Just be sure to get one with the x23 processor, $120
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any experience with carbargains.org?
Replies: 7
Views: 976

Re: Any experience with carbargains.org?

I am not sure that these sort of operations get you a "fair" price, not to mention a "best" price. They are too big and too impersonal to have developed relations with a few dealers. I have been intrigued by some of the brokers at https://forum.leasehackr.com/ , although they do ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Jul 14, 2019 7:56 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Grandparent 529s
Replies: 29
Views: 2670

Re: Grandparent 529s

I also fund 529s for grandchildren, but I get a state (NY) deduction for the $10k I deposit each year. Absent that benefit, I doubt I would fund these, prefer the flexibility of after-tax accounts. It would take some selection process to avoid large capital gains but, for me, this is manageable.
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Hyundai the value sweet spot?
Replies: 139
Views: 16443

Re: Is Hyundai the value sweet spot?

The Hyundai I rented had a pronounced valve tick, handled poorly, and had an odd throttle response. All issues, which I believe, fall outside the parameters of trim level. Not sure about the Hyundai, but engines with direct injection will produce a sound similar to a "valve click" or valv...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Hyundai the value sweet spot?
Replies: 139
Views: 16443

Re: Is Hyundai the value sweet spot?

The Hyundai I rented had a pronounced valve tick, handled poorly, and had an odd throttle response. All issues, which I believe, fall outside the parameters of trim level. Not sure about the Hyundai, but engines with direct injection will produce a sound similar to a "valve click" or valv...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Hyundai the value sweet spot?
Replies: 139
Views: 16443

Re: Is Hyundai the value sweet spot?

El Greco wrote: Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:45 am The Hyundai I rented had a pronounced valve tick, handled poorly, and had an odd throttle response. All issues, which I believe, fall outside the parameters of trim level.
Not sure about the Hyundai, but engines with direct injection will produce a sound similar to a "valve click".
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Automatic Watches
Replies: 92
Views: 7709

Re: Automatic Watches

Another convert to a Citizen Eco-Drive, charged by the sun (or any light), sets itself every night at 2 AM, and has a second array with a different time zone. The battery is not supposed to need changing, who knows??

Also shows the day of the week and date
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting Buffalo,NY / Niagara Falls area - things to see and do?
Replies: 46
Views: 3173

Re: Visiting Buffalo,NY / Niagara Falls area - things to see and do?

Bring passports so you can drive to the Canadian side. The US falls look better, and that’s why you want to drive over the border. Other things I liked to take visitors to see while on the Canadian side (worked in Buffalo in the 70s) is the drive up to Niagara On The Lake, and over to the Welland C...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gifting and tax form - mechanics for a couple
Replies: 2
Views: 432

Re: Gifting and tax form - mechanics for a couple

One check for $30k will do fine if it is written on a joint account
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Jun 29, 2019 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: where do I make 2008 Honda CRV Keys
Replies: 12
Views: 1075

Re: where do I make 2008 Honda CRV Keys

WD40 is not the product for balky locks, need some graphite material, i shave a pencil.
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Jun 24, 2019 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used Minivan - Recommendations?
Replies: 34
Views: 2080

Re: Used Minivan - Recommendations?

I see ex-l for #33k, lx for $28k or so, new.
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Jun 22, 2019 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First Class Seats Domestic USA
Replies: 26
Views: 2354

Re: First Class Seats Domestic USA

Once you have narrowed down your choice, go to seatguru.com and check for the seats on your flights. They get very specific as to aircraft although the airlines have been known to switch equipment.
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Jun 22, 2019 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: what was your worst major purchase? mine is a 2019 mazda3
Replies: 182
Views: 19048

Re: what was your worst major purchase mine is a 2019 mazda3

Hard to choose: My first reaction was an Audi 100 LS bought new in 1974. What a lemon! And no relief from Volkswagen of America. Since we are very happy with the home now (and wouldn't consider moving) but I hope that Audi was crushed to the size of a baseball in some junkyard, I guess my final ans...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Jun 19, 2019 7:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Subaru Ascent vs Toyota Highlander...
Replies: 37
Views: 4872

Re: Subaru Ascent vs Toyota Highlander...

What's the real issue here? Dealership location, reliability, or comfort of vehicles? Dealership location. She has driven an Acura but could get serviced locally at Honda dealership but don’t know if she would be happy driving 120 miles round trip for routine maintenance with a Subaru. The dealersh...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Jun 19, 2019 7:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Subaru Ascent vs Toyota Highlander...
Replies: 37
Views: 4872

Re: Subaru Ascent vs Toyota Highlander...

What's the real issue here? Dealership location, reliability, or comfort of vehicles? Dealership location. She has driven an Acura but could get serviced locally at Honda dealership but don’t know if she would be happy driving 120 miles round trip for routine maintenance with a Subaru. The dealersh...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Subaru Ascent vs Toyota Highlander...
Replies: 37
Views: 4872

Re: Subaru Ascent vs Toyota Highlander...

And the Eyesight and adaptive cruise is amazing. Almost all cars have adaptive cruise control nowadays, so it is not something special about Subarus anymore. Eyesight is visible light, but others use radar. Lane assist, blind spot monitoring, cross traffic warning are available in almost all late m...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: bizarre letter from Vanguard
Replies: 17
Views: 4524

Re: bizarre letter from Vanguard

The phone number?? I go to my dialer and enter 826 (=VAN) and the number appears, no need to go to website at all.
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: HSA - Save Reciepts When Paying Bills?
Replies: 36
Views: 2679

Re: HSA - Save Reciepts When Paying Bills?

I never use the debit card associated with the HSA; I wait for a bill Once everyone else has paid or not paid their share) and then do a billpay from the HSA to the provider. Check is made out to Alice B Toklas Physical Therapy, what could go wrong? :happy
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of mini split installation? [Ductless Air Conditioning/ Heat]
Replies: 36
Views: 4067

Re: Cost of mini split installation?

I volunteer in my locale (cold weather, similar to Boston) with the local extension program to help people make good energy choices. I have focused on mini-splits the past year and while no expert have gleaned some essentials. 1) Many installers lack experience in sizing and installing systems. This...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Laptop/Surface Pro - $1,000 +/-
Replies: 14
Views: 1204

Re: Best Laptop/Surface Pro - $1,000 +/-

When the keyboard on my 4 (?) year old ThinkPad went(x230), I bought a new one for $40 and had it installed in 10 minutes. Try that on a Mac (or most other consumer grade machines). Go with the old style ThinkPad (NOT the Carbon) and it will run for a very long time (I still have a vintage 2006 mach...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question on Plug-in Hybrid tax credit
Replies: 12
Views: 1411

Re: Question on Plug-in Hybrid tax credit

Update. I test drove a 2018 Honda Clarity today and I decided to pass. I really wanted the $7,500 tax rebate. The car does not have an EV button. From the information on the web, my understanding is that if I turn Sport and HV modes off and turn on Econ mode, I will be in EV Mode as long as there i...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun May 26, 2019 7:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moto G7 Review after 2 days
Replies: 12
Views: 2133

Re: Moto G7 Review after 2 days

Google Voice??