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Re: Recurring utility bills - How do you pay?

Our utility bills (elec+water, gas, and phone+internet) are paid automatically each month by automatic debit from our joint checking account. We set them up nearly 27 years ago when we moved into this house, before online bill-pay existed. How were those internet speeds in 1988? :wink: At that time...
by 22twain
Sun Mar 29, 2015 9:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recurring utility bills - How do you pay?
Replies: 43
Views: 2924

Re: Recurring utility bills - How do you pay?

Our utility bills (elec+water, gas, and phone+internet) are paid automatically each month by automatic debit from our joint checking account. We set them up nearly 27 years ago when we moved into this house, before online bill-pay existed.
by 22twain
Sat Mar 28, 2015 1:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recurring utility bills - How do you pay?
Replies: 43
Views: 2924

Re: How Do You Watch Television?

I am very impressed by the 16 percent who don't use cable, satellite, or streaming. I don't know how that can work. Do these folks spend a lot of time reading? My wife and I still both work, so we can't watch TV during the day. During supper and afterwards we usually watch a local and a national ne...
by 22twain
Mon Mar 23, 2015 10:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Do You Watch Television?
Replies: 81
Views: 5534

Re: How Do You Watch Television?

OTA TV is all digital nowadays, except for a small number of low-power stations which will have to convert by sometime this year, I think. TiVo records the digital data stream as received, with no degradation. Cable and satellite providers often compress the signal that they receive from OTA broadca...
by 22twain
Sun Mar 22, 2015 3:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Do You Watch Television?
Replies: 81
Views: 5534

Re: Hearse as daily driver?

123 wrote:Would be a great vehicle to use as a camper. You'd have all the room in the back to stretch out, relax, and sleep at night.


I bet thieves would be less likely to bother you, too! :D
by 22twain
Fri Mar 20, 2015 11:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hearse as daily driver?
Replies: 58
Views: 3724

Re: Estimating LTCG/dividend taxes in early retirement

Right, remember the ~$75k boundary applies only to the capital gains, not to the total proceeds from selling your mutual funds. Return of your original capital is not taxable, whether at the 15% rate or the 0% rate. That's because you've presumably already paid income tax on the money that you used ...
by 22twain
Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Estimating LTCG/dividend taxes in early retirement
Replies: 8
Views: 726

Re: What's a good digital antenna?

Trev H wrote:Many of them are in 1080p, some in 720


Broadcast HD channels are always 1080i (not 1080p) or 720p. SD subchannels are 480i.
by 22twain
Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's a good digital antenna?
Replies: 28
Views: 2110

Re: Target Retirement Income Fund vs 3-fund portfolio

I think the name "income" just indicates it is the last in the series - the lowest percentage of stocks, the greatest percentage of bonds - the allocation that is most likely to give steady income from the bond dividends. I think in general, "income" in a mutual fund name indica...
by 22twain
Sun Mar 15, 2015 11:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Target Retirement Income Fund vs 3-fund portfolio
Replies: 12
Views: 1602

Re: Best Classical Music Box Sets?

Like RCA Living Stereo, Mercury Living Presence was well known in its day (1950s-60s) for sound quality, and had high-quality artists, although perhaps not as prestigious overall as RCA. I've gotten a lot of enjoyment out of the two MLP box sets that have appeared so far (about 50 CDs each). A third...
by 22twain
Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Classical Music Box Sets?
Replies: 29
Views: 1998

Re: How do you store your photos?

Several replies imply that folks are scanning prints. That's like making a photocopy of a photocopy. Take the negatives and slides to a scanning service - my local Costco did a fantastic job on my many hundreds of negatives and slides from the pre-digital era. I really get excellent copies of photo...
by 22twain
Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to store/archive old photos?
Replies: 29
Views: 2488

Re: How much did you have saved up for retirement at age 30?

I started my first retirement account at age 30. At this point I had been college teaching for one year after finishing graduate school, and became eligible for my first employer's TIAA-CREF plan. So at age 30 I didn't have anything saved up specifically for retirement, although I did have a couple ...
by 22twain
Thu Feb 26, 2015 1:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much did you have saved up for retirement at age 30?
Replies: 173
Views: 13247

Re: TIAA-CREF annuities.

There's no reason to keep money in the annuity funds if you prefer the mutual funds. And if you have the mutual funds available to you in your employer's retirement plan. I don't. My employer's plan includes only the retirement annuities: TIAA Traditional and Real Estate; CREF Stock, Bond Market, E...
by 22twain
Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:35 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA-CREF annuities.
Replies: 30
Views: 1647

Re: Expense Ratio Regarding my Vanguard Prime Money Market F

Vanguard is probably waiving the expense ratio for your money market fund, i.e. not actually reducing your balance because of it. Still, I wouldn't keep a significant amount of money in there long-term instead of investing it or putting it in a CD or savings account that actually pays interest. The ...
by 22twain
Sat Feb 21, 2015 8:52 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Expense Ratio Regarding my Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund
Replies: 12
Views: 1173

Re: Do you watch commercials?

Ron Ronnerson wrote:I DVR everything and skip the commercials too.


So do we, except that we're suckers for cats and cows, so if we see those, we skip back to watch (Chick-Fil-A, Fancy Feast, etc.). 8-)
by 22twain
Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you watch commercials?
Replies: 42
Views: 2003

Re: Update: Scanning 35 mm slides and film

You might investigate Ed Hamrick's VueScan software and see if it's compatible with your scanner: http://www.hamrick.com/ I've used it for over ten years with my Nikon film scanner and three different flatbed scanners. One advantage for me is that it provides the same interface for all scanners that...
by 22twain
Fri Feb 20, 2015 12:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Update: Scanning 35 mm slides and film
Replies: 13
Views: 1845

Re: Upgrading from VG investor to admiral shares

If those funds have ETF versions, buy those instead. Their ERs are the same as the Admiral shares. Schwab's brokerage commissions are surely less than their fee for buying the "normal" funds.
by 22twain
Thu Feb 19, 2015 5:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Upgrading from VG investor to admiral shares
Replies: 9
Views: 755

Re: What is "Money market settlement fund" on Sign-Up screen

yes, I guess it is like that. But then the fund won't be available immediately, right? maybe one has to wait to the next day to use that money to buy ETF or stock? Correct. When you sell a (non-ETF) mutual fund, the sale doesn't actually take place until the end of the current trading day. If you s...
by 22twain
Wed Feb 18, 2015 6:34 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What is "Money market settlement fund" on Sign-Up screen?
Replies: 17
Views: 1374

Re: New to Index Funds

It would help if you could tell us something about your overall situation, and at least a ballpark figure for how much money is involved. It makes a difference whether you're a young person with a few thousand extra dollars in a checking account, or an older person, maybe near retirement, with a few...
by 22twain
Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:46 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New to Index Funds
Replies: 12
Views: 1041

Re: Any alternative ways of creating income? Life insuran ma

DG99999 wrote:Nisiprius - we have to get you a ¢ sign . . . [Windows instructions]


nisiprius wrote:I tried it. It didn't work. Probably because I have a Mac.


Under Mac OS (US keyboard layout) it's option-4 (a.k.a. alt-4): ¢
by 22twain
Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any alternative ways of creating income? Life insuran maybe?
Replies: 26
Views: 2566

Re: Cheap web hosting

Do you have a domain name (or two) for your sites already? In case you don't know this already, domain name service is separate from / in addition to web hosting service, although most web-hosting providers can handle both for you. I recently had to move my personal site (about 200 hand-coded pages,...
by 22twain
Sun Feb 08, 2015 12:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap web hosting
Replies: 15
Views: 1026

Re: When they say 10%.... [all to retirement accounts?]

your lump of savings may very well be better put to use reducing certain debts, if you have them. If you have a loan with an interest rate of x%, then paying off that loan immediately is like investing that money with a guaranteed return of x%. The drawback is that you can't "withdraw" th...
by 22twain
Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When they say 10%.... [all to retirement accounts?]
Replies: 20
Views: 2670

Re: Mom, Don't Throw It Out!

I was joking about this with our postal person, and she advised, as a further joke "just use a three cent stamp, the machine won't care". Those old three-centers came out before the advent of phosphor-tagged stamps, and stamp-cancelling machines that detected them in order to orient the e...
by 22twain
Wed Feb 04, 2015 3:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mom, Don't Throw It Out!
Replies: 22
Views: 3527

Re: Very Basic Question about AUM

A more interesting question (and the answer varies by adviser) is when the fees are reduced for higher amounts of assets, does the lower percentage apply to the entire portfolio, or just the amount over the threshold. For example, if an adviser charges 1.5% up to $1 Million, 1% up to $2 Million, an...
by 22twain
Wed Feb 04, 2015 3:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Very Basic Question about AUM
Replies: 6
Views: 548

Re: What age did you become financially independent of paren

My parents paid for my tuition, room and board while I was in college in the early 1970s. When I started grad school at 21, I supported myself with an assistantship (first teaching, later research). From that point on, I was financially independent except for a few gifts. For example, when my parent...
by 22twain
Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What age did you become financially independent of parents?
Replies: 68
Views: 4790

Re: What age did you move out?

I put down 22 because that's when I graduated from college (undergraduate), where my parents paid for my tuition and dormitory fees etc., and started graduate school, where I paid for my own apartment out of my stipend. When I was in college, it was close enough that I spent about every second weeke...
by 22twain
Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What age did you move out?
Replies: 117
Views: 5277

Re: What mutual fund companies do you use?

I did not invest at all outside my 403(b) plan until four years ago. At that time, I put some money that I had inherited into T. Rowe Price mutual funds, mainly because my father had used TRP for many years, going back to around 1970 when I was still in high school. I've since moved all that money i...
by 22twain
Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:49 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What mutual fund companies do you use?
Replies: 63
Views: 3258

Re: Milevsky's got me thinking immediate annuity????

SocSec plus pension plus those pesky RMDs (coming once you turn 70) covers the $5K spending. I wouldn't lump RMDs together with SS and pension. RMDs aren't really income; they're just a forced transfer of assets that you already have, from pre-tax to post-tax status. The IRS doesn't care whether yo...
by 22twain
Wed Jan 14, 2015 9:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Milevsky's got me thinking immediate annuity????
Replies: 28
Views: 2530

Re: Can someone explain ETF vs Index?

The difference in share prices is mostly irrelevant. If you have the same dollar value in the two versions of the fund, you hold the same amount of underlying assets, simply divided up differently. VTI could do a 2:1 split in which case you would have twice as many shares at half the price per share...
by 22twain
Wed Jan 07, 2015 9:39 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can someone explain ETF vs Index?
Replies: 16
Views: 1106

Re: U.S. stocks in freefall

For those of us who missed the train when it pulled out the station after this thread was started, we can only hope this is the beginning of a freefall back to the future. I've got my cash reserves waiting (if I can remember where I put them). :D Last month, the Dow dropped 900 points in two weeks,...
by 22twain
Mon Jan 05, 2015 4:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks in freefall
Replies: 1225
Views: 229876

Re: Can we retire in 2018? Should we change asset allocation

3. Should we contribute less to our retirement plans to build up savings to pay for living expenses the first 5 years of retirement? What are your estimated living expenses per year? That's a rather important figure in calculations like this, and I don't see it anywhere. Unless of course I overlook...
by 22twain
Thu Jan 01, 2015 11:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can we retire in 2018? Should we change asset allocation?
Replies: 6
Views: 1369

Re: Best albums from 2014?

For classical music, the bargain of the year is a "complete" set of Haydn string quartets, recorded by the Festetics Quartet, the equivalent of 19 CDs as high-quality MP3 downloads for $9.99: http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=9400582&style=classical&setpref=mp3 I put &q...
by 22twain
Thu Jan 01, 2015 2:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best albums from 2014?
Replies: 63
Views: 5660

Re: Do you usually order beverage at restaurants?

If it's breakfast, I usually order coffee. Otherwise, just water. I seldom order dessert because I'm usually full after the meal and have no desire to add dessert on top of it.
by 22twain
Sun Dec 28, 2014 12:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you usually order (not-free) beverage at restaurants?
Replies: 89
Views: 7740

Re: POLL: What are your monthly food expenses?

CFM300 wrote:a 6-pack of craft beef


That brings an interesting image to mind. :)
by 22twain
Wed Dec 24, 2014 1:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: What are your monthly food expenses?
Replies: 67
Views: 4949

Re: Roth conversion -estimated tax Q

If you live in a state with its own income tax, don't forget to send in an estimated tax payment for that, if necessary. I expect to realize a fairly large long-term capital gain by selling some mutual funds before the end of this year. I won't have to pay federal tax on it because I'll stay in the ...
by 22twain
Sun Dec 21, 2014 9:52 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth conversion -estimated tax Q
Replies: 14
Views: 1568

Re: Stuck with TIAA-CREF-is there a Boglehead mix?

All you need for a decent Boglehead-ish portfolio inside a TIAA-CREF 403(b) that comprises most of your investment assets is CREF Stock Account (which is about 70% domestic and 30% international) CREF Bond Account and/or TIAA Traditional Account in suitable proportion according to your desired overa...
by 22twain
Fri Dec 19, 2014 11:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Stuck with TIAA-CREF-is there a Boglehead mix?
Replies: 20
Views: 1645

Re: Vinyl (as in old records)

Turntables are still for sale, including some which allow you to transfer them to your computer as MP3s, which while convenient, are compressed files so you're only getting a percentage of all the sound from the track. The format of the files produced is determined by the software that you use to p...
by 22twain
Fri Dec 19, 2014 7:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vinyl (as in old records)
Replies: 10
Views: 967

Re: VWINX declining, any ideas why?

dansmail26 wrote:I noticed the price declining since the beginning of the month, which is what perked my interest.


Most stock mutual funds, and major indexes like the Dow and the S&P, dropped significantly during the first half of this month. During the last two days, they rebounded.
by 22twain
Fri Dec 19, 2014 6:52 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VWINX declining, any ideas why?
Replies: 42
Views: 4053

Re: U.S. stocks in freefall

Boing! I missed the bottom again, just as I was about to do my Roth contribution for this year. :oops:
by 22twain
Thu Dec 18, 2014 10:12 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks in freefall
Replies: 1225
Views: 229876

Re: Are all computer printers now wireless?

tc101 wrote:Mine is a brother HL-L2340DW. It says in the specs on amazon that it has a USB port, but I don't see it, only an ethernet port.


What does the instruction manual say?
by 22twain
Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are all computer printers now wireless?
Replies: 33
Views: 2128

Re: Outdoor HDTV Antenna and DVR Setup

I may consider setting up two TVs. If I split the feed, is that likely to create any sort of noticeable difference? If your signals are strong, you can probably split the cable once or twice without any problem. If you're near the borderline in signal strength, splitting may "push you over the...
by 22twain
Wed Dec 10, 2014 2:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Outdoor HDTV Antenna and DVR Setup
Replies: 50
Views: 6106

Re: Retiring soon.

we have 62% cash, crazy I know but I did get part of it from the recent sale of a business. I don't want to pour all of it into stocks and bonds at once. Maybe put so much a month into something over a period of time. This is one of the things I would like other opinions. This is the classic "...
by 22twain
Wed Dec 10, 2014 1:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiring soon.
Replies: 10
Views: 2226

Re: Outdoor HDTV Antenna and DVR Setup

I'm hoping the signal is HD NBC, ABC, CBS, and FOX are almost certainly HD. They usually have one or more SD subchannels. For example, my local CBS station has HD on its main subchannel that carries national CBS programming and local news etc., and an SD subchannel that carries "Me TV" wh...
by 22twain
Wed Dec 10, 2014 1:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Outdoor HDTV Antenna and DVR Setup
Replies: 50
Views: 6106

Re: Outdoor HDTV Antenna and DVR Setup

How much space is need to record 1 hour of TV? Assuming the box simply saves the data stream directly off the air, without transcoding it to a different format, figure somewhere between 5 and 6 GB per hour for a high-definition channel. It varies between different channels, depending on the bit rat...
by 22twain
Mon Dec 08, 2014 1:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Outdoor HDTV Antenna and DVR Setup
Replies: 50
Views: 6106

Re: How Do You Buy Individual Stocks?

I am trying to find the best way to buy individual stock. Do you already have an account with a mutual-fund company like Vanguard, Fidelity, T. Rowe Price, etc.? In that case, the simplest way might be to open a brokerage account there as an add-on to your existing accounts. That's what I did at TR...
by 22twain
Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:22 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How Do You Buy Individual Stocks?
Replies: 4
Views: 765

Re: Assistance with new TIAA-CREF options

I think the CREF Stock Account would be a decent substitute for your old combination of CREF Global Equities and CREF Equity Index. It's basically a broadly-based stock fund, about 30/70 international/domestic, that behaves pretty close to a straight index fund. You have the option of annuitizing so...
by 22twain
Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Assistance with new TIAA-CREF options
Replies: 9
Views: 976

Re: Stanley Kubrick's 2001 a space odyssey

The story was incomprehensible or non-existent, and the acting, as you say, wooden. Your description makes me think of the title of MAD magazine's spoof which appeared shortly afterward: "201 Minutes of a Space Idiocy". :twisted: Aha! Here it is. (I'm in the camp that loved the movie. I p...
by 22twain
Wed Dec 03, 2014 12:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stanley Kubrick's 2001 a space odyssey
Replies: 66
Views: 6531

Re: A simple coffee maker

For many years I used Melitta #4 (or similar generic brand) cone filters in a plastic cone that sat on top of a carafe. I measured out the coffee into the filter, and poured hot water into it from a teakettle. When my mother moved from her apartment into an assisted-living facility about ten years a...
by 22twain
Sun Nov 30, 2014 11:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A simple coffee maker
Replies: 38
Views: 3281

Re: new investor: stock market v real estate

EarlyStart wrote:how do you contribute $1k/month or $12k/year to an Ira?


A SIMPLE IRA (SIMPLE is an acronym, not a word!) is an employer-sponsored plan, unlike a traditional or Roth IRA, and has its own set of rules, including contribution limits.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SIMPLE_IRA
by 22twain
Sun Nov 30, 2014 9:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: new investor: stock market v real estate
Replies: 11
Views: 780

Re: 50,000 first time investor.

Do you have a retirement plan at work, a 401(k) or something similar, that you can contribute money to, taken out of your paycheck before paying taxes? You might consider increasing your contributions to that plan for a few years, while drawing some of your living expenses from your windfall. This w...
by 22twain
Sun Nov 30, 2014 5:39 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $44,000 for 1st Time Investor
Replies: 21
Views: 2946

Re: Is there anything unhealthy about drinking tap water?

Persuading people to pay soda-pop prices for plain water (not even carbonated "sparkling" water like in Europe) was a masterpiece of marketing. When was it... about twenty years ago? It seems like all of a sudden, one day I noticed that most of the women on our college campus were carrying...
by 22twain
Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is there anything unhealthy about drinking tap water?
Replies: 17
Views: 1324
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