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by Blues
Wed May 20, 2015 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Chromebook 2015
Replies: 52
Views: 3877

Re: Best Chromebook 2015

Can you do without virus and malware programs? That would be great also. There are no AV's for Chromebook (that I'm aware of) but I do use a very few extensions which can enhance security. (The extensions require little or no user input once set.) Adblock Plus can, depending on the subscriptions yo...
by Blues
Wed May 20, 2015 7:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Chromebook 2015
Replies: 52
Views: 3877

Re: Best Chromebook 2015

tc101 wrote:Has anyone used a Chromebook touch screen?


I've had the Acer C720P for about 15 months and it has been virtually flawless.
by Blues
Sun May 17, 2015 7:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 713
Views: 103487

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

"The Whites" by Richard Price (as Harry Brandt)

...and...

"Where All Light Tends To Go" by David Joy
by Blues
Mon May 11, 2015 7:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which Company Do You Have Auto Insurance With?
Replies: 105
Views: 5266

Re: Which Company Do You Have Auto Insurance With?

Amica (also home, umbrella)
by Blues
Tue Apr 28, 2015 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 713
Views: 103487

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

gkaplan wrote:
Blues wrote:"The Harder They Come" by T.C. Boyle (My first by this author.)


I'm reading The Tortilla Curtain by the same writer, my first by T. C. Boyle, as well.


Let me know what you think of it. I'll do the same.
by Blues
Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 713
Views: 103487

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

"The Harder They Come" by T.C. Boyle (My first by this author.)
by Blues
Mon Apr 27, 2015 7:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 713
Views: 103487

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

"Entry Island" by Peter May.
by Blues
Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bernstein: "If you've won the game, stop playing."
Replies: 146
Views: 15366

Re: Bernstein: "If you've won the game, stop playing."

The 30/70 ratio of equities to fixed income has been our standard for the past few years. It works well for us and has allowed us to both grow the portfolio to new highs as well as sleep like babies at night. (Retired for 12+ years now with no debt and sufficient "guaranteed" income to mee...
by Blues
Wed Apr 15, 2015 4:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV show recommendations?
Replies: 351
Views: 149578

Re: TV show recommendations?

From a retired big city cop, The Wire is the only realistic Cop show ever on TV. Hill Street Blues was close A great show available on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video is the British series "Prime Suspect" with Helen Mirren. As a retired fed myself, I'd have to say that this was one of the ...
by Blues
Sat Apr 11, 2015 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Propane Heating and Septic Tanks
Replies: 36
Views: 1987

Re: Propane Heating and Septic Tanks

Since most folks have already (and very well) covered the pros, cons and things to be aware of I'll just state that we have had going on 12 years of essentially trouble free living with propane heating, well and septic here in the (beautiful) Blue Ridge mountains of western NC. The higher cost of pr...
by Blues
Thu Apr 09, 2015 7:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2 commas and mortgage-free
Replies: 33
Views: 4637

Re: 2 commas and mortgage-free

Congrats. It's a great "club" to belong to. (We also owe a debt to the good people on this site for their assistance with our own success story. :sharebeer )
by Blues
Fri Mar 27, 2015 7:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 713
Views: 103487

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

"Alex" by Pierre Lemaitre
"J" by Howard Jacobson
by Blues
Tue Mar 03, 2015 8:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Taylor Larimore Honored
Replies: 59
Views: 5866

Re: Taylor Larimore Honored

Congrats to a very worthy gentleman and (mostly) unsung hero. :sharebeer
by Blues
Sat Feb 28, 2015 12:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International increase in Target Retirement & LifeStrategy
Replies: 233
Views: 22659

Re: International increase in Target Retirement & LifeStrate

However, this does show that there is no such thing as "invest and forget." You still should pay attention to what is going on TR fund or not. I agree. At first I was a bit concerned about the allocation changes...but when I crunched the actual numbers for our investment in one of the LS ...
by Blues
Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: electric toothbrush
Replies: 38
Views: 2498

Re: electric toothbrush

This is the Sonicare model I use (as recommended by our dental hygienist and dentist): http://www.amazon.com/Philips-Sonicare-HX6511-50-Rechargeable/dp/B004M1BO3U It is super easy to clean and maintain and it's never given a lick of trouble. Gets a bit over two weeks on a charge. As you can see, the...
by Blues
Mon Feb 16, 2015 6:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Improving the Lifestrategy Funds
Replies: 63
Views: 5592

Re: Improving the Lifestrategy Funds

msi wrote:Switch them to Admiral shares.


As much it pains me to agree with a Flyers fan...I agree. :beer (Lifelong Rangers fan here.)

The ER is quite reasonable and I have no kick but Admiral shares would be lovely. (Otherwise, I'd leave 'em alone. They're fine as they are.)
by Blues
Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TaxACT Ultimate - $12
Replies: 2
Views: 552

Re: TaxACT Ultimate - $12

Excellent price...too bad it doesn't appear to be for the 2015 tax year. (Though I imagine a similar deal will be upcoming within a few months.)
by Blues
Sat Jan 31, 2015 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filed your 2014 Federal Taxes yet?
Replies: 60
Views: 4371

Re: Filed your 2014 Federal Taxes yet?

E-filed last Saturday, the 24th. The state was paid with the e-file and the federal refund was received yesterday after (only) 6 days.
by Blues
Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refund from the IRS? Why?
Replies: 51
Views: 5198

Re: Refund from the IRS? Why?

Surprisingly, when I checked the IRS' "Refund Status" site just this morning it indicated that my refund had been approved and should be rec'd by my financial institution this Friday. All the more surprising since I only e-filed (via TaxAct Online) this past Saturday. This would be less t...
by Blues
Fri Jan 30, 2015 4:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The lowest stock allocation you plan to stay with
Replies: 79
Views: 4813

Re: The lowest stock allocation you plan to stay with

Warren Buffet warned: "To make money they didn't need, they risked what they did have and did need." Once you have accumulated a bit more than what you think will be more than enough, why invest in stocks at all? That's a great quote! I would not go to 0% stocks myself. I want some stocks...
by Blues
Fri Jan 30, 2015 8:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The lowest stock allocation you plan to stay with
Replies: 79
Views: 4813

Re: The lowest stock allocation you plan to stay with

I'll be the odd man out in this survey. We're currently at about 28% equities. The plan is to stay in the 25 - 30% range. The reason for remaining on the low side is that we have neither debt nor outstanding obligations and our "guaranteed" sources of income in retirement are more than suf...
by Blues
Wed Jan 28, 2015 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thinking of switching from Turbo-Tax
Replies: 26
Views: 1966

Re: Thinking of switching from Turbo-Tax

I switched from TT to TaxAct years ago. I rarely if ever use the "interview" process and opt to directly input data to the applicable forms instead. ("Quick Entry" to forms is available on both the desktop and online versions.) Just curious - what's the advantage of doing it tha...
by Blues
Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thinking of switching from Turbo-Tax
Replies: 26
Views: 1966

Re: Thinking of switching from Turbo-Tax

I switched from TT to TaxAct years ago. I rarely if ever use the "interview" process and opt to directly input data to the applicable forms instead. ("Quick Entry" to forms is available on both the desktop and online versions.) I have never had any reason to regret my decision to...
by Blues
Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning
Replies: 50
Views: 3092

Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

We find Prime to be quite useful as we avail ourselves of many of its benefits...shipping, video, music and very occasionally the lending library. Considering that one can usually find a discount on the subscription offered at least once annually, it offers good bang for the buck imho. Beyond the va...
by Blues
Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refund from the IRS? Why?
Replies: 51
Views: 5198

Re: Refund from the IRS? Why?

Surprisingly, when I checked the IRS' "Refund Status" site just this morning it indicated that my refund had been approved and should be rec'd by my financial institution this Friday. All the more surprising since I only e-filed (via TaxAct Online) this past Saturday. This would be less th...
by Blues
Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refund from the IRS? Why?
Replies: 51
Views: 5198

Re: Refund from the IRS? Why?

Though I ordinarily don't mind getting a refund, this thread has motivated me to pare down my withholding so that I should be just a bit over or under for next year. (But not subject to any penalty & interest.) No sense making an interest free loan to Uncle if he can't be reliably counted upon t...
by Blues
Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax '14 Deluxe (Desktop) Excludes Schedule D
Replies: 223
Views: 32090

Re: TurboTax '14 Deluxe (Desktop) Excludes Schedule D

The Intuit Mess up -- picked up on USA Today: http://americasmarkets.usatoday.com/2015/01/22/turbotax-admits-mistake-pays-customers/ My sense is that they didn't expect the blow back and so are caught on their heels. I'm fine moving forward with TaxACT although I've used Turbotax for over a decade....
by Blues
Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "When you've won the game, stop playing"
Replies: 83
Views: 9076

Re: "When you've won the game, stop playing"

There's a huge difference between these scenarios: 1) Your RLE is $20,000, you're 65, and your retirement account is $1 million. In this case, you've won the game, but need to avoid both a market meltdown and runaway inflation. The article mentions people who had the game won, but then lost it. The...
by Blues
Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:28 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "When you've won the game, stop playing"
Replies: 83
Views: 9076

Re: "When you've won the game, stop playing"

Dr. Bill's approach to risk management has been a tremendous help over the years with both our understanding and approach to investing as well as the results thereof. We are happily in the "won the game" category and have been able to reduce equity exposure to a very comfortable level whic...
by Blues
Tue Jan 20, 2015 8:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Treasury Direct Question
Replies: 6
Views: 591

Re: Treasury Direct Question

The TD website is just a joy. It's like playing "Russian Roulette". :oops: Half the time I go to log on, it may or may not respond with a message that my account number is not valid. Then I'll reinput the exact same info and it'll go through. (Either then or an hour later after I've used u...
by Blues
Thu Jan 15, 2015 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxact ultimate version $6 - DEAL OVER
Replies: 46
Views: 3155

Re: Taxact ultimate version $6

Blues... That is interesting. Are you saying you think it's a scam? Obviously this is personal information we would all be putting in. I hesitate to answer one way or the other since I have no info other than the reply rec'd from TaxAct. Since I had no intention of going through the time and bother...
by Blues
Thu Jan 15, 2015 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxact ultimate version $6 - DEAL OVER
Replies: 46
Views: 3155

Re: Taxact ultimate version $6

FWIW...I contacted TaxAct customer service as I had recently paid up front for the online version and wanted to see if I was entitled to a partial credit. (In order to use their telephone tech support you must have a paid product, which is why I prepaid before filing. There was a glitch I wanted to ...
by Blues
Wed Jan 14, 2015 8:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alternatives to TurboTax
Replies: 26
Views: 3233

Re: Alternatives to TurboTax

TaxAct. Switched from TT about 10 years ago and haven't looked back.
by Blues
Sat Jan 10, 2015 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 713
Views: 103487

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel Victoria If you enjoy the book, as I did, I strongly recommend that you try "Bring Up The Bodies" which I enjoyed just as much as (if not more than) "Wolf Hall". I am eagerly awaiting "The Mirror And The Light", the final book of the trilogy.
by Blues
Fri Jan 09, 2015 6:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax '14 Deluxe (Desktop) Excludes Schedule D
Replies: 223
Views: 32090

Re: TurboTax '14 Deluxe (Desktop) Excludes Schedule D

I'm glad to see them get their comeuppance (at least to some degree). As I had mentioned previously, I was all in with Quicken and TT for several years until their business model proved over and over that the needs, wants and wallets of their customer base were low priority and took a back seat. I h...
by Blues
Fri Jan 09, 2015 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 713
Views: 103487

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

"A Death In Vienna" by Daniel Silva.
by Blues
Fri Jan 09, 2015 1:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice For Friend: % In Equities (Post Retirement)
Replies: 7
Views: 589

Re: Advice For Friend: % In Equities (Post Retirement)

I'd argue that going much lower in stock allocation increases the risk that they'll lose ground to inflation over the long haul. As far as ability to take risk, they probably could without a big worry but with low need and low willingness I don't think ability is the controlling issue. Seems like w...
by Blues
Fri Jan 09, 2015 1:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice For Friend: % In Equities (Post Retirement)
Replies: 7
Views: 589

Re: Advice For Friend: % In Equities (Post Retirement)

It sounds for this person (maybe not the spouse) that willingness to take risk is the only factor that matters. There is no real accurate way to measure that but I think considering how much he can tolerate to lose in a crash is a place to start - Adrian's Rule. If he can only tolerate a 15% portfo...
by Blues
Fri Jan 09, 2015 12:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice For Friend: % In Equities (Post Retirement)
Replies: 7
Views: 589

Re: Advice For Friend: % In Equities (Post Retirement)

In any case the format would be to get one of Larry Swedroe's recent books and learn about need, ability, and willingness to take risk with investments. Good advice but I'm afraid it will go unheeded. I'm a big fan of Larry's books and philosophy (especially) in regard to risk (and employ it heavil...
by Blues
Fri Jan 09, 2015 11:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice For Friend: % In Equities (Post Retirement)
Replies: 7
Views: 589

Advice For Friend: % In Equities (Post Retirement)

Wanted to share some opinions with a former colleague of mine so he gets some (unbiased) thoughts other than my own. Like myself, he is a retired federal employee with a fixed pension. Pension and other guaranteed sources of income exceed their expenses and there are adequate survivor benefits and i...
by Blues
Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax '14 Deluxe (Desktop) Excludes Schedule D
Replies: 223
Views: 32090

Re: TurboTax '14 Deluxe (Desktop) Excludes Schedule D

joe8d wrote:About time for the IRS to offer a Free Complete Tax Program online.


Maybe instead of a box on the 1040 asking if one wants to contribute to Presidential election campaign funds we can elect to put tax dollars toward accomplishing that very goal.
by Blues
Thu Jan 08, 2015 5:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax '14 Deluxe (Desktop) Excludes Schedule D
Replies: 223
Views: 32090

Re: TurboTax '14 Deluxe (Desktop) Excludes Schedule D

kinda makes ya wonder if turbo tax understands the definition of "deluxe". de·luxe dəˈləks/ adjective luxurious or sumptuous; of a superior kind. "a deluxe hotel" synonyms: luxurious, luxury, sumptuous, palatial, opulent, lavish; * (*unless you require the incredibly exotic and ...
by Blues
Wed Jan 07, 2015 8:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chromebook dedicated to finances?
Replies: 62
Views: 4204

Re: Chromebook dedicated to finances?

Toons, Just by using a Chromebook you're probably more secure than most people. You might consider visiting your financial websites from a Chrome OS user that has no extensions installed, except maybe LastPass. It could be a user that is only for finance websites. This is precisely what I do. (As, ...
by Blues
Mon Jan 05, 2015 1:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax '14 Deluxe (Desktop) Excludes Schedule D
Replies: 223
Views: 32090

Re: TurboTax '14 Deluxe (Desktop) Excludes Schedule D

I wish TurboTax's prices were more straightforward and easier to understand. ...or for $17.99 (current pricing) one can use TaxAct Online (Ultimate) and file both federal and state (included in the price). Not denying that TT is a useful app...I used it for a few years...but the intentional obfusca...
by Blues
Mon Jan 05, 2015 11:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I-Bonds purchased monthly can be redeemed when?
Replies: 10
Views: 791

Re: I-Bonds purchased monthly can be redeemed when?

Just to be clear, each monthly purchase creates a new redemption period for that purchase? Correct. Each bond purchased must be held for a 12 month period before it is eligible for redemption. So if you purchase 12 over 12 months, they will each be redeemable a year from the month of their purchase.
by Blues
Sun Jan 04, 2015 8:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax '14 Deluxe (Desktop) Excludes Schedule D
Replies: 223
Views: 32090

Re: TurboTax '14 Deluxe (Desktop) Excludes Schedule D

I don't blame Intuit for a $10 price increase (requiring Premier instead of Deluxe) to get Schedule D. The tax laws have gotten more complicated requiring more costly programming and error checking. (I cannot believe there is a three page thread complaining about a $10 increase.) Call me crazy but ...
by Blues
Sun Jan 04, 2015 4:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Yet another study on why not to buy long term care insurance
Replies: 61
Views: 4588

Re: Yet another study on why not to buy long term care insur

It all seems pretty simple to me. If you can "afford" to pay for a nursing home stay of 5 years without any great impact on your finances, then you don't need to buy insurance. If you can't afford it but you can afford the insurance premiums, you should consider getting the insurance. $75...
by Blues
Sun Jan 04, 2015 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax '14 Deluxe (Desktop) Excludes Schedule D
Replies: 223
Views: 32090

Re: TurboTax '14 Deluxe (Desktop) Excludes Schedule D

I can't say I'm surprised to see this topic. I was a Quicken user for years (from the early 90's) and got fed up with Intuit's tactics in trying to force folks (yearly) into new or upgraded versions. I can't even remember how many years I used the '98 version when it replaced my original version aft...
by Blues
Sun Jan 04, 2015 4:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you keep manuals/packaging for products you buy?
Replies: 34
Views: 2162

Re: Do you keep manuals/packaging for products you buy?

I keep many of them. Some in the original paper format and others gathered online. It really can be a big help when trying to troubleshoot an issue or find a part. I very rarely sell items online but having original packaging and materials can bring a premium as well. I also have the original carton...
by Blues
Sun Jan 04, 2015 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paper Statements
Replies: 68
Views: 3481

Re: Paper Statements

We've cut down on a lot of the paper but still get at least annual statements. I guess for those of us who remember bankbooks and had parents who lived through the Depression it seems hard to let go of that piece of paper validating our claims. :)

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