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by Rob5TCP
Sat May 23, 2015 6:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NOLO on Sale: Wills, Landlord, buying/selling homes
Replies: 4
Views: 453

Re: NOLO on Sale: Wills, Landlord, buying/selling homes

Just went to look up Willmaker Plus; it's at their normal $10 off. Will probably wait until August when the 2016 version comes out
(PS Amazon was cheaper).
by Rob5TCP
Tue May 19, 2015 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit
Replies: 17
Views: 1569

Re: Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit

Malwarebytes anti malware is the best for malware option out there. It finds much of what your standard anti virus misses. It is NOT known for it's great ability to block virus/malware. Note: anti exploit is a separate product from the anti malware. There is no scanning with anti exploit. The anti e...
by Rob5TCP
Sat May 16, 2015 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Digitizing Slides at Costco
Replies: 3
Views: 359

Re: Digitizing Slides at Costco

I had several hundred old slides plus numerous photos scanned by Costco. For the majority they were fine. Several of them I had done at a "boutique" photo The local scanner did a better quality job (higher scan rate and corrections). Still for most of the slides, this wasn't needed. Maybe ...
by Rob5TCP
Sat May 16, 2015 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chasing the Big Dogs
Replies: 16
Views: 2190

Re: Chasing the Big Dogs

So I am 38 with 3.2 M net worth. Thus top 1% until I hit 40 (in a little over 1 year) then drop to top 5%? I find this suspect and difficult to believe. It's to be expected that the brackets will change by age (usually higher amounts as you get older and have time to accumulate). You are squarely i...
by Rob5TCP
Thu May 14, 2015 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which Company Do You Have Auto Insurance With?
Replies: 105
Views: 5277

Re: Which Company Do You Have Auto Insurance With?

When I first got auto insurance GEICO was almost 40% less than anyone else.
I still do occasional comparisons and GEICO still comes out on top.
I also give them my umbrella insurance as well.
by Rob5TCP
Wed May 13, 2015 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ally #1 in consumer protection from a Pew Study
Replies: 2
Views: 491

Ally #1 in consumer protection from a Pew Study

The top five listed are: The best-rated banks in the Pew’s analysis are: 1 Ally Bank (seven out of seven best practices, 11 out of 11 good practices) 2 HSBC Bank (six best practices, 10 good practices) 3 First Republic Bank (six best practices, eight good practices) 4 Frost Bank (five best practices...
by Rob5TCP
Sat May 09, 2015 8:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Florida Homeowners Insurance
Replies: 19
Views: 1574

Re: Florida Homeowners Insurance

I had to use Citizen's Insurance for the first year. After that my agent switched me to Southern-Owners Insurance.
My rate dropped about 40%. It may be a bit less this year.
We are NOT near either coast, so I presume that affects things dramatically.
by Rob5TCP
Sat May 09, 2015 5:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Florida Homeowners Insurance
Replies: 19
Views: 1574

Re: Florida Homeowners Insurance

I obtained insurance last year for the first time and the rate was "obscene". When I was ready to renew, the agent was able to get a much better rate. I was told last year that without a history in Florida, there was a limited number of companies that would insure my place. Check with a go...
by Rob5TCP
Sat May 09, 2015 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NYT: 2% rebate credit cards; will they last?
Replies: 30
Views: 3278

Re: NYT: 2% rebate credit cards; will they last?

In NY (at least) merchants can charge extra for using a credit card. So far, only at gas stations have I been hit with this "surcharge", usually .10 a gallon. That just about equals what I receive in the rebate (3% from Costco AMEX on gas). You may still have a rebate card in the future, b...
by Rob5TCP
Sat May 09, 2015 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NYT: 2% rebate credit cards; will they last?
Replies: 30
Views: 3278

Re: NYT: 2% rebate credit cards; will they last?

I would surely miss the 2%. Currently I put everything on my c.c. for the rebate. I have checked my spending with the two months I didn't use the cards and their was no material difference (75% is business). The 2% on the c.c. for my first purchases of I Bonds (around 2000 or so) is probably the bes...
by Rob5TCP
Sat May 09, 2015 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Having a website
Replies: 18
Views: 1628

Re: Having a website

What if you decide you want a slightly bigger presence on the web. If you register your own domain, the registering is quite minimal. There are two relatively inexpensive sites for setting up websites godaddy.com = though their site setup is confusing and geared heavily for selling you more things y...
by Rob5TCP
Mon May 04, 2015 10:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: REIT: VNQ vs. O
Replies: 6
Views: 564

Re: REIT: VNQ vs. O

Vanguard owns about 7.47% of the shares (but only 1.6% of VNQ) equity side.
The bond side: Vanguard Total Bond Index is the second largest holder:

http://investors.morningstar.com/owners ... ture=en_US
by Rob5TCP
Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: S. Corp questions
Replies: 32
Views: 2154

Re: S. Corp questions

As mentioned earlier, I draw a reasonable salary for the work I do. Close to the end of the year I draw out the profits as dividends. Some years there is a small loss, other years can be 30/35% of my salary. I draw out whatever it turns out to be. I can show that I probably am less than 25% averaged...
by Rob5TCP
Wed Apr 15, 2015 9:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: noise-blocking headphones
Replies: 39
Views: 3175

Re: noise-blocking headphones

For the money I like Able Planet. I was not going to spend were $250-$300.
The Able Planet were normally about $100 but were on sale for $45.00

I had jack hammering on the apartment below mine.
I could still hear it (and to a degree feel it); but it made it more bearable.
by Rob5TCP
Wed Apr 15, 2015 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do I find a good local Financial Adviser?
Replies: 20
Views: 1559

Re: How do I find a good local Financial Adviser?

Most fee only advisers want a % of AUM (assets under management). There are a handful of advisers that work on a straight hourly basis. Finding one near you may take some time. I believe Alan Roth (who posts here periodically) is hourly fee only, but he works predominantly online and with phone cons...
by Rob5TCP
Tue Apr 14, 2015 9:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: FDIC Insured Emerging Market Currency Indexed CD? Would u?
Replies: 5
Views: 584

Re: FDIC Insured Emerging Market Currency Indexed CD? Would

These aren't great but they aren't horrible. If your inclined to invest in foreign currencies (especially emerging market) these are quite a bit safer. There are ETF's that pay interest plus you would directly get currency gains (as well as losses). With this CD, worse case, you lose out on 5 years ...
by Rob5TCP
Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Password manager recommendations?
Replies: 48
Views: 3028

Re: Password manager recommendations?

Since there are only a few with multiples votes; maybe a poll could be added. Just curious.
by Rob5TCP
Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Password manager recommendations?
Replies: 48
Views: 3028

Re: Password manager recommendations?

I narrowed mine down to Keepass and Lastpass and ultimately choose Keepass.
The level of complexity of my passwords since using Keepass has gone up enormously.

My old way was recording the password into password protected documents. This is infinitely easier
ans much more secure.
by Rob5TCP
Mon Apr 13, 2015 7:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: ESPP Worth It?
Replies: 17
Views: 1261

Re: ESPP Worth It?

This is hardly an enticing offer -- only points I would consider it: 1. I was going to buy this stock anyway (though contrary to Bogelhead philosophy) and here I am getting 5% off or 2. NOT buying into this would have some negative connotation at work (not loyal to company, not in the spirit, etc.) ...
by Rob5TCP
Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how to deal with it [regret over past investing choices]
Replies: 74
Views: 5914

Re: regret and depression...how to deal with it

The money adds to but is not the cause of your depression. You need to seek professional help (as mentioned) - That should be a start in helping you accept what happened. Your in better financial shape than 95-99% of the people your age. To focus on what could have been is always counter productive....
by Rob5TCP
Thu Apr 09, 2015 10:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Good 5 year jumbo or regular CD rate ?
Replies: 7
Views: 1818

Re: Good 5 year jumbo or regular CD rate ?

There are periodic specials that popup and are up to 3%. There is no way to know when the next one may be. I look for 2% plus a low EWP and will jump when a much higher rate arrives (if it does). Valor was the last credit union that I know of to have 3% and that ended in July, 2014. There are severa...
by Rob5TCP
Wed Apr 08, 2015 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sandwich generation
Replies: 17
Views: 1917

Re: Sandwich generation

No one can answer that question for you. If your kids squander whatever you give them - or just the opposite can affect your choice. Your relationship with your Mom and your Kids are too personal and vary person to person. I have a client who barely talks to his kids (for years) yet is helps them wh...
by Rob5TCP
Sun Apr 05, 2015 5:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [how to handle a $100] purchase from Guatemala?
Replies: 24
Views: 1667

Re: [how to handle a $100] purchase from Guatemala?

I am so sorry everyone- I shouldn't have started a forum question just as I was about to go out of town and unable to respond. Thanks you everyone for the ideas. Let me clarify the question, though. The only way I have to communicate is by email, and not secure. Should I give the credit card # and ...
by Rob5TCP
Tue Mar 31, 2015 10:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Montauk Credit Union High CD Rates
Replies: 16
Views: 1754

Re: Montauk Credit Union High CD Rates

I opened up a couple of CD's. Took awhile, they have a VERY small staff. Interest, on my CD's, is credited annually. Rate when I opened them were 2.5% Not sure what they are now. Website very sparse; password is only 10 characters. Also, they go through periods when they are not opening new accounts...
by Rob5TCP
Mon Mar 30, 2015 8:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is this a scam: James Rickards
Replies: 12
Views: 2482

Re: Is this a scam: James Rickards

I read a review earlier of him and don't recall the details. He makes prophetic statements, that may/may not happen. Then he sells the solution to you. I believe there were questions about his qualifications - from Wikipedia As of February 2015 Rickards is described as "Financial Threat and Asy...
by Rob5TCP
Mon Mar 30, 2015 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When will / did you claim Social Security benefits?
Replies: 152
Views: 12925

Re: When did you take social security?

I didn't vote - but I will take SS in 13 years when I hit 70.
I enjoy my work and plan to keep going well past 70. I want the maximum amount available to me.
by Rob5TCP
Sun Mar 29, 2015 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to store/archive old photos?
Replies: 29
Views: 2851

Re: How do you store your photos?

When Mom died a couple of years ago we found boxes of old photos (I never knew she had). We did almost a triage. There were photos that no one knew, parents, cousins, grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, etc. We first divided into stacks. The top ones were ones I spent (sometimes hours on one photo) cleanin...
by Rob5TCP
Sun Mar 22, 2015 6:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What is the best way to help my Mom?
Replies: 5
Views: 690

Re: What is the best way to help my Mom?

We would have a better handle if we knew her monthly income/expenses
plus retirement assets.
by Rob5TCP
Sun Mar 22, 2015 5:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anyone concerned about their bond holdings?
Replies: 58
Views: 6372

Re: Anyone concerned about their bond holdings?

I choose to take my risks on the equity side. I have mostly CD's yielding 2.5%/3.0%, with a fair amount of old I Bonds.
Since the CD's have a reasonable EWP, my downside is minimal.
by Rob5TCP
Sun Mar 22, 2015 1:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: External Hard Drive?
Replies: 44
Views: 2742

Re: External Hard Drive?

2. Flash Drives: Flash drives are about .50 a GB on sale (IE 16GB flash drive can be found for $8). The flash drives are not nearly as stable as the regular ext. hard drives. I've gone through 5 flash drives in two years, but I have the same external hard drives that I bought 3 and 5 years ago (plu...
by Rob5TCP
Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: External Hard Drive?
Replies: 44
Views: 2742

Re: External Hard Drive?

Backups are critical for me. 1. External Hard Drive: Twice a week I alternate two external hard drives (750GB and 2TB). Both today are under $100 each (WD is 2TB, 750GB is Seagate). 2TB is USB3 which makes a noticeable difference in speed. As @KillJoy mentions, I disconnect the drives when I am not ...
by Rob5TCP
Sat Mar 21, 2015 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Restaurant tipping
Replies: 200
Views: 13654

Re: Restaurant tipping

A number of restaurants run on my payroll software so i am quite familiar with that aspect in NYC. They are paid $5+ per hour, with the balance from tips. If they make less than minimum, with tips, it's supposed to be made up by the restaurant. I generally tip 15% for mediocre service, up to 22% for...
by Rob5TCP
Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which credit union are you a member of?
Replies: 60
Views: 5197

Re: Which credit union are you a member of?

Pentagon Federal
Valor (formerly Tobyhanna)
Melrose
Montauk
by Rob5TCP
Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Step callable long term CD for fixed income- pros & cons?
Replies: 17
Views: 1056

Re: 3% CD FDIC - Wells Fargo

if rates rise it won't be called and you will have it for quite awhile. If rates should go lower or stay the same, they will probably call it. You lose if rates should sink (they call it) and you lose if rates go through the roof (you are stuck with it). Only the last few years are really impressive...
by Rob5TCP
Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driving from NYC to Seattle, Must See places?
Replies: 12
Views: 1218

Re: Driving from NYC to Seattle, Must See places?

I did three cross country trips after college and wish I spent 3 times as long going across. If deviations from your schedule are possible: 1. Yellowstone -- one of the most incredible parks (next to Yosemite, perhaps my favorite) 1a. Grand Tetons are right near Yellowstone 2. Zion/Bryce in Utah as ...
by Rob5TCP
Thu Mar 19, 2015 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best home internet plan for New York City
Replies: 8
Views: 900

Re: Best home internet plan for New York City

What part of Manhattan does she live in? FIOS covers most of Manhattan, but there are some pockets it hasn't hit. Check out RCN.COM. I have used them and they are pretty good. If Verizon didn't give me a better rate, I was jumping to RCN (and they also cover much of Manhattan as well). It's not jus...
by Rob5TCP
Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best home internet plan for New York City
Replies: 8
Views: 900

Re: Best home internet plan for New York City

I'm trying to convince my friend to cut the TV cable cord. When I looked up Verizon service for her address the only thing I could come up with was pathetic...1-3Mbps. It did not list FIOS capability. And Comcast is also not available here. I was astounded....after all, she lives in Manhattan- I fi...
by Rob5TCP
Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best home internet plan for New York City
Replies: 8
Views: 900

Re: Best home internet plan for New York City

Fios has specials - such as 25Mbps internet; 300 regular and 75-100 HD TV stations, plus unlimited local phone, national and Canada about $85 per month. Add on the whores "taxes" that Verizon charges and it's closer to $115.00 Plus they frequently add a $200 or $300 rebate credit card. RCN...
by Rob5TCP
Tue Mar 17, 2015 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What internet speed is fast enough?
Replies: 52
Views: 5142

Re: What internet speed is fast enough?

I have FIOS for about 5 years now. They increased my speed from 15/5 to 25/25 (which actually tested at 30/30) I've noticed no difference in the speed since the upgrade. The matching upload speed is heavily advertised but it's mostly b.s. 95%-98% of my load is down (I check every few days). Don't th...
by Rob5TCP
Thu Mar 12, 2015 8:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another take on Vanguard questionnaire: NYTimes
Replies: 42
Views: 4213

Re: Another take on Vanguard questionnaire: NYTimes

When you making predictions 10, 20 even 40 years in advance, chaos theory really comes into play. Minor changes along the way can have major implications as time goes on. Monte Carlo simulations are probably the best method we have to get a range as well as probability of outcomes based on various s...
by Rob5TCP
Thu Mar 12, 2015 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BEWARE-Dell Computer Tech Service
Replies: 39
Views: 3690

Re: BEWARE-Dell Computer Tech Service (India)

Dell Pro support is domestically based and is generally of a much higher caliber of technicians. This is their business support (though anyone can purchase pro support). I just went to Dell.com and selected a consumer-grade Inspiron laptop. I don't see the ability to choose Pro Support. I see it wi...
by Rob5TCP
Wed Mar 11, 2015 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BEWARE-Dell Computer Tech Service
Replies: 39
Views: 3690

Re: BEWARE-Dell Computer Tech Service (India)

LLTF1836 wrote:Does anyone know in which country Dell tech support is based?


Regular Dell Support is based off shore; primarily India. Dell Pro support is domestically based and is
generally of a much higher caliber of technicians. This is their business support (though anyone can
purchase pro support).
by Rob5TCP
Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BEWARE-Dell Computer Tech Service
Replies: 39
Views: 3690

Re: BEWARE-Dell Computer Tech Service (India)

Instead of calling it "Dell tech service (India)" you could just call or Dell tech service. +1. It's very odd that OP is doing that. Let's give the benefit of the doubt that he means their outsourced support (which is Dell's regular) vs. Pro support (which is US based). I have to admit to...
by Rob5TCP
Tue Mar 10, 2015 5:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BEWARE-Dell Computer Tech Service
Replies: 39
Views: 3690

Re: BEWARE-Dell Computer Tech Service (India)

I have avoided Dell's standard support like the plague.
However, I have found the domestic pro-support to be helpful and competent. Yes, it costs extra.
When I had a major project and had a system crash, pro-support found the issue (11:30 at night).
by Rob5TCP
Tue Mar 10, 2015 4:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: would-be semi-retirees, could you find part-time work?
Replies: 6
Views: 771

Re: Poll: would-be semi-retirees, could you find part-time w

While I have seen some minor age discrimination; my particular niche means I should have little trouble when I decide to go part time. As i mentioned in an earlier post, legacy software gives me opportunities that don't exist in some other fields. And the paucity of support for that particular appli...
by Rob5TCP
Tue Mar 10, 2015 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Slate Article: Dream on Babyboomers-Semiretirement is a Myth
Replies: 20
Views: 3119

Re: Slate Article: Dream on Babyboomers-Semiretirement is a

There are two sides to this. A fair number (about 30%) of my clients are on legacy software with years of heavy modification. I can receive SS in about 5 years, but will continue working because I choose to. The number of people capable of supporting this legacy program has dropped dramatically fast...
by Rob5TCP
Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Just cut my cable bill...
Replies: 58
Views: 5859

Re: Just cut my cable bill...

Dropped Verizon Wireless for Virgin Mobile. Phone service is not nearly as good, however 90% of what i use the smartphone for is texting, email, and internet (mostly wifi). My bill dropped from around $100 per month down to $38 per month. I still use Verizon for internet/phone/TV because the first t...
by Rob5TCP
Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Many Credit Cards Do You Actually Use?
Replies: 67
Views: 5427

Re: How Many Credit Cards Do You Actually Use?

I use 3 cards regularly:
Capital One - 2% back on everything, but can only be used on travel
Barclay - 2% on groceries/utilities, 1% on everything else.

Semi regularly
Costco Amex
by Rob5TCP
Fri Mar 06, 2015 10:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CD's for Short-term savings
Replies: 6
Views: 730

Re: CD's for Short-term savings

I like the option of a relatively cheap "put" of 5 months. For my own savings, I am dividing into long term at 3.04% (Valor - no longer available but you can add); and Ally in case of rapid interest rate increases. There is a caveat: a small number of banks have drastically changed the EWP...
by Rob5TCP
Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tourists in Manhattan
Replies: 53
Views: 4951

Re: Tourists in Manhattan

First I would stay in the city. If your tired for a bit, you can run to the hotel, relax and then go out again. If you in NJ or Westchester, you would not have that same options. AS for resturants, there are 15,000+ in NYC What type of food; what price range; there are great restaurants in all price...

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