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Re: Definition of "have a retirement plan at work"

The IRS operating principle seems to be that if an amount shows up in Box 1 of your W-2, it is earned income for the purposes of contributing to an IRA. This is not true. It uses the term "compensation" [not "earned income"] which is defined and does not include some things like...
by Sidney
Tue Nov 25, 2014 9:08 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Definition of "have a retirement plan at work"
Replies: 12
Views: 1266

Re: Back-up Drive - Local or Cloud? Which?

I use online plus local. I figure if there is a lightning strike, fire or burglar, the local backup is likely gone along with the original.
by Sidney
Mon Nov 24, 2014 6:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Back-up Drive - Local or Cloud? Which?
Replies: 27
Views: 1580

Re: Back-up Drive - Local or Cloud? Which?

online back-up service called Crashplan. Crashplan is a good system and does a true backup. Just copying files to a cloud drive isn't a real backup -- it is just a copy. If you corrupt/delete or change a file and then copy it over to the cloud drive you destroy the old one. Crashplan maintains old ...
by Sidney
Mon Nov 24, 2014 5:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Back-up Drive - Local or Cloud? Which?
Replies: 27
Views: 1580

Re: CapitalOne360 won't give me an ATM-only card?

I am not personally convinced that there are such terrible perils in debit cards. My personal experience over more than thirty years is that so far we've had unauthorized or duplicate or otherwise erroneous charges on our credit card perhaps six or eight times, all resolved instantly and with pract...
by Sidney
Mon Nov 24, 2014 12:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CapitalOne360 won't give me an ATM-only card?
Replies: 22
Views: 1725

Re: CapitalOne360 won't give me an ATM-only card?

I'd call back and get another guy on the phone and confirm what the first one is telling you. Then, change banks.
by Sidney
Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CapitalOne360 won't give me an ATM-only card?
Replies: 22
Views: 1725

Re: Girlfriend with a LOT of Student debt.

IMO the new car purchase is the tip-off.
by Sidney
Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:16 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Girlfriend with a LOT of Student debt.
Replies: 166
Views: 12716

Re: Tax help needed

Income will be reported on Federal return but not taxed (although it may affect other calculations on your return). State tax depends on the state.
by Sidney
Sun Nov 23, 2014 6:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax help needed
Replies: 4
Views: 717

Re: Donating for a specific family

One of the reasons we make most of our charitable donations anonymously is to avoid any perception of meddling with the governance of the charity. It also cuts down on the solicitation phone calls and mail :D Yes, we live in a small town and it is hard to avoid the solicitation and various invitati...
by Sidney
Sun Nov 23, 2014 6:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donating for a specific family
Replies: 43
Views: 2707

Re: Donating for a specific family

ieee488 wrote:There are local charities which during the holiday season have wishlists of children.

Would then these gifts not be tax-deductible?

If they are a qualified 501(c)(3) organization, then yes. They will know.
by Sidney
Sun Nov 23, 2014 5:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donating for a specific family
Replies: 43
Views: 2707

Re: Donating for a specific family

One of the reasons we make most of our charitable donations anonymously is to avoid any perception of meddling with the governance of the charity.
by Sidney
Sun Nov 23, 2014 5:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donating for a specific family
Replies: 43
Views: 2707

Re: Vanguard offers login security code

Notice that Vanguard's putting a requirement on the phone number, not the phone itself. Your wife can sign up to receive security codes in the straightforward way. You, on the other hand, can sign up for a Google Voice phone number in your name, and forward texts received at that number to your wif...
by Sidney
Sat Nov 22, 2014 5:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard offers login security code
Replies: 70
Views: 6180

Re: Dog food - how cheap is too cheap?

Cheaper stuff may have sugar in it. Dogs have sweet tooths (teeth) just like humans do.
by Sidney
Sat Nov 22, 2014 4:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dog food - how cheap is too cheap?
Replies: 63
Views: 3820

Re: Learning to Type

hoppy08520 wrote:I'm impressed with your right pinkie. Twice as fast as the other 9 digits.

How do you know the hands aren't out-stretched and facing you?
by Sidney
Sat Nov 22, 2014 9:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Learning to Type
Replies: 14
Views: 1735

Re: Vanguard offers login security code

Grasshopper wrote:Signed up, but every log on won't work with Quicken only recognized device. :oops:

I don't like the idea of giving software access to my financial accounts.
by Sidney
Sat Nov 22, 2014 9:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard offers login security code
Replies: 70
Views: 6180

Re: What doyou splurge on?

We don't cut corners on food and wine.
by Sidney
Fri Nov 21, 2014 9:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you splurge on?
Replies: 150
Views: 9215

Re: Donating for a specific family

sogm wrote:Is there a way we can donate to specific families in need and receive a tax deduction?

Not directly.
by Sidney
Fri Nov 21, 2014 8:59 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donating for a specific family
Replies: 43
Views: 2707

Re: how to make money like a billionaire

Reminds me of an interview on ESPN I saw a few years ago. Reporter asked a coach what his secret to winning was. "Outscore the competition."
by Sidney
Tue Nov 18, 2014 5:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: how to make money like a billionaire
Replies: 116
Views: 9554

Re: Chip and Signature (not PIN) in Europe

Just returned from Europe and travel through eight countries including Germany. Used my magnetic strip (no chip) Schwab cash account card to get cash from ATMs on ten or more occasions. Never had a problem. Used my magnetic strip (no chip) CapitalOne Quicksilver card most every day- usually at rest...
by Sidney
Tue Nov 18, 2014 3:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chip and Signature (not PIN) in Europe
Replies: 15
Views: 783

Re: Chip and Signature (not PIN) in Europe

JamesSFO wrote:PenFed card works in unattended kiosks throughout Europe, you do set PIN when applying for the card and recently when we were there in last 90 days, didn't get prompted for PIN even.

So much for security.
by Sidney
Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chip and Signature (not PIN) in Europe
Replies: 15
Views: 783

Re: Jack Bogle: expect 7% annualized for the foreseeable fut

I find it easier to think in real terms. I don't really do projections any more but for a wet-finger view of my 40/60 I assume 0-.5% real for fixed and ~4-5% real for equity. So my weighted average rule of thumb for us is 2-2.5%.
by Sidney
Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:57 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Jack Bogle: expect 7% annualized for the foreseeable future
Replies: 42
Views: 6067

Re: Heads up best reward credit card I've seen.

kenyan wrote:We used to do a one-week vacation every year in Colorado that was 2600 miles round trip, doing the ~20 hour drive in one day each way,

Averaging 65mph is impressive.
by Sidney
Tue Nov 18, 2014 11:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Heads up one of the better reward credit card I've seen.
Replies: 54
Views: 6280

Re: Heads up best reward credit card I've seen.

rai wrote:We have been known to drive to Orlando and back 2000 miles for 7-8 day vacation.

If I did my arithmetic right, that is like 4 days of driving overhead for a one-week vacation.
by Sidney
Tue Nov 18, 2014 10:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Heads up one of the better reward credit card I've seen.
Replies: 54
Views: 6280

Re: VWAHX [Vanguard High-Yield Tax-Exempt Fund]

The rest of VG TE funds do not hold PABs.
by Sidney
Tue Nov 18, 2014 8:12 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: VWAHX [Vanguard High-Yield Tax-Exempt Fund]
Replies: 6
Views: 903

Re: Why I Like Index Funds

Mountain Man wrote:The S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures™ Index (ticker VXX, ETF)

Balance off with,

The VIX Emerging Nations Index Fund (ticker VIXEN).
by Sidney
Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why I Like Index Funds
Replies: 26
Views: 3920

Re: Lenovo vs Surface Pro 3

adamthesmythe wrote:Actually technology probably won't change so fast as in the past.

Personally I would not buy a computer with Windows 8. Can you find one with Windows 7?

I don't know if W7 will support the touchscreen.
by Sidney
Mon Nov 17, 2014 4:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lenovo vs Surface Pro 3
Replies: 20
Views: 1575

Re: is 3.20% Vanguard brokered CD best deal around?

ArthurO wrote:
Sidney wrote:World Stock Market is up 4.8% YTD according to VG.


and it is also down ~2% in 3 months.... all I was saying that over last 3 months CD outperformed equity mix... and total world reflects that, international is not doing well this year

No it isn't. Good time to buy.
by Sidney
Sun Nov 16, 2014 5:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: is 3.20% Vanguard brokered CD best deal around?
Replies: 48
Views: 4322

Re: is 3.20% Vanguard brokered CD best deal around?

World Stock Market is up 4.8% YTD according to VG.
by Sidney
Sun Nov 16, 2014 4:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: is 3.20% Vanguard brokered CD best deal around?
Replies: 48
Views: 4322

Re: No more year-end paper statement option?

DavidC wrote:As long as you don't mind the statements being accessible/readable to Google, that seems like a reasonable option.

IMO, anything sensitive should be encrypted before saving to a cloud drive. There are free solutions for encryption.
by Sidney
Sun Nov 16, 2014 4:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: No more year-end paper statement option?
Replies: 19
Views: 2188

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

pshonore wrote:Seems to me its a lot more trouble ripping out the code.

Normally they wouldn't rip out the code. It is probably set up to recognize the license type and activate the relevant sections at installation. The software package itself probably has everything already built in.
by Sidney
Sat Nov 15, 2014 1:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax '14 Deluxe (Desktop) Excludes Schedule D
Replies: 87
Views: 9241

Re: fidelity refusing custodian custodian rollover

You're rolling over to Vanguard. Why are you even talking with Fidelity? Speak with Vanguard only and let them do the work. You'll need to give them your most recent statement and sign some forms. Not sure, but with 401(k) you can only initiate rollovers from the custodian. I don't think you can do...
by Sidney
Sat Nov 15, 2014 12:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: fidelity refusing custodian custodian rollover
Replies: 35
Views: 2822

Re: Tax Loss Harvesting -- go for it?

I always harvest unrealized losses. There normally is no cost and usually an upside. I don't stay out of the position though; I move to a similar fund -- but one that I'd be comfortable holding forever if things bounce back quickly.
by Sidney
Sat Nov 15, 2014 12:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Loss Harvesting -- go for it?
Replies: 20
Views: 2569

Re: 'Insects' Taking Over Underground Sprinkler Control Box

livesoft wrote:
mur44 wrote:Is there a solution to get rid of earthworms?

Salt. Fertilizer. These could cause rust or other problems if they contact electrical equipment. Or google.

Try diatomaceous earth. Works for slugs. Not toxic as far as I know.
by Sidney
Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 'Insects' Taking Over Underground Sprinkler Control Box
Replies: 11
Views: 874

Re: Help! Need Liquid Cash!

Don't make the same mistake again. If a plan goes overbudget it shouldn't wipe out all of your liquid savings. Your EF isn't doing a very good job if it couldn't handle this. You should hold more cash. This nails it pretty well. Need to keep EF in place you will access. Could be the ROTH but your b...
by Sidney
Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help! Need Liquid Cash!
Replies: 29
Views: 2463

Re: Plan

Then I'd suggest harvesting the losses and move to a substitute fund that is very similar and get to your target allocation with that move.
by Sidney
Wed Nov 12, 2014 5:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Plan
Replies: 6
Views: 557

Re: Amazon Echo (Alexa)

This has to be one of the biggest scams I have ever seen. This is just another way for Amazon to sell you stuff that you don't need. What makes this any different than Siri, Cortana, or any other systems on your phone that you already don't use? And if you use the one on your phone, why do you need...
by Sidney
Wed Nov 12, 2014 5:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Echo (Alexa)
Replies: 35
Views: 3966

Re: Plan

I read your post twice and I am still confused. Do you have unrealized losses or gains?
by Sidney
Wed Nov 12, 2014 5:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Plan
Replies: 6
Views: 557

Re: Local bank without any checking account fees?

Toons wrote:Capital One 360 checking,,,NO fees,someone gives you a check,,snap a picture of it with your phone and deposit,,whoosh,

Still cracks me up that in the US we consider taking pictures of little pieces of paper to transfer money "modern".
by Sidney
Wed Nov 12, 2014 2:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Local bank without any checking account fees?
Replies: 31
Views: 2374

Re: Opinion: Should I read VG statements, if I'm set and for

Periodically you should check your statements and confirm that the number of shares of each holding is correct (I do this annually). The valuation isn't that critical - once a day goes by it is obsolete anyway. You should also monitor transactions online to make sure there isn't anything strange goi...
by Sidney
Tue Nov 11, 2014 4:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Opinion: Should I read VG statements, if I'm set and forget?
Replies: 3
Views: 367

Re: Talk me into/out of Tax Lost Harvesting

Do it. Switch to FTSE AW ex-US -- it is virtually the same exposure.
by Sidney
Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:32 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Talk me into/out of Tax Lost Harvesting
Replies: 14
Views: 898

Re: Gross Income - AGI - MAGI - Tax Rates

Makaveli1988 wrote:Last year this bonus was taxed at the 32% rate even though I was likely in the 15% bucket (early in year).


Just to clarify, are you referring to the tax withheld? That has nothing to do with your marginal tax rate.
by Sidney
Sun Nov 09, 2014 1:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gross Income - AGI - MAGI - Tax Rates
Replies: 7
Views: 905

Re: Attend new car "launch event" for free meal?

Why not. You can make a full day of it -- swing by an insurance company and visit with some insurance salespeople. :shock:
by Sidney
Sat Nov 08, 2014 3:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Attend new car "launch event" for free meal?
Replies: 10
Views: 854

Re: Supreme Court Blues

Ged wrote:Prior to the ACA something like 25% of people in the 50-65 age group were being denied coverage in the individual market.

The case before the court is only about the subsidy, I think. Not about other parts of the law.
by Sidney
Sat Nov 08, 2014 2:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Supreme Court Blues
Replies: 34
Views: 2202

Re: Supreme Court Blues

If you can afford insurance without subsidy, why would it matter? Health insurance existed before the ACA, it would continue to exist without it. Because those who cannot afford it without the subsidy will drop out, causing the risk pool to shrink, and rates to rise. I guess, indirectly, we get a s...
by Sidney
Sat Nov 08, 2014 12:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Supreme Court Blues
Replies: 34
Views: 2202

Re: Most boglehead off-road vehicle?

Mountain bike.
by Sidney
Fri Nov 07, 2014 10:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Most boglehead off-road vehicle?
Replies: 44
Views: 2095

Re: Why are people so down on bonds?

I'm not down on bonds, I'm just more up on 5-year CDs purchased directly from a bank or credit union, earning say 2.5% with an early withdrawal option at a cost of 1.25% (maximum loss). However, this isn't an option for everyone, so bonds may have to do for the fixed-income portion of the portfolio...
by Sidney
Thu Nov 06, 2014 8:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why are people so down on bonds?
Replies: 39
Views: 6090

Re: Why are people so down on bonds?

Yesterdaysnews wrote:I having been moving money out of bonds for a while now. Interest rates can only go one direction.

Everyone was saying that last year. And they turned out to be wrong.
by Sidney
Thu Nov 06, 2014 4:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why are people so down on bonds?
Replies: 39
Views: 6090

Re: Index Fund Return Assumptions

I normally do everything in real rates. ~4% or so for equity. Zero or so for fixed income. Been a couple of years or so since I did this exercise.
by Sidney
Thu Nov 06, 2014 4:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Index Fund Return Assumptions
Replies: 7
Views: 504

Re: vtsgx

I don't recognize the symbol. What is that fund? How much drop over what period?
by Sidney
Thu Nov 06, 2014 4:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: vtsgx [Vanguard Total Intl Stock Index, Signal share class]
Replies: 12
Views: 1207

Re: What have you done to cut costs this year?

bloom2708 wrote:If watching less TV lowers our quality of life, I'll take it.

Don't worry, it does the opposite.
by Sidney
Wed Nov 05, 2014 5:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What have you done to cut costs this year?
Replies: 134
Views: 12168

Re: made it through volatile October , hope to stay the cour

I , as a new boglehead, made it through October without doing anything, and trying to 'ignore the noise' , stay the course, and believe "I don't know , I don't care". I am hoping I can stay strong through any drops, crash, and try to stay true to my 10 year Investment Owner's contract. Oc...
by Sidney
Wed Nov 05, 2014 4:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: made it through volatile October , hope to stay the course
Replies: 18
Views: 1161
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