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Re: Input wanted from BMW owners

AH, the love-hate with German branded vehicles. I have been through my share of BMWs, Audis, VWs and near the need of each period of ownership I take a solemn oath "never again buy a German car" and a few months/years later I am back, like a crack addict, putting my $$ down on a German car...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Input wanted from BMW owners
Replies: 44
Views: 4324

Incorrect W2 and electronic tax filing

My wife received a check for work that she did not do (this was the only income from this source in 2014.) We returned the check and requested a corrected W2, which has not been forthcoming. If I were to file on paper I would include and explanatory note with the return. Is there anyway to address t...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:06 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Incorrect W2 and electronic tax filing
Replies: 5
Views: 461

Re: Propane Heating and Septic Tanks

The septic was emptied shortly after we moved in, cost $500 including digging up the lids to the tank (under 3ft of dirt.) After this procedure I installed fiberglass "manhole covers" with 3ft risers that would eliminate the need to dig, that would save $100-200 per cleaning. I don't know...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Apr 10, 2015 10:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Propane Heating and Septic Tanks
Replies: 36
Views: 1868

Re: Setting up a Trust...

This hits the nail on the head. Trusts can have real value, but also real expense. The tax rate within the trust will skyrocket to the top marginal rate after $10,000. Revocable trusts are taxed at the same rate as the individual who established it. http://finance.zacks.com/tax-consequences-revocab...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Apr 10, 2015 6:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Setting up a Trust...
Replies: 13
Views: 1447

Re: Propane Heating and Septic Tanks

I have lived with septic systems for over 40 years. There are several steps to take before making an offer on a house. 1) When was the system built? Most systems have an estimated life on the order of 25 years, widely varying based on how well the system was used and serviced. If there is a garbage ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Apr 10, 2015 6:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Propane Heating and Septic Tanks
Replies: 36
Views: 1868

Re: Kitchen upgrade - granite selection help

Would you consider using the same granite for the backsplash, eliminating oe potential for a mismatch? When we did our counters we went to a local fabricator (I live in a granite producing area, mostly headstones :( ) where they have "small" pieces of granite from all over the world. The m...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Apr 10, 2015 6:04 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen upgrade - granite selection help
Replies: 51
Views: 3958

Re: Car maintenance/time to change car?

What does anyone imagine a 14 year old car, with 133k miles and likely in need of major engine work and tranny replacement, is worth?

I say drive as it is until it stops, sign up for Uber for when it finally has the radish, and keep your mobile charged. :happy
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Apr 08, 2015 7:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car maintenance/time to change car?
Replies: 27
Views: 2330

Re: Retiring Before Age 66

We are doing the same calculation. DH will retire at 64, I am already retired and 60. When to take SSI? Well, the conclusion I came to is that this is a calculation you need to do in two steps. 1) find a Social Security calculator on which you can run a variety of ages to start SSI. I use bedrock: ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Apr 06, 2015 6:22 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiring Before Age 66
Replies: 21
Views: 3994

Re: HSA - Baby Onboard/Can I Switch?

At the beginning of the year my family (Myself, Wife and kids) joined a High Deductible plan and contributed the max to an HSA ($6650). We did so with the idea that we weren't EXPECTING any high medical bills this year. Well - that didn't work out as planned! We found out in Feb. that we are now ex...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Apr 05, 2015 8:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA - Baby Onboard/Can I Switch?
Replies: 7
Views: 981

Re: Surface 3- anyone considering?

Interesting - thanks for posting. I have to keep a Windows 7 machine to remote desktop into my computer at work. I had a malware on my Windows 7 machine. Now I have Mcafee and malware bytes that do scans and then there are the eternal Microsoft updates. It needs upgrading as it is so slow but I'll ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Apr 03, 2015 12:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Microsoft's Surface 3- anyone considering?
Replies: 35
Views: 3701

Re: Surface 3- anyone considering?

I have considered (kind of, sort of) and I also own an iPad air, but I decided it would not be so good because of the constant security problems/malware, and other problems that affect Windows. Also, 12'' will not be a suitable replacement for my 15'' MBP. I'm also happy with my iPad and my MBP, bu...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Apr 03, 2015 8:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Microsoft's Surface 3- anyone considering?
Replies: 35
Views: 3701

Re: The Credit Card Game

I'm not sure whether it's possible to get to the next level, whatever that level is. I've heard of people who purposely take flights, often with an obscure set of layovers, on the premise that the value of mileage awarded for the trips exceeds the cost of the flight(s) taken. I think its called mil...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Apr 01, 2015 10:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Credit Card Game
Replies: 32
Views: 2949

Re: Tablet recommendations?

The reviews of the Dell Chromebook complain about "washed out screen" and "poor viewing angles".

http://www.engadget.com/products/dell/chromebook/11/
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Apr 01, 2015 9:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tablet recommendations?
Replies: 17
Views: 1594

Re: Tablet recommendations?

I have a Chromebook and a Nexus 9, they are both very useful (along with my Thinkpad x230) but the Chromebook's screen is not the highest quality, if that is important. Both my Thinkpad's and the Nexus' screen are far superior, especially in viewing angles which is important if two of you are huddli...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Apr 01, 2015 9:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tablet recommendations?
Replies: 17
Views: 1594

HSA: "combined" spousal account

In 2010 my wife and I went to an HSA eligible health policy. Made the maximum deposit each year for both of us into an account that had only my name on it. In 2013 I aged into Medicare and continued to put the maximum deposit (for my wife only) into the same account. I share the blame with the credi...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Mar 26, 2015 2:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA: "combined" spousal account
Replies: 11
Views: 804

Re: Anyone has OnePlus One phone purchase invite to share?

Not sure if this is still true but as of a few weeks ago they were issuing invites to anyone each Tuesday.
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Mar 26, 2015 1:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone has OnePlus One phone purchase invite to share?
Replies: 7
Views: 631

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

Victoria: Thanks for instigating this fascinating thread, I have learned much about the intricacies of the task. BTW, as you mentioned in the thread, 1 hour transfer at Narita can definitely be a problem, when I fly in there from the US and connect to a flight to China, you exit the secure area and ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Mar 24, 2015 8:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 212
Views: 41843

Re: VBRO and Airbnb versus property values

btenny wrote:
If I help my HOA in documenting these activities am I libel for some sort of legal action from this new neighbor?

Is there some way this guy can sue me for helping my HOA? Comments?


Libel or Liable??
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Mar 23, 2015 6:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Neighbor violating HOA rules by using] VBRO and Airbnb
Replies: 38
Views: 3927

Serve and credit card loads

As of Apr il 16, you can no longer use credit cards to load Serve, except that Amex is still permitted to be used. :(
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 212
Views: 41843

Re: Medicare Card and Medicare Advantage

The advice from social security is to never carry your SS card with you, but put it in a safe place. I have never been asked to show my card in any circumstance, sometimes the number is requested.
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Mar 17, 2015 11:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Card and Medicare Advantage
Replies: 11
Views: 797

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

Leviathan

Depicts corruption in Putin's Russia and the connivance of the church in the process. Lots of vodka drinking and cigarette smoking, I could feel my liver hardening!
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 725
Views: 96689

Re: CAUTION: Vanguard Brokerage Service Foreign Tax Error?

This thread was from 2010 and it's 2015 now. Have Vanguard Brokerage 1099s changed to make filling out form 1116 easier since this old thread? Does anyone have a quick summary of the easiest correct way to enter things into TurboTax these days? Or a pointer to a more recent thread where this was di...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: CAUTION: Vanguard Brokerage Service Foreign Tax Error?
Replies: 37
Views: 6033

Re: Tourists in Manhattan

check here for free admission times at the various museums, with a week you might be able to make this work.
http://freemuseumday.org/nyc.html
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tourists in Manhattan
Replies: 53
Views: 4653

Re: New phone considerations for Consumer Cellular

Lots of phones, lots of choices. I got the 2014 Moto-X and it's been a good phone. I like the size, but the newer one has gotten bigger and not for me. Also, Google sold Motorola to Lenovo and I can't say if the phone is as good as the previous X. I'd check it out though. Do you know whether the 20...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Mar 11, 2015 6:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New phone considerations for Consumer Cellular
Replies: 4
Views: 481

Re: Where to retire in New England?

I moved to Vermont in 1972, part of the trek northward from NYC. Did not know from shinola when I first got here and within a few weeks, by 1965 Volvo needed a valve job. I was broke and within any ideas; I mentioned my problem to my neighbor (who had been to Boston once for some medical procedure, ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Mar 11, 2015 6:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to retire in New England?
Replies: 101
Views: 7722

Re: Oil & Vinegar

I'm surprised by all the recommendations to make your own, which sounds complicated to me (I note that most of the recipes posted in this thread contain several ingredients I don't currently have on hand). I often don't feel that I have time in the evenings to pull vegetables out of my refrigerator...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oil & Vinegar
Replies: 52
Views: 4198

Re: Not clearing snow from driveway

AZAttorney11 wrote:Life is too short to live in a place with snow.


Different strokes, different folks...

This morning it was 17 below F, waited till it warmed up to about 5 above, bright sun, blue skies, strapped the touring skis on and spent a glorious few hours in the woods.
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Feb 17, 2015 6:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Not clearing snow from driveway
Replies: 81
Views: 5986

Re: Extended car warranty - worth it?

I agree that these are written for the benefit of the issuer or else how would they stay in business. On some level, the same could be said about any sort of insurance, but insurance is regulated, it is more transparent as to what is covered and what is not, and there is some competition. One exampl...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Extended car warranty - worth it?
Replies: 30
Views: 2002

Re: How to interact with medical establishment

Not enough information for sound feedback but... if this is a practice that is part of a larger system, I would ask to speak to the practice manager, calmly explain what happened, what your expectations were and how they were not met, "Is there anything you can suggest so that I am not faced wi...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Feb 15, 2015 7:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to interact with medical establishment
Replies: 48
Views: 2906

Re: Rental Car Prices - is this the new normal ?

Regarding insurance on rental cars - your private insurance likely does not cover "loss of revenue," or the money that that rental car would have brought in had you not wrecked it. If you're concerned about this, make sure you account for it. This is one of the items covered by the AMEX p...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental Car Prices - is this the new normal ?
Replies: 89
Views: 8260

Re: Quicken downloads and 2 factor ID in Vanguard

Thanks, I will give that a go!
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken downloads and 2 factor ID in Vanguard
Replies: 12
Views: 775

Quicken downloads and 2 factor ID in Vanguard

I am looking to set up 2 step verification on my Vanguard account and see that some aggregators hiccup on it, but I haven't seen if there are any similar problems with downloading into Quicken.
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken downloads and 2 factor ID in Vanguard
Replies: 12
Views: 775

Re: Buying As Is Home

Not sure where you are or what the roofing material is, but my nephew has a house in CA, tiles going bad, and there is a class action settlement that puts some $ in your pocket if it applies: http://classactionlawsuitsinthenews.com/class-certification/monier-roofing-tile-class-action-lawsuit/ You sh...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying As Is Home
Replies: 27
Views: 2146

Re: Consolidate 2 or 3-fund to single fund in taxable

I agree with livesoft, re-balancing is, not that big a deal. I am not convinced that it makes all that much a difference (not wanting t get int a debate, I know there is another side to the story) and if necessary and desirable, a call to a Vanguard rep once a year can give her the figure she would ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:04 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Consolidate 2 or 3-fund to single fund in taxable
Replies: 10
Views: 663

Re: National muni tax-exempt funds

If it is relevant, check to see if there are AMT issues with any of the mooted funds.
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Feb 12, 2015 9:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: National muni tax-exempt funds
Replies: 10
Views: 1022

Re: Medicare - Plan B - NJ

I urge you to go to Medicare.gov, start with choosing a plan, and work your way through it. Each time I think you have been steered in the right direction yo say something that makes me uncertain. For example, if you choose Part A and Part B you cannot have a Medicare Advantage plan, and vice versa....
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medicare - Plan B - NJ
Replies: 15
Views: 841

Re: Medicare - Plan B - NJ

AT: I am still uncertain as to what you are seeking to do. Plan B does not require (or allow) you to choose an insurance company. This "traditional" Medicare allows you to see any provider, with those enrolled in Medicare agreeing to take the Medicare rate while those not enrolled in Medic...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Feb 11, 2015 3:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medicare - Plan B - NJ
Replies: 15
Views: 841

Re: Medicare - Plan B - NJ

Not sure what your situation is, some more details would help. It sounds as if you bought a Mediagp from BC, since you sate you cancelled your Part B when you got the job. If you are looking for a medigap plan, and I think losing the job is a qualifying event but not certain, than you can choose you...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Feb 10, 2015 7:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medicare - Plan B - NJ
Replies: 15
Views: 841

Re: How much in donations will effect taxes?

For several years I have not itemized because I have had too little to itemize. I am in the 15% tax bracket and want to stay there. I am now in a position to donate a lot of our household belongings, as well as an old car to charity. What amount of donations must I reach to begin reaping some tax d...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much in donations will effect taxes?
Replies: 6
Views: 573

Re: Ice dams - windows leaking

Thanks for the replies. The guy said he looked around the attic and it's not a roof problem. The water was getting between the gutters and siding. What should I do, other than having them re-wrap the siding? Should I be concerned about damage inside my walls? If I understand correctly, water got in...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Feb 08, 2015 5:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ice dams - windows leaking
Replies: 12
Views: 1490

Re: Glasses turn around time and cost

Not sure where you are, but when I stepped on my glasses last winter, I was spending the season in NYC, I walked into a neighborhood store and walked out an hour later with a pair of glasses, $90 (single vision.)
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Feb 08, 2015 3:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Glasses turn around time and cost
Replies: 19
Views: 1602

Re: Ice dams - windows leaking

As mentioned, the windows are not the problem, it is the way the roof is insulated. In older construction the space for insulation, where the rafter meet the exterior wall, slope down to 0". In newer construction the rafter are raised off the top plate of the exterior wall 12" to allow the...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Feb 08, 2015 3:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ice dams - windows leaking
Replies: 12
Views: 1490

Re: Advice on Selling Car with Manual Transmission?

I will only buy cars with manual transmissions and would even pay more for one. Don't sell yourself short. I would be very careful with test drives though. A novice could easily burn up the clutch. I would insist on driving the car for them. If I were looking at a car and was not allowed to drive i...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Feb 06, 2015 5:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on Selling Car with Manual Transmission?
Replies: 30
Views: 2402

Re: Looking for a DSLR that will allow me to get fairly seri

I am going to do something that I usually criticize when I see the responses to: "I am in the market for a new Windows computer...." and the responses go "Buy a Mac" So, I will pitch Pentax, no experience with their service, never needed it going back to my first k1000 in 1975 or...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for a DSLR that will allow me to get fairly serious.
Replies: 118
Views: 6527

Re: New laptop v. Refurbished, Apple v. Other

The only issues we've had in the recent past is buying third-party RAM, each one failing and having to be replaced. It used to be that Apple's RAM was overpriced (it still is), but now I think it's best to just pay the ransom and have RAM that is installed by Apple to their specs. I don't believe t...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New laptop v. Refurbished, Apple v. Other
Replies: 14
Views: 1456

Re: Mac reliability?

I had years of positive experience with IBM/Lenovo laptops. I bought a Thinkpad around 2005 that is still working with its original components. That said, my current Lenovo (Yoga 13) as well as my previous Toshiba laptop have been disappointments, and particularly disappointing was the response I g...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Jan 30, 2015 9:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mac reliability?
Replies: 89
Views: 4851

Re: Selecting a Medigap Policy with 28 Choices

California does not do such a good job at collecting this data, offering only "sample" rates. http://www.insurance.ca.gov/01-consumers/105-type/95-guides/05-health/03-medsup/index.cfm Vermont, my residence, provides a good table showing the cost of each and every provider http://www.dfr.ve...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selecting a Medigap Policy with 28 Choices
Replies: 42
Views: 3745

Re: Income on credit card application for high assets/low in

toasty I am in a position similar to you, until 70 I will be in the 15% bracket, only income is from dividends and interest. I have always given the actual totals of these two items as my income, never been denied and always get enough credit. If it is only in the $5-8K range after six months I ask ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Income on credit card application for high assets/low income
Replies: 21
Views: 952

Re: Prices Paid - 2015.5 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD Platinum/Climate/

My main concerns would be related to long-term resale value and support. Still not comfortable buying stuff in this price range from the new Chinese owners, especially when there are so many viable options to choose from that are US owned or at least US Allies. Heck, even the federal government avo...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Jan 28, 2015 9:16 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prices Paid - 2015.5 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD Platinum/Climate/Blis
Replies: 13
Views: 1456

Re: Bring USD to Louisiana USA from Philippines

Not sure if this is relevant, but I routinely wire transfer USD to China FROM Vanguard and they never charge a fee.
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Jan 28, 2015 9:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bring USD to Louisiana USA from Philippines
Replies: 19
Views: 1820
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