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Re: Fixing Social Security Earnings Mistake Advice

Call your local SS office and make an appointment, this is best handled face to face without the traps of mail.
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fixing Social Security Earnings Mistake Advice
Replies: 9
Views: 842

Re: Traditional Health Insurance or High-Deductible: Help!

The mantra is to buy as much insurance as you need, but no more. If the potential higher costs (as outlined above) of the high deductible would set you in a financial tailspin, then the LD might be the bet.

In my opinion, it is not even close, go for the HD.
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Nov 16, 2014 12:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Traditional Health Insurance or High-Deductible: Help!
Replies: 4
Views: 494

Re: Vanguard Brokerage or Mutual Funds?

There has been much discussion of this in earlier posts... One downside, if I recall this correctly, is that mutual fund dividends can no longer be directly deposited to an outside bank account; as a retired person, I live off those dividends and have them deposited to my local credit union. If they...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Nov 16, 2014 12:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Brokerage or Mutual Funds?
Replies: 16
Views: 924

Re: What to do w/space under 15% Fed bracket limit?

My recollection is that NYS does not tax some amount ($20K?) of IRA distributions each year. If that is so, yet another factor to consider.

Hard to know what will work out best as there are many unknowns.
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Nov 15, 2014 2:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do w/space under 15% Fed bracket limit?
Replies: 21
Views: 2441

Re: Does anyone here make "fun" purchases.

My "fun" purchases are experiences, not things. Over the decades it has been my experience that the initial glow of the purchase of a thing dims rather quickly (there are exceptions.) There is an old saying that might be applicable here" "There are two best days for owning a car,...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anyone here make "fun" purchases.
Replies: 111
Views: 6507

Re: Road Tolls, and Rental Cars

I have used my EZ pass in several cars I own, friend's cars and rental cars, and have never bothered to register or notify anyone. The transponder works fine no matter what vehicle it is in. Any tolls get charged on my account. For a list of where the EZ Pass works, go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/w...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Nov 11, 2014 11:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road Tolls, and Rental Cars
Replies: 20
Views: 1074

Re: Which Tablet?

A tablet is only as good as its apps, and Android still falls behind in that respect. Could you please be more specific as I am on the fence. I see that there are approximately the same number of apps (1.3 million) in each ecosystem. But quantity is not everything so could you give some idea what i...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Nov 11, 2014 12:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Tablet?
Replies: 24
Views: 1715

Re: Road Tolls, and Rental Cars

Not sure about most of them, but I use my EZ pass with rentals. Just need to give them a call with the plate number and they will enroll the rental for the week(s) you have it. Used it recently on trip from Vermont to Kentucky.
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Nov 11, 2014 12:16 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road Tolls, and Rental Cars
Replies: 20
Views: 1074

Re: Increased Premium Paid for Premium Gas

I think one factor may be rapidly falling gas prices we have now. Premium presumably doesn't sell as quickly as regular, so the stuff sitting in the ground was bought when prices were higher. Once that premium get replaced by cheaper newer stuff, the price should start to come down to the normal sp...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Nov 06, 2014 2:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Increased Premium Paid for Premium Gas
Replies: 24
Views: 1854

Re: Increased Premium Paid for Premium Gas

As recently as two weeks ago, the premium premium was about $.50 here in Vermont. I took a trip down to Virginia and Kentucky and saw that the differential was less. Now I am back in Vermont, prices for both continue downward and the cheapest today at gasbuuddy shows $3.09 for regular, $3.47 for pre...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Nov 05, 2014 7:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Increased Premium Paid for Premium Gas
Replies: 24
Views: 1854

Re: Shoes for the Garden

I use what ever shoes have done their duty on the street and convert them to garden wear. Right now it is a pair of low cut hiking shoes, more like trail running shoes. They go to the next lower rung on the ladder (rubbish) once another pair of street shoes bites the dust.
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Nov 02, 2014 1:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Shoes for the Garden
Replies: 23
Views: 1587

Re: where to place dividends in taxable acct.?

These days, in retirement, all dividends go to my local checking account and I spend it (today it will be for meeting the deductible in the fender bender my DW has just had) :-(
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Nov 02, 2014 1:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: where to place dividends in taxable acct.?
Replies: 9
Views: 810

Re: Should I use 50k Delta miles for a $600 flight?

$600 is fairly pricey for your itinerary, though it is the holidays so maybe that's the going rate among all carriers. Maybe you have limited flexibility, so these questions are moot: Are you locked in with Delta? Did you broaden your search terms to nearby airports (e.g. BUR)? Different dates? 1-s...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Oct 26, 2014 7:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I use 50k Delta miles for a $600 flight?
Replies: 73
Views: 4579

Re: Planting garlic

Second the ideas about soil. You can plant it anytime you can still work the ground. Don't plant too deep, the tops of the cloves should be about 1 1/2 inches below the surface. I use a homemade dibble stick. Take a piece of 1" square stock, cut it about six feet long. The cut yourself (out of ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Oct 26, 2014 4:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Planting garlic
Replies: 10
Views: 1182

Re: Done with Honda, not sure what next car should be?

I'm happy with my certified used Subaru Forester. I've received one recall notice about potential brake line corrosion; the dealership inspected my car and advised nothing's wrong. As an aside, my car developed an annoying rattle just out of the full 3 year warranty period. Subaru of America paid t...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Oct 26, 2014 3:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Done with Honda, not sure what next car should be?
Replies: 77
Views: 7405

Re: Done with Honda, not sure what next car should be?

We've owned VW products (now including Audi and Porsche) for 37 years. In my remembrance,they have been recalled 2 or 3 times, never for anything I considered serious. German cars are superior. BMW is part of this same air bag recall. Audi has some recent serious brake issues. http://www.industrywe...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Oct 26, 2014 3:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Done with Honda, not sure what next car should be?
Replies: 77
Views: 7405

Re: Using your own equipment on Uverse and Comcast

Comcast gave us a modem, no one there ever mentioned it but when we had a repair tech here he mentioned that if you asked, they would give you a unit. Perhaps that was because we were also buying phone service from them.
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Oct 26, 2014 2:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Using your own equipment on Uverse and Comcast
Replies: 23
Views: 2244

Re: Limited tax-advantaged options for next 2 years?

I too am something of a "newbie" but if you are going with 90/10 perhaps it is no problem to put the equities in taxable. Pick index funds and own them forever. When you retire the assets will be taxed as capital gains tax, who knows what that will be in 30 years. :happy
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Oct 25, 2014 4:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Limited tax-advantaged options for next 2 years?
Replies: 3
Views: 439

Re: IS this car lease too good to be true?

Just curious if it is an actual lease or a balloon note? Not a balloon, a lease This is a good deal, however keep in mind you most likely will not keep the car past lease-end (that's a high residual) so you will have to revisit either buying or leasing again in 2 years. After all, you might be able...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Oct 24, 2014 3:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IS this car lease too good to be true?
Replies: 13
Views: 1959

IS this car lease too good to be true?

Vehicle is a Toyota RAV4 LE AWD, it shows a MSRP of $26,744, a discounted price of $23,246. All maintenance is included for the 24000 miles as is the warranty. The lease end value is $18,563 Monthly payments are $112 and the down payment is $2,899, it runs for 2 years and 24,000 miles. The gap insur...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Oct 24, 2014 9:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IS this car lease too good to be true?
Replies: 13
Views: 1959

Re: Medigap Plan F, Hi-D

My experience is identical, except I am in Vermont and have the Mediagp with Colonial Penn. In Vermont, all Medicare supplement insurance sold is community-rated, not attained-age rated. Did that influence your decision when choosing your Plan? I also noted from the pdf file linked here that you gu...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Oct 21, 2014 3:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medigap Plan F, Hi-D
Replies: 5
Views: 465

Re: Medigap Plan F, Hi-D

My experience is identical, except I am in Vermont and have the Mediagp with Colonial Penn.

Never met the deductible so no experience with that part of the process.
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Oct 21, 2014 8:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medigap Plan F, Hi-D
Replies: 5
Views: 465

Re: How do you wash your car?

When the weather is clement, I wash it at least monthly and before a road trip, wax it spring and fall. During winter I use the do it yourself places. Reasons: 1) Bird doo 2) Road salt (Vermont has a "black roads" policy) 3) Road dust (I live on two miles of gravel road) 4) Tree sap 5) Eve...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you wash your car?
Replies: 143
Views: 7082

Re: Buying a house without a realtor

If you're using a house inspector, try to choose one that does NOT know the seller's agent. If the agent and the inspector have a mutually beneficial referral relationship, the inspector is disincentivized from warning you not to buy a questionable house, because, in the future, the seller's agent ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:11 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a house without a realtor
Replies: 43
Views: 2850

Re: Buying a house without a realtor

Your understanding of the law is incorrect A buyer's agent is a fiduciary who owes a total duty of loyalty to the client. That is true BUT... I remember an article in the WSJ some years ago that showed (this was in Chicago I think) that when selling their own houses real estate agents held out long...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Oct 19, 2014 7:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a house without a realtor
Replies: 43
Views: 2850

Re: Meaning of Important note included in Medicare part D pl

In the Humana Walmart plan, the $320 deductible does NOT apply to tier 1 & I think tier 2. These are usually generics.There are no copays for the generics and no deductible, but just the monhtly premium which is around $15 for 2015 (was about $12 this past year). I use this plan and it has been...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Oct 16, 2014 9:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Meaning of Important note included in Medicare part D plan ?
Replies: 28
Views: 2063

Re: Meaning of Important note included in Medicare part D pl

I have the Humana Walmart Part D, interestingly I found that the one medication I needed was cheaper at a local pharmacy than at WalMart. No need to worry about that (and the Humana web site accurately posted the prices.)
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Oct 16, 2014 2:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Meaning of Important note included in Medicare part D plan ?
Replies: 28
Views: 2063

Re: Retired and end of month checking account balance?

Peter Foley wrote:low 5 figures.


Me too!

Small pension, no SS, mostly dividends, interest, and maturing CDs
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Oct 12, 2014 11:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retired and end of month checking account balance?
Replies: 21
Views: 2502

Re: VMMXX: Finally Pulled the Trigger

I am in the deaccumulation stage, send all the dividends to local credit union where I spend it. :happy This does not work for the few ETFs I have, they do go to the sweep and I need to remind myself to empty it out. Not buying them anymore and while you can convert from Admiral to ETF with no tax c...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Oct 12, 2014 11:22 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VMMXX: Finally Pulled the Trigger
Replies: 29
Views: 3798

Re: Feedback on Vanguard funds

Someone here will suggest it so, since I am on east coast time, I get to be the first. Perhaps you should take a step back, do some more reading on the wiki, and figure out what your need, willingness and ability to take risk is. If the past few days of "red" had you thinking of bolting fo...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Oct 08, 2014 6:30 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Feedback on Vanguard funds
Replies: 8
Views: 760

Re: Help with tax loss harvesting

Why does the wiki only recommend to not reinvest dividends for taxable accounts and not tax-advantage? - http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Wash_sale You answered your own question; you cannot tax loss harvest in tax deferred accounts so avoiding the problem of reinvested dividends within 30 days will ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Oct 07, 2014 6:09 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with tax loss harvesting
Replies: 16
Views: 1176

Re: Capital loss carryover in the (almost) 15% bracket

Convert 3k into the 25% bracket. You will write 3k of your losses against OI from the conversion (@25%) and the rest against the dividends(at 15%). There is no way to avoid the write off against dividends so you should try to do it in a year where you would have paid 15% instead of 0%. This is assu...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Oct 06, 2014 9:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital loss carryover in the (almost) 15% bracket
Replies: 7
Views: 533

Capital loss carryover in the (almost) 15% bracket

Last year I harvested some tax losses; I now have about $30k in carryover losses. I realize I can use $3k against ordinary income. All things being equal, I would not sell anything this year and therefore will not have capital gains, except for what my Vanguard funds throw off. Seems a waste to use ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Oct 06, 2014 4:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital loss carryover in the (almost) 15% bracket
Replies: 7
Views: 533

Re: "Vanguard converting mutual fund accounts to brokerage?

Some times when I corrected the "problem" the situation got worse. I could no longer transfer funds between our joint account and DW's taxable account but I could between our joint account and my ROTH Not sure if this is relevant (I have not been converted to the single account structure)...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Oct 06, 2014 3:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Vanguard converting mutual fund accounts to brokerage?
Replies: 105
Views: 12211

Re: Can I open up a Roth IRA for my 6 year old?

That is the law, but when I was discussing estate planning with someone at a major discount broker, I was informed that the broker does not make any effort to contact the owners of such accounts when they turn 18 or 21. It is up to the parents to do so. If my child were an actor whose earnings were...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Oct 06, 2014 8:29 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can I open up a Roth IRA for my 6 year old?
Replies: 32
Views: 3399

Re: Medical Tourism - recent article

I think many patients confuse "excellent healthcare" with "excellent customer service." I can tell you from personal experience with friends and family members, that whenever I hear about how "great" a healthcare experience was, it was almost always referring to how ni...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Oct 05, 2014 6:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical Tourism - recent article
Replies: 21
Views: 1831

Re: New hardwood floor

I put down 600 ft of pre-finished rock maple, with a helper, the right tools (cut off saw, table saw, compressor, power nailer) it was two days in total. I was able to buy some locally produced flooring (Vermont) that was far superior to any of the usual sort, the bevel that is part of any pre-finis...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Oct 05, 2014 5:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New hardwood floor
Replies: 13
Views: 1604

Re: Suggestions to tax-efficiently reduce my holdings in a s

The 30% AGI limit is for appreciated assets that are donated, which would seemingly apply in your situation.

If they assets are not appreciated then 50% AGI is the limit
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Sep 28, 2014 6:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Suggestions to tax-efficiently reduce my holdings in a stock
Replies: 5
Views: 420

Re: favorite brand name products

Heinz Ketchup (the one with sugar not corn syrup)
Hellman's of course

Most of the foods in the house are single ingredient, so brand is not usually a factor.
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Sep 28, 2014 6:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: favorite brand name products
Replies: 58
Views: 3107

Re: Quicken Vanguard redo problems

Indeed, the old Pershing numbers were required, they can be found on 2007 statements. Unfortunately I only have electronic statements going back till 2009 and am not co-located with the old paper statements.

A call to flagship got the numbers and I am about to complete the task :)
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard Recommending Quicken Changes
Replies: 62
Views: 6169

Re: Quicken Vanguard redo problems

Thanks for the tip,it worked a treat!

Now I have the mismatched brokerage accounts, some with old Pershing numbers. Time to call the flagship!
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Sep 19, 2014 6:59 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard Recommending Quicken Changes
Replies: 62
Views: 6169

Quicken Vanguard redo problems

[Thread merged, see below. --admin LadyGeek] I am doing the Vanguard redo thing, when I get to the part of linking a Vanguard account to an existing Quicken account, my IRA type accounts are not offered as an option. How do I link these? (I have tried searching at Quicken and this sort of question ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Sep 19, 2014 6:23 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard Recommending Quicken Changes
Replies: 62
Views: 6169

Re: New Laptop, need help

I have bought my last few Thinkpads from the Lenovo outlet site: http://outlet.lenovo.com/outlet_us/ They come with one year warranty and after the purchase you can buy an additional year plus accidental damage coverage for $99. As a frequent traveler that extension makes good sense. There are the c...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Sep 16, 2014 6:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Laptop, need help
Replies: 33
Views: 2275

Re: Revocable trust

Florida requires that a personal representative (executor) be either a relative or a Florida resident. So if someone's first choice for personal representative isn't either a relative or a personal resident, a revocable trust is the most common workaround. That's the most common reason we might rec...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Sep 15, 2014 5:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Revocable trust
Replies: 13
Views: 1154

Re: CIT Bank for savings (thinking of switching)

I have had both a savings account and CDs at CIT for the past year or so. No issues, but then I haven't had any reason to interact with them except to set up the accounts, which was all done online. Easily linked to my local credit union checking account from which I take my living expenses.
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Sep 14, 2014 10:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CIT Bank for savings (thinking of switching)
Replies: 1
Views: 190

Sub-leasing an apartment

Let's say I have a one year lease on an apartment, it allows me to sub-lease. I do so but I do not want the tenant to write me a check nor do I want to insure the apartment as a rental property, that is insurance that would cover me as as a landlord.

What are my options here??
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sub-leasing an apartment
Replies: 2
Views: 319

Re: POLL: What was the first stock you ever bought?

1961, I was 13 and I bought 50 shares of Public Service Electric & Gas (NJ) Sold it sometime in the late 80's collected lots of dividends over the years
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Sep 04, 2014 7:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: POLL: What was the first stock you ever bought?
Replies: 74
Views: 2981

Re: Thailand/Cambodia Travel Recommendations

That seems like a lot of travel in eight days. Two years ago my wife and I took two weeks to get from the Malaysian border to Bangkok, making our way by local van service and train. Great trip, no big sights to check off the list but got to see a lot, interact with people, sample the great food and ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Sep 03, 2014 9:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thailand/Cambodia Travel Recommendations
Replies: 22
Views: 1434

Re: How Much For New Windows?

Brick molding is the wood trim that is often used on the exterior of windows.
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Much For New Windows?
Replies: 32
Views: 1979

Road Trip, New England to Cailfornia

My wife and I are setting out (October 9) on a four week auto trip, followed by two weeks in East Bay and LA. We are renting a car and leaving it there, flying back east in time for Thanksgiving (US). So far we go from Providence, RI (family visit), to NYC (more family), Richmond, VA (yet more famil...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road Trip, New England to Cailfornia
Replies: 11
Views: 1165
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