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Re: Anyone use Fidelity as their bank account?

Hayden wrote:Thanks for all the feedback. I am going to set it up. Seems like it does everything I need it to do, and I feel more confident in Fidelity's security than in my little credit union's security. thanks

But who do you think would be a more likely target??
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone use Fidelity as their bank account?
Replies: 27
Views: 1647

Re: California Taxes - Am I Missing Something?

I'm surprised there are any doctors at all in California. Don't get me wrong, it's great to visit, but the place is a financial toxic wasteland for doctors. Hmmm, Colorado has .265 docs/100, California has .26/100. If you look at the states with the fewest per capita doctors, it includes mostly low...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Apr 07, 2014 2:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: California Taxes - Am I Missing Something?
Replies: 142
Views: 7558

Re: California Taxes - Am I Missing Something?

hicabob wrote: estate taxes are on the low side.


Since 2005 California does not have any estate tax:

http://wills.about.com/od/california/qt/californiaestatetax.htm
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Apr 07, 2014 1:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: California Taxes - Am I Missing Something?
Replies: 142
Views: 7558

Re: Why did Buffet Pick Vanguard SP500?

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:They may be the 500 largest companies in the US by market capitalization


Actually, the 500 are selected by a committee and are not the largest 500.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%26P_500
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why did Buffet Pick Vanguard SP500?
Replies: 23
Views: 2836

Re: Dual pane windows

by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dual pane windows
Replies: 11
Views: 1026

Re: Transmission rebuilt ($2k) or buy a new car? [Honda Civi

Looks like a rebuilt trans can be purchased for less than $1000, wouldn't be more than $500 to remove and replace and the whole thing is done, beats most in house rebuilds in my experience.

http://shop.synchrotech-transmissions.c ... ons_c8.htm
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Transmission rebuilt ($2k) or buy a new car? [Honda Civic]
Replies: 23
Views: 1120

Re: Purchasing New Tires for Car and Need Suggestions

Agree with using Town Fair tire, if they are local to you. Will match any price, free rotations, decent selection. Now as to the all season question... not sure where in New England you are, in the south I might risk all seasons but in the north (ME, NH, VT) snows are a great improvement in traction...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Apr 01, 2014 4:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Purchasing New Tires for Car and Need Suggestions
Replies: 38
Views: 2009

Re: How much to build a small house from scratch?

You do not give enough information for answers with any precision. Infrastructure costs, zoning and building requirements (sprinklers for example), site costs, location and climactic considerations, level of finish, bathrooms (very expensive) all will greatly influence the total cost. Some more deta...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Mar 30, 2014 10:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much to build a small house from scratch?
Replies: 28
Views: 1577

Re: Advanced Car Buying Techniques

It looks like your Accord will come from Ohio, so no decision there https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Honda_assembly_plants Tires size? Best for what? For winter a higher profile (16 inch wheel) is better, 17 inch (lower profile) theoretically better for dry traction, but in my opinion, the kind...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advanced Car Buying Techniques
Replies: 16
Views: 2062

Re: Marvin vs. Andersen Windows: The Eternal Struggle

I am uncertain what consideration you have given to the type of glass you will be getting and if both brands being considered offer some flexibility. I am almost certain that the Marvins offer choices of solar gain properties and depending where the windows are in your house, you would want differen...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Marvin vs. Andersen Windows: The Eternal Struggle
Replies: 27
Views: 1783

Two states, two residences

My son and his wife are working in NY and RI respectively. They had been living in NY for the past two years where he worked and she was a student. In July they established legal residence in RI (driver's license, voter registration) and she began working there in August, while he continues to work ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Two states, two residences
Replies: 6
Views: 607

Re: Need help buying health insurance

If your income is low enough, you don't wait until the end of the year to get your subsidy, your premium is discounted up front
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help buying health insurance
Replies: 30
Views: 1326

Re: Medigap Plan G vs Plan F?

There seems to be a widespread myopia when it comes to health insurance, especially as compared to other insurances. When we buy auto or home insurance we calculate what risk we can shoulder, what we cannot, and buy coverage commensurately. But when it comes to health insurance we calcite "what...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medigap Plan G vs Plan F?
Replies: 32
Views: 3928

Re: Curious outcome, donations and cost basis, 8000%marginal

OP here... Part of what seems to be happening is that if I show even $1 in gain I am subject to the 30% of AGI limit, effectively chopping over $11k in deduction. What is disallowed can be carried over to next year, but my strategy has been to make such contributions every third year or so, using th...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Curious outcome, donations and cost basis, 8000%marginal rat
Replies: 4
Views: 285

Curious outcome, donations and cost basis, 8000%marginal rat

I made a two year contribution to Vanguard Charitable Foundation during 2013. When I enter it into TurboTax it asks me the cost of the donated asset. In round numbers: The donated stock was valued at $58,452. If I enter its cost value at $58,452 my tax liability (total) is $4402. But if I enter the ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Mar 03, 2014 2:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Curious outcome, donations and cost basis, 8000%marginal rat
Replies: 4
Views: 285

Re: Water heater - gas or electric?

If you go with the on demand system AND if you are on a well or spring, be sure that you have your water hardness tested and, if needed, a water softener. Hard water will render useless the tiny passages in the on demand heater very quickly.
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Water heater - gas or electric?
Replies: 49
Views: 2743

Re: 2013 TurboTax: Which Product? New Rules?

I am late to this discussion, been on the move and now settling in to get taxes underway. I am confused as to some points in the discussion re: Schedule C, which I do file. I am Flagship at Vanguard and I see when I log in that i can do any of the online versions at no cost, but to get Premier in th...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Feb 01, 2014 3:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2013 TurboTax: Which Product? New Rules?
Replies: 302
Views: 28694

Re: How do you use Penfed?

I opened two accounts in the past month or so, neither were IRAs. Established link with Vanguard from the Vanguard site so that I could move large amounts to and fro. The transfer setup took two days and once I verified the small trial deposits that Vanguard made, I was set. The paperwork was waitin...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How do you use Penfed?
Replies: 24
Views: 2449

Re: Executor of will -- what to tell inheritors

I was the personal representative for my parents and the estate was distributed to me and my sister, two nieces and my son. No worries about me and my sister, my son had been brought up on Bogle's ideas, and one niece was savvy and had already taken sound steps for her future. The other niece was th...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Executor of will -- what to tell inheritors
Replies: 29
Views: 2847

Re: The PenFed Craze

I am a regular blood donor at Red Cross Blood drives. From this post, I assume that makes me a "member" of the Red Cross? Is that your understanding? That worked for me, asserted, truthfully, that I am a long-time donor and that was that. When I went to buy some CDs in my wife's name, she...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:34 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The PenFed Craze
Replies: 32
Views: 4718

Re: New PenFed CD rates!

I applied to penfed via (paper) mail. I've been receiving emails that imply that I've been accepted, but they say things like: Please note: you will need your member number and security code to complete this process. If you do not have your member number or security code yet, please contact a membe...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New PenFed CD rates!
Replies: 313
Views: 33085

Re: "Cheapskate of the Year"

If there are a line of empty parking spaces, I will cruise by to see if any of them have remaining time on them, it adds up!
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Cheapskate of the Year"
Replies: 87
Views: 7989

Re: Domestic vs international for taxes

I am hazarding a guess that the difference was in capital gains, which are not taxed in the 15% bracket
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Dec 27, 2013 9:47 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Domestic vs international for taxes
Replies: 11
Views: 599

Re: Retiring in a "no state income tax state"?

There is a lot of misinformation about how taxes in high tax states affect retirees. Need to check what is actually taxed as income in retirement instead of assuming that high income taxes will continue. My nominal income in NJ places me at the top of the 5.5% bracket but most of my income is not t...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Dec 25, 2013 8:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retiring in a "no state income tax state"?
Replies: 101
Views: 11622

Re: Medicare info sources?

Remember, it is insurance so don't buy more than you need. In our case we went with the high deductible medical,given our health and asset status.
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Dec 21, 2013 4:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare info sources?
Replies: 18
Views: 845

Re: How to leave my financial adviser

The story here is that its a managed account and the funds are institutional shares. I can transfer the account to VG for free but but each fund that i'll sell/exchange at VG will cost me $35 per transaction and were talking here about 35 funds which means it will cost me 1200 dollars to sell all t...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Dec 20, 2013 3:11 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to leave my financial adviser
Replies: 39
Views: 3641

Re: Using Vanguard to manage portfolio..

I list all of my outside assets at the Vanguard site and then use Vanguard's Portfolio Watch feature to calculate net worth, asset allocation etc. Works well for me and has for years. +1 and a simple spreadsheet to rebalance, although that is a theoretical proposition, I have gone over to a light t...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:06 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Using Vanguard to manage portfolio..
Replies: 10
Views: 792

Re: New PenFed CD rates!

Kevin. Thanks you for another great post! Always more info than I could hope for and hearing your rationale is incredibly useful. So we pulled the trigger on CDs with the 5 year term. Two 25K and counting. 25K (ACH) is the most PenFed allows daily for new accounts so we'll be at it for a few more d...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New PenFed CD rates!
Replies: 313
Views: 33085

Re: Life after Windows XP?

Thanks again. I will study the links you provided to see if I should just buy a new laptop. However, I am inclined to get Windows 7 if it's still available on new hardware.Victoria Your best source for Windows 7 laptops, in my opinion, would be the business lines of business at HP, Dell or Lenovo. ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Dec 16, 2013 11:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Life after Windows XP?
Replies: 117
Views: 6008

Re: Recording Account details for heirs/spouse

Thanks for all the suggestions and caveats. I also managed my parents' accounts once they hit 85, had all their passwords, got a joint checking account with my sister on it, accessed all the important stuff online, and had automatic payments on credit card, electronic tax payments, the whole nine ya...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recording Account details for heirs/spouse
Replies: 11
Views: 1043

Re: ER visit Qualified Medical Expense?

In some jurisdictions, there are victims' assistance funds that might help out here, not sure where you are but worth checking out.
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Dec 15, 2013 10:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ER visit Qualified Medical Expense?
Replies: 11
Views: 623

Recording Account details for heirs/spouse

Having given up on Quicken some years ago, I now use the simple Vanguard interface to list all my investments. It does not appear to give space to record account numbers, phone numbers and the like. I would like to maintain a list of all my various accounts (not that many but including Treasury Dire...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Dec 15, 2013 2:23 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recording Account details for heirs/spouse
Replies: 11
Views: 1043

Re: How would you handle my situation ?

For sure it does not offer a 457b as that is the 401k equivalent for public employees,
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Dec 13, 2013 12:03 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How would you handle my situation ? [Portfolio help]
Replies: 24
Views: 2114

Re: Tips for buying a $2,000 car

I too have had good luck with salvage cars, but out of the OP's price range. Theft recovery vehicles are the best, in my opinion, they wheels are gone and the stereo may be ripped out. Once bought an Accord, full zoot, for about 65% of wholesale and it was all put together. If a salvage car has run ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Dec 12, 2013 10:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tips for buying a $2,000 car
Replies: 31
Views: 2165

Re: Tips for buying a $2,000 car

Thankss for giving me 30 minutes of nostalgic fun, going through various Craigslist locales for cars under $2500. This was my territory in the past (my first vehcile was a 1960 Renault Dauphine that cost $200) and may be agan for an around town beater. it looks like the 2000 Corolla or Prizm is a sw...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Dec 11, 2013 5:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tips for buying a $2,000 car
Replies: 31
Views: 2165

Re: Where in New Jersey to buy home with NYC commute, childr

About the public school thing... Our son is an adult, went to a good enough public school, on to university and now an Ivy League professor. There were some teachers along the way that were inspiring, others not so much. In my years of observing school children, especially those with difficulties, I...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Dec 11, 2013 5:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where in New Jersey to buy home with NYC commute, children?
Replies: 66
Views: 3685

Re: Vanguard ETF Purchase

If I decide to sell my stock to buy the mutual funds or ETFs, would it make more sense to sell all my stock at one time and purchase all funds at one time or use the money to buy a little each month? I second the idea of buying mutual funds, no fees and you can add to it each month or however often...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Dec 11, 2013 1:57 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard ETF Purchase
Replies: 12
Views: 1046

Re: buying car from dealership not close to your house?

A couple of random (and mostly off topic points.) I remember years ago my uncle was driving a 1957 Caddy, windshield needed to be replaced. Went to the Caddy dealer, quoted something like $200, then we drove around the block to the Chevrolet dealer, same windshield, $95. As to warranty repairs... I ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: buying car from dealership not close to your house?
Replies: 39
Views: 2318

Re: Where in New Jersey to buy home with NYC commute, childr

OK, I am not sure that all these responses can really be helpful, you are getting lots of choices and clearly you and your wife will need to establish some priorities. With family in Waldwick and Somerville, looking to not pay private school tuition and a commute to Lower Manhattan each day some of ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where in New Jersey to buy home with NYC commute, children?
Replies: 66
Views: 3685

Re: To Roth or not to Roth

Looks like all but 7.5% of nursing home care is tax-deductible as is home care, if you are forced there due to medical or physical limitations. Looks like being forced to spend on that would bump your marginal tax rate down rather than up. But the issue is a bit murky for room and board expenses an...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:23 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: To Roth or not to Roth
Replies: 28
Views: 2393

Re: Vanguard Admiral Shares

Agwapijaw wrote:Could you Tax loss harvist between Admiral and Investor shares?


No :happy (it would be nice)
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:32 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Admiral Shares
Replies: 15
Views: 1616

Re: Computer Hardware Experts: Is my hardrive on its last l

Right, backing up email with Outlook is a bit more complex, especially if, as my wife does, you use it as a major storage area of your life. PST files and the sort, anyway, it can be done so read up on this vital piece. If you use gmail or outlook.com as your address AND have it set to IMAP, your ma...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Computer Hardware Experts: Is my hardrive on its last leg?
Replies: 45
Views: 2310

Re: Computer Hardware Experts: Is my hardrive on its last l

I agree with the aforementioned sentiments about BACKING UP ASAP!. Your Outlook problem may be unrelated however; I gave up on Outlook when they went ribbon on me, went to Thunderbird and never had to view another pst file in my life, well almost (my wife hangs on to her Outlook 2010, really pushes ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Computer Hardware Experts: Is my hardrive on its last leg?
Replies: 45
Views: 2310

Re: Bicycle pump - need one with a fool proof head

If she only presta valves, or at least 90% of the time, I use a 20+ year old Silca pump, it is usable on Schraders but it is a PITA to go back and forth, so think of it as a presta only. Ince every four eyars or so I buy a new rubber for it, $.50 at my local bike shop, if it is no given to me, and I...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bicycle pump - need one with a fool proof head
Replies: 15
Views: 740

Re: If I unlock iPhone 4s, what next?

And right now you can get a SIm from T-Mobile at no cost:

http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/prep ... PID=227502

This is the link for the micro card, there are aslo regular and nano sizes available
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: If I unlock iPhone 4s, what next?
Replies: 21
Views: 1597

Re: Suggestions invited regarding inheritance

Why a lawyer and a CPA? If you have been manage things for yourself till now, I suspect that after a few months, I agree with the idea of doing nothing for a while, you will be clear about what needs to be done. Been there done that.

Also take the time to remember your mother, take it easy
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Dec 07, 2013 6:07 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Suggestions invited regarding inheritance
Replies: 10
Views: 853

Re: When has Total Intl outperformed Total US?

It would be just as true to say that for the past forty-four years international equities have mostly lead U.S. equities. You could also make a reasonable argument that the entire reason international equities appear to have lagged U.S. equities over the last forty-four years is only because in the...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When has Total Intl outperformed Total US?
Replies: 17
Views: 3094

Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

I have some small $$ at Fido, mostly to earn the frequent flyer miles that fund my retirement travel. Only buy el cheapo Spartan funds so it is a wash in that regard. BUT, I do find that when I read any of the advice or research given at FIDO I need to keep in mind from whom the advice is coming, so...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:32 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity vs Vanguard
Replies: 44
Views: 5436

Re: New PenFed CD rates!

In my experience, there is no "process" to go through when the insured bank goes belly up. Had it happen x2, the bank closed on Friday, on Monday it opened up again in another name and the check was in the mail. You do risk needing to reinvest at a lower rate if rates have dropped since yo...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:14 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New PenFed CD rates!
Replies: 313
Views: 33085
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