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Re: Poll - Do you use Quicken?

I started using Quicken in DOS days, it seemed a treat. Over the years it started to get overloaded and when various financial sites allowed me to enter "outside investments", I ditched Quicken. Never was one to budget or track expenses, spend what is needed, save the rest. Fast forward ei...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll - Do you use Quicken?
Replies: 52
Views: 1577

Re: The ultimate Boglehead exercise

The Seven minute routine, especially if you do it x2 or x3 works well for me.
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/09/the-scientific-7-minute-workout/

There are apps for your phone/tablet that show the exercise and have a timer, try it!
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Jul 20, 2014 6:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The ultimate Boglehead exercise
Replies: 21
Views: 2393

Re: If you own a car, do you have a car payment?

I have owned around 55 cars since 1965, none of them were purchased with borrowed $$. :happy First purchase, in 1965, was a 1960 Renault Dauphine, 3 speed, 32 horsepower, and would hit 65 mph with a good tail wind, $200. Most recent purchase, in 2012, was a 2009 Jetta Sportswagen (2.0 Turbo), $15k, ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: If you own a car, do you have a car payment?
Replies: 97
Views: 4878

Re: Should I buy a new(er) car, and if so what?

Don't try to economize on tires. Buy good ones (if not top brand), and don't delay. You do a lot of miles. Those 4 bits of rubber and steel are *all* you have between you and a blowout or crash due to loss of traction. You can never (well, hardly ever) spend too much on tires and brakes. Not to buy...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Jul 17, 2014 4:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I buy a new(er) car, and if so what?
Replies: 19
Views: 1881

Re: mom wants to "sell" me her condo for estate planning

LadyGeek wrote:We're straying into a discussion about the Medicare 5-year lookback period, some background info is here: How Can I Safely Transfer My Assets to Get Medicaid to Pay for Long-Term Care?


Just to keep it clear, we are talking about Medicaid lookback, Medicare has no such mechanism
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Jul 13, 2014 5:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: mom wants to "sell" me her condo for estate planning
Replies: 23
Views: 2985

Re: Karen, single, 61, $2 million.

She is single, so at FRA, she should plan to file and suspend SS as discussed elsewhere on the forum.. I have read the many lengthy threads on SS and I still am haunted by the thought that I am leaving something on the table, so indulge me here. How does file and suspend advantage her as opposed to...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Jul 11, 2014 1:42 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Karen, single, 61, $2 million.
Replies: 35
Views: 3683

Re: Treasury Direct error, MINE!

I won't bother you with "why did you do this"? Can't you just close out 4 of them for eternity and return to a more regular situation? I was wanting 4 accounts so that I could make $40k purchases each year; in addition, there is no "closing out" the accounts as long as they hold...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Jul 10, 2014 3:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Treasury Direct error, MINE!
Replies: 7
Views: 906

Re: Treasury Direct error, MINE!

If #3 and #5 are the same entity, I'd just stop purchasing in one of them and call it a day. I don't have as good of google skills as sscritic when looking through the treasurydirect website, but I came across this thread from a year ago so I'd read through it and decide for yourself on what you sh...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Jul 10, 2014 3:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Treasury Direct error, MINE!
Replies: 7
Views: 906

Treasury Direct error, MINE!

Somehow I managed to setup five accounts at Treasury Direct: #1) TheGreying Duke #2 The GreyingDuke spouse #3 The GreyingDuke, Greying Duke spouse trustees for the GreyingDuke trust #4 The GreyingDuke, Greying Duke spouse trustees for the Greying Duke spouse trust #5 The Greying Duke, trustee, Greyi...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Treasury Direct error, MINE!
Replies: 7
Views: 906

Re: Decumulation accounts, Open Fidelity Cash MGT?

For years I have used the Vanguard Advantage account as my day to day checking account. BUT... it has been a bear to use this within Quicken, crazy numbers appear, not very usual checking account terminology is used and I have had conversations with Vanguard over years to see if they could assist; a...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Jul 04, 2014 8:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Decumulation accounts, Open Fidelity Cash MGT?
Replies: 8
Views: 799

Re: Two month car rental

I do not see any reason to rent car if you already own a recent model - I know this is not the question OP is asking. 2200 mile road trip to Colorado on a 2011 Camry the day after it was bought 4000 mile road trip to Yellowstone & Tetons last month in a 2012 Mazda 6 The cars did fine. It is NOT...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Two month car rental
Replies: 28
Views: 1895

Re: Two month car rental

Perhaps others can verify my experience... In the past I have flow to western cities such as Albequrque, Las Vegas, Phoenix and rented a car for a few weeks to drive the national parks, probably 2000 miles or so each time. The cars were all rented on an unlimited miles basis for return to originati...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:16 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Two month car rental
Replies: 28
Views: 1895

Re: Two month car rental

My dw and I are planning a 6-8 week cross country excursion this fall. I am considering a long-term car rental for what will likely be a 7k mile trip. A quick look shows that I can rent a Chevy Cruze or similar for around $1200 for the two months. This comes to about $.17 a mile, gets me protection...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Two month car rental
Replies: 28
Views: 1895

Two month car rental

My dw and I are planning a 6-8 week cross country excursion this fall. I am considering a long-term car rental for what will likely be a 7k mile trip. A quick look shows that I can rent a Chevy Cruze or similar for around $1200 for the two months. This comes to about $.17 a mile, gets me protection ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Jun 28, 2014 8:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Two month car rental
Replies: 28
Views: 1895

Re: Transfering inherited assets in-kind to Vanguard Brokera

When my mother died (assets at Vanguard) the advice we got on their end was the easiest way to proceed was to have the heirs open accounts at Vanguard, sort of strange but that was how we proceeded. As to in-kind or otherwise, I wanted to help establish some habits for two of the heirs (my nieces) a...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Transfering inherited assets in-kind to Vanguard Brokerage
Replies: 13
Views: 521

Re: Homemade Sauerkraut

Harvest time around here (Northern Vermont) has us using the kraut device that cuts it up just so, take 40 lbs., add 1 lb. kosher salt and let her rip! Depending on the room temp, within a matter of weeks it is good and tangy, then it goes in the cold side of the root cellar where it lives for the w...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Homemade Sauerkraut
Replies: 15
Views: 964

Re: Suggestions for 1-2 Days in NYC?

For discount broadway tickets go here: http://www.tdf.org/TKTSBoards.aspx
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suggestions for 1-2 Days in NYC?
Replies: 51
Views: 2950

Re: Curious SS "when do I take it" spreadsheet

The test, as I understand it for spousal benefits, is that your own benefit cannot be larger than 50% of the spouse's; in this instance that test cannot be met.
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Jun 13, 2014 4:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Curious SS "when do I take it" spreadsheet
Replies: 5
Views: 888

Re: Curious SS "when do I take it" spreadsheet

Major problem is that formula for cell L9 (and later in col L) assume 12% annual return on the 66-70 SocSec benefit. You're adding 1% of the account balance to the reduced SocSec payment, not 1%/12. And a couple other minor quibbles: The increase factor in cell C2 assumes a 7% increase each year of...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Curious SS "when do I take it" spreadsheet
Replies: 5
Views: 888

Curious SS "when do I take it" spreadsheet

I have been talking with a friend about SS strategies, when to take it. He has prepared a spreadsheet that shows that his best approach is to take it at 66 (FRA), invest the benefits, and then at 70 begin living on the interest of the accrued benefits plus the monthly check My reaction was that &quo...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:04 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Curious SS "when do I take it" spreadsheet
Replies: 5
Views: 888

How do I post/link a spreadsheet

I am talking with a friend about social security strategies, relating much of what I have learned here. He has written a spreadsheet that makes a slam dunk argument for collecting at FRA (66). I always thought the issues were more subtle and I would like to post his excel sheet for comment. How shou...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:02 am
 
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: How do I post/link a spreadsheet
Replies: 7
Views: 545

Re: Inherited Unit trusts and individual bonds

In investigating the unit trusts, they are in various (mostly municipal) bonds paying roughly 4.5-5.5% and the indivdual bonds have similar interest rates most of them maturing around 2030-2035. I was planning on keeping the vast majority of this inherited IRA in Total Bond Market Index Admiral sha...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:57 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Inherited Unit trusts and individual bonds
Replies: 8
Views: 521

Re: Medicare Advantage to Medigap

I use Medigap Plan F Hi Deductible. It has worked out very well for me and is affordable. The thing that makes it so sweet is that Medicare negotiates the regular price down to a much smaller amount and then medicare Plan B pays for 80% of the dr or hospital charges so that 20% left over is usually...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Advantage to Medigap
Replies: 14
Views: 1390

Re: capital gains on land sale?

MN Finance wrote:I read this as: she's selling some land, but retaining the house and the rest of the land?


Yes, thanks for the clarifying comment
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Jun 02, 2014 9:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: capital gains on land sale?
Replies: 5
Views: 398

capital gains on land sale?

My friend Susan bought a house and 18 acres in 1986 for let's say $125K. She is now contemplating selling 5 acres for about $140k. How does she figure her capital gains (the house is her primary residence.) House and land is assessed at $225k by the town, if that matters.
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Jun 02, 2014 8:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: capital gains on land sale?
Replies: 5
Views: 398

Re: Should I buy a house?

I'd also like to have a steady and controllable living situation during retirement, so I would like to have a house paid off prior to that. Any advice? WWYD? I suggest disconnecting what you think you will want in 30 years from the current situation. As a now 66 year old, my thoughts of what I woul...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu May 29, 2014 8:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I buy a house?
Replies: 11
Views: 870

Re: Thinking of buying a 1974 Corvette

I know from shinola about Crovettes but I can tell you that 1974 model year was the nadir of emissions and ugly bumpers. Lots of plumbing under the hood to choke things up, never ran right (at least that was true for my 1974 Valiant :) )
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed May 28, 2014 10:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking of buying a 1974 Corvette
Replies: 22
Views: 1459

Re: NYC for the day… what to do with the car

Given the brevity of the visit and the fact that you will be there in Saturday, it might make more sense to brave a short drive into Manhattan. Get off the GSP at exit 129 and take the NJ Turnpike into the Manhattan (Lincoln Tunnel) and park somewhere around 11th Ave and 34th, good chance of finding...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon May 26, 2014 8:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: NYC for the day… what to do with the car
Replies: 18
Views: 1087

Re: Google Voice Not Supported on OBi Devices After May 15 2

There is an updated Talkatone app for Android that allows continued linking to Google Voice and free incoming calls; outgoing calls will cost you about 1.5 cents a minute
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon May 26, 2014 8:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google Voice Not Supported on OBi Devices After May 15 2014
Replies: 88
Views: 8361

Re: Cigna HMO plan- Dr says she will not take HMOs anymore

Either way, it sounds like you need to find a new a new doctor, within Cigna's network, ASAP. I wouldn't sweat it, finding a good primary care doctor is not that difficult, and you may like the new one better. Hmmm, "good" and "not that difficult" :?: Many areas of the country, ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu May 15, 2014 10:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cigna HMO plan- Dr says she will not take HMOs anymore
Replies: 16
Views: 1428

Re: Intra-Family Mortgage

Many moons ago, my father wanted to help us out, we had built a first house ourselves (taking down a barn that was in the way of an interstate construction) and when we moved, we were short about $30k for the new house. Dear old Dad had a CD deposited at his local bank and took a loan on the $30k, n...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu May 15, 2014 1:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Intra-Family Mortgage
Replies: 32
Views: 2679

Where does Vanguard stand on exorbitant CEO pay?

In today's NYTimes: http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/05/14/doubling-down-on-c-e-o-pay/?action=click&module=Search&region=searchResults&mabReward=relbias%3Ar&url=http%3A%2F%2Fquery.nytimes.com%2Fsearch%2Fsitesearch%2F%3Faction%3Dclick%26region%3DMasthead%26pgtype%3DSectionFront%26modu...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu May 15, 2014 1:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where does Vanguard stand on exorbitant CEO pay?
Replies: 14
Views: 1380

Re: TSP password enhanced today

What is TSP :?:
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon May 12, 2014 9:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TSP password enhanced today
Replies: 15
Views: 1336

Re: Tillers & Cultivators

I bought my first Troy-Bilt in 1973, it was a wonder for working the large garden. I had that machine until 2008 when we sold the house and downsized. It was a nasty piece of equipment, noisy, gas and oil leaking here and there, and not for the weak of arm. Since then I have converted almost entirel...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon May 12, 2014 10:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tillers & Cultivators
Replies: 21
Views: 1368

Re: Are my retirement dreams a mirage?

For the past seven years, since retiring at 59, DW and I have gone to China for three-five months to teach and consult in our area of expertise, essentially as volunteers. While in that part of the world we have visited other nearby countries (Japan, Thailand, Malaysia mostly), generally staying in ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri May 02, 2014 9:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are my retirement dreams a mirage?
Replies: 39
Views: 4140

Re: Are I Bonds a part of your portfolio?

I buy $45k each year ($10k each for me, DW, my trust, DW's trust) and $5k when I overpay my estimated taxes and get the refund in $5k worth of bonds. It fits into my fixed income bucket, along with CDs, bond funds, some individual TIPS from back in the 3.8% days, and a CIT savings account that pays ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:39 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are I Bonds a part of your portfolio?
Replies: 53
Views: 4042

Re: Kitchen Stand Mixer Suggestions

It depends what your major use is. I bought a Kitchen Aid, the high power one, and found it could not knead any large quantity bread dough, especially one with 50% of whole grain flour. I went with the electrolux asistent, now re-badged here: http://www.amazon.com/Verona-Assistent-AKM6220B-Mixer-Sta...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen Stand Mixer Suggestions
Replies: 30
Views: 4048

Re: VW TDI Engines

I have a 2006 golf tdi w/100k miles. Love it. It has aged well. I live in a major metro area... no issues finding folks to service it. Not every gas station carries diesel. Look around to make sure that you have enough access points. (All highway gas stations carry diesel.) Got through this past, v...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Apr 26, 2014 12:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: VW TDI Engines
Replies: 48
Views: 12375

Re: VW TDI Engines

My father had a 2012 Jetta TDI. He was the perfect candidate for one, driving 35k miles per year almost entirely on the highway, so fuel costs are definitely a factor and hybrids have no mileage advantage. Last month ago there was a catastrophic fuel system failure while my mother was driving it ac...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: VW TDI Engines
Replies: 48
Views: 12375

Re: Changing residence from NY State (health insurance reaso

I've been a nomad for three years, I've traveled basically living in sublets. I asked my CPA years ago about state residence but he said losing NY state residence was by far the toughest. I just had a blow up with my health insurance company, I want better insurance, I'm 27 and pay $300 a month for...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Apr 25, 2014 10:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changing residence from NY State (health insurance reasons)
Replies: 17
Views: 3888

Re: VW TDI Engines

Here are some hard numbers: (I'm an engineer and have 40 years of mileage numbers for the cars we've owned - I'm retired now and working on getting a life). We had a Jetta TDI for 2 years between June 2010 and August 2012. During that period, we drove 16k miles at an average of 37.6 mpg or $0.100 /...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Apr 25, 2014 8:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: VW TDI Engines
Replies: 48
Views: 12375

Re: Help for widowed cousin, without a clue

The New Jersey estate tax shouldn't be the main focus, though in large estates a common technique is to make deathbed gifts of high basis assets such as cash and bonds. Interesting that you should mention this, when my mother, also a NJ resident, was on her deathbed, she did make such gifts but the...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Apr 25, 2014 10:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help for widowed cousin, without a clue
Replies: 14
Views: 1784

Re: Help for widowed cousin, without a clue

With respect to you and your spouse handling this situation, is there any risk that doing this may incur some blowback with regards to either of her children, especially the "competent" one? You have been asked by your cousin to do this, but do you have POA or something at least in writin...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Apr 25, 2014 10:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help for widowed cousin, without a clue
Replies: 14
Views: 1784

Re: Help for widowed cousin, without a clue

Thanks all for the responses; bsteiner it is indeed a modest house within walking distance of the South Orange train station, it is becoming a hoarders nightmare. The estate was settled (her husband was an attorney who made all the necessary arrangements) and although there were not taxes due, estat...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Apr 25, 2014 8:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help for widowed cousin, without a clue
Replies: 14
Views: 1784

Re: Help for widowed cousin, without a clue

Is Susan mentally competent or do you need to apply to the court for guardianship or power of attorney? Could she be senile? Susan is quite competent but depressed, anxious, plagued by a host of chronic illnesses (hypertension, heart disease, obesity), has never overcome her immigration here after ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help for widowed cousin, without a clue
Replies: 14
Views: 1784

Re: Help for widowed cousin, without a clue

A child of any age can be left money in a trust that restricts access to the funds. Special need is not a criteria. As long as you don't trust them to make sound choices, you can have someone else manage the money. But it was my understanding that these special needs trusts can allow an individual ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help for widowed cousin, without a clue
Replies: 14
Views: 1784

Help for widowed cousin, without a clue

I have been asked by my 77 year old cousin (Susan) to put her financial affairs in order. To summarize her situation: Her husband died in 2009 and although he was not particularly adept at managing their financial life, he did the bare minimums. Susan, on the other hand, has let things get way out o...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Apr 24, 2014 12:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help for widowed cousin, without a clue
Replies: 14
Views: 1784

Re: Is it a bad move to buy a home now?

. They were shocked at what a sellers' market it is and think the sellers should be painting for us, refinishing the floors, and getting everything move-in ready. I prefer to see the house as is, without any changes that might hide some deficiencies, not to mention there is no accounting for taste.
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it a bad move to buy a home now?
Replies: 34
Views: 7383

Re: Samsung Galaxy S III on Straight Talk vs. Family Mobile?

I bought a G SIII and Family Mobile service a few months ago. I live in Charlotte area and it works fine in metro area (4G) but not so good once you get outside metro area. I think this is one difference between Verizon and TMobile service. Family Mobile only works with 4 other countries: Canada, M...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Samsung Galaxy S III on Straight Talk vs. Family Mobile?
Replies: 41
Views: 7588

Re: Samsung Galaxy S III on Straight Talk vs. Family Mobile?

My wife and I have been on Family Mobile for the past five months, no unexpected problems, went into it knowing that coverage was going to be inferior to Verizon. I have loaded Groove Ip on it to cover some poor reception areas, which allows one to use wifi to make calls.We use android phones (nexus...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Samsung Galaxy S III on Straight Talk vs. Family Mobile?
Replies: 41
Views: 7588
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