Search found 827 matches

by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Jun 29, 2015 5:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon getting too smart?
Replies: 28
Views: 3285

Re: Amazon getting too smart?

VPN is the partial solution, that and incognito mode on your browser. I use tunnelbear decent
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Jun 29, 2015 5:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you Lazy portfolio funders deal with dips in the market?
Replies: 44
Views: 2284

Re: How do you Lazy portfolio funders deal with dips in the market?

I took a 40 mile bike ride and puttered around the garden.

Seven years in retirement and counting.
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:04 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Transferring a Stock to Vanguard - Cost Basis accuracy
Replies: 9
Views: 846

Re: Transferring a Stock to Vanguard - Cost Basis accuracy

I haven't made transfers from Compuserve, but since these are covered shares Compuserve must have the cost basis info, as others have said.

When I have transferred covered shares to VG from other entities, VG always recorded that cost basis.
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Jun 23, 2015 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Optimize trip to China
Replies: 24
Views: 2397

Re: Optimize trip to China

While I don't minimize the possibility for mischief, I have taken laptops and phones (including the ones I am now using) on extended trips to China over the past 9 years, with no apparent untoward consequences. I always assume that nothing is safe from prying eyes and ears. Skype works fine, you can...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Jun 23, 2015 4:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paid in Euros, live in the US
Replies: 1
Views: 362

Paid in Euros, live in the US

My friend does some contract work for a UK-based organization. They must pay her in euros, although she is resident in the US. The local credit union is fine in accepting the euros (and changing them) but the sending bank in the UK says that since the CU uses a correspondent bank for an intermediary...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Jun 22, 2015 6:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LastPass.com Breach
Replies: 153
Views: 12438

Re: LastPass.com Breach

by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Jun 18, 2015 4:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirees: Did you spend much time wringing your hands over Retirement Savings as Many on Forum Do Today?
Replies: 81
Views: 11376

Re: Retirees: Did you spend much time wringing your hands over Retirement Savings as Many on Forum Do Today?

Spent almost zero time...

Got serious after the 1987 swoon, always lived modestly, resisted debt, spent the $$ on experiences rather than things. Now that I have more than enough, hard to break the habit. :happy
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Jun 14, 2015 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chromebooks- What is the lure?
Replies: 104
Views: 7768

Re: Chromebooks- What is the lure?

I haven't tried it yet, but there is a web-based Skype (beta) that is rumored to work on Chrome OS
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Jun 14, 2015 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chromebooks- What is the lure?
Replies: 104
Views: 7768

Re: Chromebooks- What is the lure?

MossySF wrote:2 fingers tapping on the touchpad is a right click.


Or, "left"click/alt

The thing about the Chromebook is that even after 18 months of use I am still discovering some useful techniques.
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Jun 13, 2015 1:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chromebooks- What is the lure?
Replies: 104
Views: 7768

Re: Chromebooks- What is the lure?

Thanks Shadow Dancer. I'm too lazy to use a Password Manager at this stage. Lynette Hmmm, I thought that using a password manager WAS the lazy person's approach. One password, I never type in a site's password (no key logger to get you) and I can generate random passwords with the click of the mous...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chromebooks- What is the lure?
Replies: 104
Views: 7768

Re: Chromebooks- What is the lure?

How is Chromebook as a pad substitute? ie for reading magazine subscriptions, kindle books etc? It is workable for that? Also for watching streaming video, say? A Chromebook does those things as well as any other notebook. You would want to make sure you get one with a great display for media consu...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Jun 11, 2015 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wife's car is having issues and under water :-/
Replies: 98
Views: 10418

Re: Wife's car is having issues and under water :-/

Thanks for the best wishes. I am still waiting for my mechanic to find the part and how much it costs. He believes it's the sealant (or gasket - I forgot which) problem that is common on turbo gas Jettas. My wife wants to get a quote to get the car's maintenance up to spec, plus fix the oil leak pr...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Jun 11, 2015 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Company to Bundle Auto & Home Insurance
Replies: 19
Views: 1942

Re: Best Company to Bundle Auto & Home Insurance

When I last reviewed this all, the Costco option was hundreds cheaper than Geico. In the event I stayed with Geico because Ameriprise (Costco) would not write an umbrella policy for us. Was there something special about your situation re: the umbrella policy or does Ameriprise just not offer that? ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Jun 11, 2015 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Company to Bundle Auto & Home Insurance
Replies: 19
Views: 1942

Re: Best Company to Bundle Auto & Home Insurance

When I last reviewed this all, the Costco option was hundreds cheaper than Geico. In the event I stayed with Geico because Ameriprise (Costco) would not write an umbrella policy for us.
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Jun 10, 2015 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Airline flight booking
Replies: 22
Views: 2933

Re: Airline flight booking

My family flies international regularly. We typically look at Kayak, find the lowest price and then book on the website of the airline that has the cheapest flight. Note that the same flight booked from different country may have different baggage limits and the cheaper ticket may mean additional b...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Jun 09, 2015 6:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wife's car is having issues and under water :-/
Replies: 98
Views: 10418

Re: Wife's car is having issues and under water :-/

Engine maintenance on this engine is minimal, change oil (synthetic) and filter every 10k miles (more often under harsh conditions), do an air filter every so often and you have it. The scheduled maintenance items are mostly check this, lubricate that but not engine related (sunroof rails for exampl...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Jun 08, 2015 2:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: gains on land sale and purchase
Replies: 3
Views: 253

Re: gains on land sale and purchase

As stated above, you will owe capital gains tax on the difference between your cost and the sale price. If you bought the entire parcel with a house on it that is the basis for the entire property. Now you need to figure out what the piece you are now selling was worth at the time of the purchase. T...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Jun 07, 2015 1:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: French Presses: Glass Carafes vs. Stainless Steel Presses
Replies: 10
Views: 1253

Re: French Presses: Glass Carafes vs. Stainless Steel Presses

Five years??? That is much better than I have ever fared and I finally went for one of these: http://www.amazon.com/Highwin-35-Ounce-Doublewall-Stainless-Plunger/dp/B005FEF22M/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1433703207&sr=8-5&keywords=highwin+coffee+press $36 and you will never break this thing. ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Jun 06, 2015 7:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Money and cell phones when traveling to Canada
Replies: 40
Views: 2691

Re: Money and cell phones when traveling to Canada

cheese_breath wrote:Make sure you have proof that your auto insurance covers you in Canada.

And in my experience with GEICO, they need to mail this to you, it cannot be downloaded.

But, in decades of crossing the border, probably 100 crossings, I have never been asked to show the proof to the Canadian officials.
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Insurance company "outdoor steps need a railing"
Replies: 32
Views: 3510

Re: Insurance company "outdoor steps need a railing"

Here's a link to NY State requirements hand rail memo http://www.dos.ny.gov/DCEA/pdf/RCstairsTB.pdf. NY State requires a hand rail when stairs are two or more treads in height. Thanks for the link, it remains unclear if this applies to exterior, garden steps. I think the plan is to make new applica...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Insurance company "outdoor steps need a railing"
Replies: 32
Views: 3510

Re: Insurance company "outdoor steps need a railing"

Thanks for all the replies, I always count but won a diversity of opinions here. There are about ten treads involved, it is not in a location that any casual visitor would encounter. The building inspection did identify the issue but my son received proof that there was insurance on the house. I thi...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Jun 02, 2015 6:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Insurance company "outdoor steps need a railing"
Replies: 32
Views: 3510

Insurance company "outdoor steps need a railing"

My son and daughter-in-law have just moved in to their new house; the yard is planted in all sorts of native greenery (upstate NY) sand there are numerous stone paths and flat stones on which to meander. On one end there is are stairs, fairly shallow pitch, composed of sunken railroad ties and small...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed May 27, 2015 6:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Money and cell phones when traveling to Canada
Replies: 40
Views: 2691

Re: Money and cell phones when traveling to Canada

Exchanging for C$ in the US is a very bad idea, in my experience. We live less that an hour from the border, make frequent trips to Montreal fr dinner/movies/theater and I either use a no foreign transaction credit card or withdraw money from the ubiquitous ATMs, my credit union will refund any char...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri May 22, 2015 4:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice For Selling A Used Car
Replies: 12
Views: 1578

Re: Advice For Selling A Used Car

In Vermont there is no requirement that you trade the car to get the credit for its value. I buy a car on May 1 from a dealer for $25,000. On May 15 I sell my used car for $5000 and I deduct that amount from the purchase price of the new car. If I have already registered and paid the sales tax, ther...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed May 20, 2015 12:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Just got off phone with my Chase Advisor
Replies: 17
Views: 3371

Re: Just got off phone with my Chase Advisor

When you do the transfer to Vanguard have them "pull" it from Chase, rather than have Chase "push" it to them. You will never even need to speak with the nice person at Chase, more's the pity :D
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon May 18, 2015 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: passport card faster than passport?
Replies: 34
Views: 2707

Re: passport card faster than passport?

As long as you are just getting new passports, it makes sense to also get Global Entry/Trusted Traveler. No need to do so until you actually get the passports back, but it saves a lot of time and hassle going through an airport, especially from a foreign country. Ralph Best way to do this is to app...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon May 18, 2015 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Healthcare Sharing Ministry A No Brainer?
Replies: 49
Views: 3535

Re: Healthcare Sharing Ministry A No Brainer?

One caveat about the idea of "shopping around" for the best price... I would guess that the highest cost/most likely combination you would face would be some sort of trauma. You are not likely to stop the EMTs that pull you out of a burning car and tell them to call around for the least ex...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue May 12, 2015 8:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ideas for a Week in Hong Kong?
Replies: 3
Views: 381

Re: Ideas for a Week in Hong Kong?

But unless you like it hot and humid, avoid summer (april-October.) Best time to visit would be October 15-November 20 for the weather.

Lantau is great, not just the giant Buddha, we spent three days there one holiday weekend, great hiking and not what you think of when you think of Hong Kong.
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue May 12, 2015 8:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Soon to Have No Permanent Residence
Replies: 3
Views: 627

Re: Soon to Have No Permanent Residence

We were in a similar position, we sold the house, spent 3-6 months each year in China, the rest of the time here and there. We were interested in keeping our Vermont residency and the rule here is that even if you do not have a permanent Vermont address, your last legal address qualifies you to vote...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu May 07, 2015 6:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Transferring securities from one taxable brokerage to another
Replies: 5
Views: 397

Re: Transferring securities from one taxable brokerage to another

stlutz wrote:Brokerages are required to transfer the cost basis info for covered securities. You'll be fine.


Right, I transferred some funds from Fidelity to Vanguard, cost basis cam along.
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue May 05, 2015 7:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: French press recommendation?
Replies: 32
Views: 2257

Re: French press recommendation?

Having broken many glass carafes, I bought a stainless steel one, Highwin, from amazon. $35, comes with an extra screen and is made in the People's Republic, the place where they put people into space, have the world's largest high-speed train network, and among the best airline safety in the world ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue May 05, 2015 6:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frugal car maintenance - Lexus serviced by Toyota
Replies: 49
Views: 3879

Re: Frugal car maintenance - Lexus serviced by Toyota

FYI Toyota, Lexus, etc are not oil blenders/refiners, i.e. they do not make their own oil. Toyota has it produced to their specs and it is quite good stuff; so is Mazda's, Subaru's etc. Buy whatever is cheapest and meets your specs in the owners manual. Right, the key is to be sure that the specs a...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue May 05, 2015 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frugal car maintenance - Lexus serviced by Toyota
Replies: 49
Views: 3879

Re: Frugal car maintenance - Lexus serviced by Toyota

I have a memory from around 1960. My great uncle always drove Cadillacs, at this time he had a 1959 white convertible, black leather interior. His windshield cracked and he went to the Caddy dealer for a replacement and was given a price of X (maybe it was $159?) Then he took it across the street to...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun May 03, 2015 6:58 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Polls Disabled
Replies: 60
Views: 5626

Re: Polls Disabled

I always thought they were rather silly, for one will not miss them.
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun May 03, 2015 6:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to use to clean car
Replies: 45
Views: 3904

Re: What to use to clean car

If you rib your hand across the surface of your vehicle and can feel little rough spots (and you probably can) then best to use a clay bar before waxing. All the brands seem to work equally well,.e
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat May 02, 2015 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Chromebook 2015
Replies: 54
Views: 5101

Re: Best Chromebook 2015

I have had Windows, Macs, and Linux in the past decade or so, have had the C720 Chromebook for the past year plus. The only thing that keeps me from full adoption is the screen quality, my ThinkPad x230's IPS screen, not really top garde, is far superior. Give me a Chromebook with a high grade scree...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri May 01, 2015 8:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Car - Required Maintenance Question?
Replies: 13
Views: 1426

Re: New Car - Required Maintenance Question?

Change oil regularly. Rotate tires regularly. Check brakes regularly. Change transmission fluid regularly. To me regularly means every 4K-5K miles for oil and tires, 50K for transmission fluid. Some will say I don't need to do it that often, but I'd rather pay a few extra bucks to be safe rather th...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Apr 30, 2015 3:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Capital Gains Tax Question
Replies: 8
Views: 444

Re: Capital Gains Tax Question

You will offset the gains against the losses, and then carry forward to future years the remaining loss. It can be used to offset future gains AND $3000 of earned income each year, you are golden.

No tax due
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling light up to 2 weeks - ditch the laptop, use phone?
Replies: 54
Views: 3984

Re: Traveling light up to 2 weeks - ditch the laptop, use ph

Typing is slower on a tablet vs keyboard, but for light use, the trade off is worth it for me. Sounds like you're a heavy keyboard user, so there's no good alternative to a real keyboard. But if you just want smaller onscreen keys, there are alternatives, like this for thumb typing on a tablet. Swy...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Apr 28, 2015 6:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Marginal benefit of spending more on car
Replies: 83
Views: 7122

Re: Marginal benefit of spending more on car

As someone who has purchased over 50 cars (mostly $300 beaters back in the 1970's) I am reminded of an old saying among gearheads:

"There are two "best" days of car ownership, the day you buy it and the day you sell it." :happy
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Apr 27, 2015 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling light up to 2 weeks - ditch the laptop, use phone?
Replies: 54
Views: 3984

Re: Traveling light up to 2 weeks - ditch the laptop, use ph

The answers so far remind us that the correct answer is "it depends."

I travel with a Chromebook, figure if I lose it or it gets damaged, no big deal. I usually have some lengthy emails to do, even on holiday, and I find typing on anything smaller than a Chromebook to be a real pain.
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Apr 26, 2015 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Accident - Honda Civic for Replacement?
Replies: 13
Views: 1406

Re: Car Accident - Honda Civic for Replacement?

If you want boring, the Civi may win the crown. Most "experts" will rank the Ford Focus, Mazda 3, and the VW Gof as better cars, but every car has its attributes. I test drove a Civic last week with a friend who is shopping and it is not a bad car and it is the size of my 1997 Accord.
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Apr 26, 2015 7:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Drive a local car, rent for trips ?
Replies: 40
Views: 3451

Re: Drive a local car, rent for trips ?

I share one vehicle with my wife, I am retired and she is semi-retired. She has two day trips, often over the weekend, of around 450 miles. Enterprise puts her in a car for around $50, it keeps the miles off our owned vehicle, and allows me to have a weekend with a car. In the fal I contemplated ren...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Apr 24, 2015 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Dealership Credit Report
Replies: 34
Views: 2827

Re: Car Dealership Credit Report

If you are driving a car from the dealer to try, I think they are likely to need your drivers license information before letting you drive off with it, no? So I thought... Yesterday I was car shopping with a friend, drove to two dealers (Mazda and Honda). In each case they did not even ask her name...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Apr 24, 2015 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My PC is driving me nuts.
Replies: 28
Views: 2282

Re: My PC is driving me nuts.

Been there and done that. If all you want is to browse the internet and do simple MS office tasks, etc., perhaps consider switching to Mac. I made the switch and do not regret it, though took some time to adapt. My wife still uses PC laptop for work, but find her using the iPad and my Mac more and ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Apr 18, 2015 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Is The Worst Car You Have Ever Owned?
Replies: 39
Views: 2137

Re: What Is The Worst Car You Have Ever Owned?

2002 Volkswagen Passat. I loved that car, but the engine burnt out when it was only two years old. It had a design defect (low oil volume plus turbo) that lead to oil sludge buildup that would eventually cook the engine. Volkswagen refused to honor the warranty because I did most of the oil changes...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Input wanted from BMW owners
Replies: 44
Views: 4664

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
Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Incorrect W2 and electronic tax filing
Replies: 5
Views: 556

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
Fri Apr 10, 2015 10:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Propane Heating and Septic Tanks
Replies: 36
Views: 2174

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 6:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Setting up a Trust...
Replies: 13
Views: 1591

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...

Go to advanced search