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by communipaw
Wed Apr 15, 2015 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donating old books and getting tax writeoff?
Replies: 17
Views: 2195

Re: Donating old books and getting tax writeoff?

In the past two years I've donated about 3,000 books and there was a problem involved. I didn't want to have the books just destroyed but wanted them to benefit people who needed/wanted them. My books are academic/scholarly/foreign language and do not command a wide reading audience. I could have so...
by communipaw
Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ceiling fan
Replies: 13
Views: 1477

ceiling fan

My bedroom ceiling fan has conked out and in case it isn't practical to repair it, I'm researching new ones. My present one is Hunter or Harbor, about 10 years old, 3 speeds, 5 blades, 52 inch with the control switch mounted on the wall next to my bed. The control chooses among 3 speeds, turns the f...
by communipaw
Sun Mar 22, 2015 10:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: RMD Vanguard state tax withholding
Replies: 12
Views: 697

RMD Vanguard state tax withholding

Last year I began having to take RMDs from my Vanguard IRA. Although federal tax is withheld, Vanguard won't/can't withhold the state tax and it's annoying to juggle my pension's state withholding to have the RMD at least partly covered for state tax. Vanguard is known as a thrifty company and maybe...
by communipaw
Thu Mar 19, 2015 5:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Two CSRS Fed Employees Retiring 2015 - Need Input Please!
Replies: 49
Views: 3720

Re: Two CSRS Fed Employees Retiring 2015 - Need Input Please

I did a rollover from my VC [interest to TSP, contributions to a ROTH IRA through Vanguard] six years ago, just after the procedure was beginning. I've now forgotten the details of what I did but it involved forms from both the federal OPM/TSP side and from Vanguard. I did have several telephone con...
by communipaw
Fri Mar 06, 2015 9:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When will / did you claim Social Security benefits?
Replies: 152
Views: 12925

Re: When will / did you claim Social Security benefits?

I began SS at full "retirement" [66? 67?] . I had no immediate need for the money and would have waited until I was the highest age but I was a federal employee. As such I lost 40% of my SS benefit as soon as I retired and was advised it would take 12 - 15 years for the extra [but still re...
by communipaw
Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tourists in Manhattan
Replies: 53
Views: 4951

Re: Tourists in Manhattan

Staying/Not staying in NJ
"NJ" is big. Staying in Newark IS inconvenient. But there are 4 or 5 hotels in Jersey City at the Exchange Place and Pavonia PATH Tube stations: Exchange Place 3- 4 minutes from Lower Manhattan, Pavonia-Newport 5 minutes from Greenwich Village.
by communipaw
Tue Jan 20, 2015 9:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Two CSRS Fed Employees Retiring 2015 - Need Input Please!
Replies: 49
Views: 3720

Re: Two CSR Fed Employees Retiring 2015 - Need Input Please!

I retired in 2009 as CSRS and I had had a Voluntary Contribution account for many years, contributing $25 a pay period. As I was about to retire I learned that it was no longer necessary to take the VC out as a lump sum or an annuity when you retired. So I began contributing a lot of money from anyt...
by communipaw
Wed Dec 31, 2014 7:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheapest Way to Watch Netflix
Replies: 27
Views: 3259

Re: Cheapest Way to Watch Netflix

If you already have a wifi signal in your house/apartment, I'd recommend the cheapest Roku at $49. It's very simple to use, handles Netflix [and many many other services. I've used it for 3 years and have been very happy with it.
by communipaw
Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 717
Views: 104214

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

The Sleepwalkers [WW1]
by communipaw
Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard "glitch"
Replies: 3
Views: 869

Vanguard "glitch"

Tonight I looked at my Vanguard web page and noticed I had about 20% less than I had had on Friday. I contacted Vanguard and was told that a glitch had occurred today on many customers' web pages that caused accounts to be hidden, even though the customers hadn't requested it. Vanguard refreshed my ...
by communipaw
Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: POLL: What was the first stock you ever bought?
Replies: 74
Views: 3182

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

Studebaker-Packard. In high school I had saved up some Christmas and birthday present money [$30 ?? -- a lot at that time] I felt sorry for Studebaker-Packard and wanted to help the company out [in defense, I was 15 and not trained in economics]. My high school was in Manhattan and on my way home I ...
by communipaw
Thu Aug 21, 2014 5:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TSP funds in Morningstar Xray
Replies: 2
Views: 542

TSP funds in Morningstar Xray

I've added in all my holdings to Morningstar hoping to get a clearer view of the categories I own through Xray. But I got stopped when tying to put in my TSP, since there are no ticker names. Is it possible to add the F, G, C, I and S TSP funds to Morningstar's portfolio for an Xray view? EDIT after...
by communipaw
Mon Aug 11, 2014 6:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renting forever: financial suicide?
Replies: 92
Views: 12257

Re: Renting forever

My aunt was a lifelong renter in Southern California until about age 60. As she was thinking about retiring, she was afraid of all the unexpected rent increases and what she would have to pay for rent 10, 20, 30 years down the road. I'm retired, live in the Washington DC area, 10 easy miles from th...
by communipaw
Sun Aug 03, 2014 9:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Salzburg or Graz?
Replies: 18
Views: 1307

Re: Salzburg or Graz?

I lived in Graz for a year and have visited Salzburg many times. Both beautiful and well preserved cities in scenic settings. Salzburg is well known and very touristed; Graz is much visited by Europeans, not as much by Americans. Both have fascinating architecture and a vibrant city life. I would vi...
by communipaw
Sun Aug 03, 2014 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wall Street Journal Subscription Increase
Replies: 29
Views: 2691

Re: Wall Street Journal Subscription Increase

I have found that if one reads The Wall Street Journal, there really is not a need for any other business publications such as Barron's, BusinessWeek, etc. unless one has a personal preference. It just struck me [and I should be embarrassed since this is Bogleheads with a focus on finances] but I h...
by communipaw
Sun Jul 27, 2014 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2014 Honda Civic EX-L vs 2014 Acura ILX(Base)
Replies: 49
Views: 4598

Re: 2014 Honda Civic EX-L vs 2014 Acura ILX(Base)

Question is, how do I quantify this to a dollar amount. How much is a longer(1 year, ~ 10K) warranty worth? Any thoughts? To me , the extra year warranty and the original parts/accessories difference, added to the positive points others have mentioned about the ILX would make the price difference s...
by communipaw
Sat Jul 26, 2014 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2014 Honda Civic EX-L vs 2014 Acura ILX(Base)
Replies: 49
Views: 4598

Re: 2014 Honda Civic EX-L vs 2014 Acura ILX(Base)

Doesn't the ILX have a substantially longer warranty than the Civic?
by communipaw
Fri Jul 25, 2014 6:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wall Street Journal Subscription Increase
Replies: 29
Views: 2691

Re: Wall Street Journal Subscription Increase

unless you have specific business needs requiring you to keep up with something (in which case the business would pay for it), what do you actually lose from your quality or pleasure of life by not reading it at all? I think you lose the theater reviews, book reviews, the analyses of works of art, ...
by communipaw
Mon Jun 23, 2014 6:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Article: bonds pensions SS
Replies: 49
Views: 3410

Article: bonds pensions SS

A New Perspective on Your Portfolio

Don't overlook your house and Social Security in assessing your asset mix.

http://online.wsj.com/articles/new-take ... 1403470472
by communipaw
Sat May 10, 2014 8:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: WSJ story on IRA rollovers
Replies: 11
Views: 1527

WSJ story on IRA rollovers

pdated May 9, 2014 6:19 p.m. ET http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304655304579551831669048814?mg=reno64-wsj A veteran tax lawyer argued his own case in U.S. Tax Court about an individual-retirement-account maneuver that long had been blessed by the Internal Revenue Service. He lost...
by communipaw
Sat May 03, 2014 6:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rent vs buy again ... but with a twist
Replies: 10
Views: 1570

Rent vs buy again ... but with a twist

[I'm leaving out emotional, non-financial reasons that impel people to rent or to buy]. Over and over there are articles on the advantages of renting vs buying, usually in regard to money. For example, today's WSJ on page B7 has in big letters "3.6% increase in house prices in the last 30 years...
by communipaw
Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving SEP IRA from American to Vanguard
Replies: 2
Views: 281

Re: Moving SEP IRA from American to Vanguard

I plan on opening a new Vanguard SEP account for the American Fund SEP or else merging it into my current Vanguard SEP fund account.
by communipaw
Tue Apr 01, 2014 7:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving SEP IRA from American to Vanguard
Replies: 2
Views: 281

Moving SEP IRA from American to Vanguard

I have one SEP with Vanguard and another one in an American Funds mutual fund; to simplify things, I intend to move the one in American Funds to Vanguard after my 2014 RMDs are taken care of. I'm looking for the simplest non tax event way to do it. It looks like the simple way is not to roll the SEP...
by communipaw
Sat Mar 29, 2014 8:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacement for Windows XP Computer
Replies: 72
Views: 5444

Re: Replacement for Windows XP Cuters are preloaded omputer

I.ve noticed this with Microcenter but probably many other dealers/manufacturers do it The computers are preloaded with Windows 7 but have the right to install Windows 8 whenever you want to. For example http://www.microcenter.com/product/423411/B648_Desktop_Computer "This system is preinstalle...
by communipaw
Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donating appreciated stock to charity
Replies: 7
Views: 615

Re: Donating appreciated stock to charity

I'm sorry to hear that donating bonds is impractical; glad to hear that it isn't too hard to donate appreciated stock in a DRIP. Thanks to all for your responses.
by communipaw
Fri Mar 21, 2014 8:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donating appreciated stock to charity
Replies: 7
Views: 615

Donating appreciated stock to charity

I have several DRIPs that I've accumulated over the years and which I'd like to donate to a charity. Do you just somehow sign over a DRIP to the charity or do you have to figure out the cost basis and do something more? And can you donate a fully matured US savings bond, E or EE, that has stopped ac...
by communipaw
Thu Mar 13, 2014 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savings category in Quicken
Replies: 10
Views: 1235

Savings category in Quicken

I use Quicken [right now Quicken 2013] and once a month I transfer any "leftover" money from my checking account to my savings account . I use quicken's "transfer" function which replaces the usual "Category" on the entry, so the transfer doesn't get categorized as savi...
by communipaw
Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TSP on Vanguard's Linked Account Page
Replies: 9
Views: 920

Re: TSP on Vanguard's Linked Account Page

Laura » Mon Jan 06, 2014 8:11 pm I have my TSP linked so it shows and updates on the Vanguard page. What is doesn't do it maintain an accurate asset allocation. I have everything labeled properly but it still shows as "other" in my asset classes which totally throws me off. That is my sit...
by communipaw
Mon Jan 06, 2014 7:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TSP on Vanguard's Linked Account Page
Replies: 9
Views: 920

Re: TSP on Vanguard's Linked Account Page

On my page Outside investments—Linked online accounts appears below the Vanguard's funds and above Outside investments—Added accounts. Outside investments—Linked online accounts updates the TSP values each day.
by communipaw
Mon Jan 06, 2014 6:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TSP on Vanguard's Linked Account Page
Replies: 9
Views: 920

Re: TSP on Vanguard's Linked Account Page

When I spoke to Vanguard today I also suggested closer cooperation with the TSP data. I was told that Vanguard used Cashedge for the IT work and did not have enough clout with them [which sounded strange] to be more effective with TSP. I was told that Vanguard has tried to get Cashedge to interface ...
by communipaw
Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TSP on Vanguard's Linked Account Page
Replies: 9
Views: 920

TSP on Vanguard's Linked Account Page

I had the TSP set up on the linked accounts section of Vanguard's "Balances and Holdings" but a few months ago, although the TSP refreshed, I stopped seeing it as a component of my Asset Mix on the Home Page. Vanguard told me today that likely the TSP had changed something in connection wi...
by communipaw
Mon Nov 11, 2013 8:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Retirees: Why Medicare?
Replies: 58
Views: 6816

Re: Federal Retirees: Why Medicare?

​I'm a federal retiree, retired the beginning of 2009 at 67, and have FEHBP BC/BS and Medicare A and B. Since I'd paid into Medicare A all my working career, I took it [it isn't free, just prepaid;] BC/BS strongly suggested I get Medicare B [which I realized at the time was to BC/BS' advantage] but ...
by communipaw
Sun Oct 27, 2013 8:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2013/2014 Honda accord - any better values?
Replies: 66
Views: 22674

Re: 2013/2014 Honda accord - any better values?

I bought a 6 cylinder Accord in June, after determining it was a good value for my purposes. Maybe there are cars that are a better value but I've been very happy with this one. The 6 cylinder is especially good for accelerating quietly and easily from 15 mph to 30mph, which I have to do often durin...
by communipaw
Fri Oct 25, 2013 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Condominium fee category Quicken
Replies: 4
Views: 438

Re: Condominium fee category Quicken

In my case there no longer is a mortgage but since my hot water is included, theoretically I could split that off. I doubt I'd be able to figure out easily what percentage [very very small] of the fee is for hot water.
by communipaw
Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Condominium fee category Quicken
Replies: 4
Views: 438

Condominium fee category Quicken

In Quicken I've been categorizing my condominium fee expense as Home Repair: Condominium fee.
What quicken expense category do others use?
Utility: Condominum fee?
Just "Condominium fee"?
by communipaw
Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Day trip from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe
Replies: 30
Views: 1810

Re: Day trip from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe

At one point there were very low cost casino busses that ran to the casinos from San Francisco [and gave you a coupon for a lunch]
by communipaw
Thu Jul 25, 2013 5:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Penfed Visa Fee
Replies: 2
Views: 297

Penfed Visa Fee

The monthly bill for my Penfed Platinum Visa credit card. If I don't agree to change to electronic statements, they'll charge $1 @ month for statements received by US mail.
by communipaw
Mon Jul 08, 2013 6:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dropping cable but a potential problem with VCR
Replies: 17
Views: 1898

Re: Dropping cable but a potential problem with VCR

I'd like to thank all for their responses. I'm going ahead next week with cancelling the television cable; then I'll see how much I really want to record off the air and learn if it's important enough to do the effort for any of things you've suggested. Television used to be such a simple world, by ...
by communipaw
Sat Jul 06, 2013 9:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dropping cable but a potential problem with VCR
Replies: 17
Views: 1898

Re: Dropping cable but a potential problem with VCR

Is there a particular reason you want a VCR instead of a DVR? There are several DVR options with built-in digital tuners. As far as I can tell, DVRs including TIVO, require a subscription, the reason I'm dropping cable.. If DVR/TIVO costs at the rate of Netflix [$8-9 @ month] maybe, but aren't the ...
by communipaw
Sat Jul 06, 2013 8:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dropping cable but a potential problem with VCR
Replies: 17
Views: 1898

Dropping cable but a potential problem with VCR

I'm about to cut off my cable television service and use my over the air antenna for the local 20-25 stations plus Netflix for my television. I've been experimenting, am content with the experience but one problem has arisen which I've been unable to solve. Now over the air signals come from my apar...
by communipaw
Mon May 06, 2013 5:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Transferring to the new version of Quicken
Replies: 1
Views: 241

Transferring to the new version of Quicken

Tomorrow I am getting the current version of Quicken to replace my 2005 edition of Quicken. When I began using Quicken in the 1990s, I made a mistake in creating some Quicken accounts, didn't know how to correct the mistake when I upgraded Quicken before 2005 but hope now to rectify that mistake. 90...
by communipaw
Sat Apr 20, 2013 3:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I realize we're not supposed to market time
Replies: 17
Views: 2066

Re: I realize we're not supposede to market time

WEEKEND INVESTOR April 19, 2013, 4:59 p.m. ET

One Way to Time the Market
by communipaw
Sat Apr 20, 2013 3:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I realize we're not supposed to market time
Replies: 17
Views: 2066

I realize we're not supposed to market time

but maybe this article from today's WSJ will be of interest to some:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... dfinance_4
by communipaw
Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: RMD to charity
Replies: 6
Views: 445

RMD to charity

Apparently you can have Vanguard send all/part of your RMD to a charity you choose.
Except for convenience , is there any advantage to this instead of just getting the RMD and giving all/part of it to the charity in the same tax year?
by communipaw
Sun Apr 07, 2013 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Shredding docs at public places
Replies: 18
Views: 2982

Shredding docs at public places

I was always far behind in shredding my bank, vanguard etc. statements; my shredder broke a month ago and I'm even further behind. Knowing myself, getting a new shredder doesn't mean I'm going to industriously get rid of the back load in one session. Office Depot and Staples offer reasonably priced ...
by communipaw
Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to take a RMD
Replies: 3
Views: 449

When to take a RMD

Am I missing something in the scheduling of RMDs? Hypothetical Example: On Dec 31, 2012 the total of all my IRAs subject to RMD was $100,000 and to meet IRS requirements I must take out $5000 during 2013. All the IRA money is in two funds: Total Stock Market and Total Bond Market. To get the RMD are...
by communipaw
Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Continuous Variable Transmissions
Replies: 78
Views: 7144

Re: Continuous Variable Transmissions

. I'm fairly certain the feds have mandated that all cars have them [parking cameras] soon. 1. I believe you are right 2. I test drove a Camry V6 which had a parking camera. I was impressed that in parallel parking I could get to less than an inch of the car behind me without touching it and then c...

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