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Re: Riding Snoblower

I don't understand the issue of not being comfortable with a walk-behind snowblower, because there are fewer controls than on a lawn tractor, and using them is no more difficult than walking behind a self-propelled lawnmower. Besides... they're fun! $2-3K will not get you a good used riding snowblow...
by dratkinson
Tue Mar 03, 2015 8:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Riding Snoblower
Replies: 9
Views: 762

Re: new car battery

Check with Consumer Reports. Remember seeing highly recommended ones for ~$80 from Costco and NAPA. Interstate was also highly recommended but more expensive. One BH has experience with battery technology and told us the battery lead lattice can be damaged in an accident, resulting in compromised pe...
by dratkinson
Tue Mar 03, 2015 7:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: new car battery
Replies: 32
Views: 1503

Re: Help- I keep investing my emergency fund in the stock ma

Options. (1) Invest your EF in something that is harder to access: US savings bonds, insured CDs, ST bond fund, or a combination. Doing so allows you to "do something", yet keeps the principle safer than in stocks, so more guaranteed to be available for an emergency. (2) Or change your way...
by dratkinson
Tue Mar 03, 2015 6:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help- I keep investing my emergency fund in the stock market
Replies: 18
Views: 2190

Re: What is your favorite consumer product?

Can opener. Kuhn Rikon Safety Deluxe Lid Lifter. Cuts top off sideways so it can be reused to store opened can in refrigerator. Emergency lights. Lite Saver, from CS-power.com. 3-in-1 light: night light, work light, power failure light. Stopped looking for house backup lighting solutions when if fou...
by dratkinson
Mon Mar 02, 2015 12:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your favorite consumer product?
Replies: 165
Views: 9868

Re: Combo Laundry Room/Food Pantry

While you are giving your wife what she wants, can add this to your list of convenience items. A sloping garage floor (slightly, toward the doors) makes cleaning it so much easier, just hose it out. Will also handle carrying away runoff from snow/ice brought in on vehicles. Additionally, can install...
by dratkinson
Sun Mar 01, 2015 6:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Combo Laundry Room/Food Pantry
Replies: 14
Views: 946

Re: Nearing 40 and Never Invested

Mutual fund vs. ETF (Exchange Traded [mutual] Fund). Think of them as different share classes of the same fund. Notice this link from Vanguard's Total Stock Market Index Fund, Investor Shares class: https://personal.vanguard.com/us/funds/snapshot?FundId=0085&FundIntExt=INT Notice below the title...
by dratkinson
Fri Feb 27, 2015 2:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Nearing 40 and Never Invested
Replies: 55
Views: 4920

Re: Combo Laundry Room/Food Pantry

I love the utility of my small one, but it could do so much more. It's between the garage-kitchen and makes unloading/storing groceries very easy. Electric dryer vents into garage. Have never noticed a heat/moisture problem with stored items. --Wish it were bigger so I had more storage for canned go...
by dratkinson
Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Combo Laundry Room/Food Pantry
Replies: 14
Views: 946

Re: Car Accident in Front Yard

+1 Can't hurt to check first. They might be willing to let you pay your nephew just to make you happy. If all you have are small plastic pieces, would think setting a bagging mower to scalp the lawn would pick those up. Pay nephew to pick large pieces, use mower to vacuum up small pieces, and shovel...
by dratkinson
Fri Feb 27, 2015 12:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Accident in Front Yard
Replies: 30
Views: 2286

Re: Advice and direction for a beginner

^^^ That's helpful. The form you found to rollover to an American IRA is an attempt to keep your money with American funds. You can just as easily rollover to Vanguard, Fidelity, TRPrice, et al, by calling them and requesting *their* form. Double-check this as I could be wrong. When you retire, your...
by dratkinson
Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:43 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice and direction for a beginner
Replies: 12
Views: 1606

Re: cold air from electric socket

You can cheaply make your own electrical outlet sealing pads from thin flat foam packing material. Don't recall where I've seen it, but would check with ACE or Home Depot. I re-purposed what I'd received in the shipments. Remove electrical cover. Lay it on the packing foam. Trace outline/openings wi...
by dratkinson
Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cold air from electric socket
Replies: 17
Views: 1639

Re: No VWIUX at Fidelity

If you expect to own a 3-fund Vanguard portfolio, double-check the availability of VTSMX/VTSAX (and your international choice) at Fidelity. I don't have a Fidelity account, so this is half-remembered hearsay from others: You can't get Vanguard Admirals shares at Fidelity. If it proves to be true tha...
by dratkinson
Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: No VWIUX at Fidelity
Replies: 17
Views: 1319

Re: Is a generator worth it?

Lots of past topics on backup/emergency generators. Can search for them. Recall interesting reading. Street cred for doing good deeds with the neighbor(s) is overrated. It can backfire such that it comes to be *expected* that you will solve their problems. Increasing requests will cause you to feel ...
by dratkinson
Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is a generator worth it?
Replies: 105
Views: 5236

Re: Can someone please help me with this investment thing!

We need to get your history before offering a retirement prognosis. Please add the information requested in the sticky "Asking Portfolio Questions". Copy/edit offline/paste into your original post. Use your post's Edit button to edit your post. While the requested additional information is...
by dratkinson
Wed Feb 25, 2015 5:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can someone please help me with this investment thing!
Replies: 17
Views: 1179

Re: Advice and direction for a beginner

Things I forgot in above. Costs matter. This is Mr Bogle's mantra. In your 401k, that, plus having a broad index fund (S&P500 index), guided my recommendation. If you had a cheaper money-market fund, and could get the employer's match and then roll everything over to Vanguard, I'd have recommend...
by dratkinson
Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice and direction for a beginner
Replies: 12
Views: 1606

Re: Advice and direction for a beginner

Here's the revised post. Hopefully I got everything. I was confused on some sections so let me know if I should editing anything. Thanks again. Emergency funds: Yes Slowly bring this up to 6 mos. of living expenses. Debt: None Tax Filing Status: Single Tax Rate: 15% Federal, 5.75% State (I had a ha...
by dratkinson
Wed Feb 25, 2015 2:30 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice and direction for a beginner
Replies: 12
Views: 1606

Re: Accurate home blood pressure monitor?

Timely topic. Searched more reviews and exchanged an Ho-metics (Walgreens branded, second failure in ~3 years) for an Omron BP760. It was what they had in stock and was $59 if you signed up for their free rewards program, otherwise ~$80. Initial impression: Omron is quieter and quicker than exchange...
by dratkinson
Sat Feb 21, 2015 10:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Accurate home blood pressure monitor?
Replies: 42
Views: 6317

Re: All-World ex-US vs Total International Stock

Remembering. Back in the day when VGTSX was a fund of funds, it didn't qualify for the foreign tax credit, so you bought its three components: Europe, Pacific, and Emerging Markets funds. The FTSE fund solved the FTC problem, but lost EM. I thought the FTSE fund had EM all along at least it did whe...
by dratkinson
Sat Feb 21, 2015 9:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: All-World ex-US vs Total International Stock
Replies: 19
Views: 2137

Re: All-World ex-US vs Total International Stock

Remembering. Back in the day when VGTSX was a fund of funds, it didn't qualify for the foreign tax credit, so you bought its three components: Europe, Pacific, and Emerging Markets funds. The FTSE fund solved the FTC problem, but lost EM.
by dratkinson
Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:19 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: All-World ex-US vs Total International Stock
Replies: 19
Views: 2137

Re: What is your favorite consumer product?

Invisible Fence -- lets my dog enjoy our yard for hours in good weather. In today's 1 degree cold, lets her do her business quickly while I finish my cup of coffee in the warm kitchen. As close to priceless as it gets in my life. I had a friend whose dog disappeared from his yard when he had one of...
by dratkinson
Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your favorite consumer product?
Replies: 165
Views: 9868

Re: Reward checking account paying 3+% interest -- good idea

I've thought before about these types of accounts, but never could figure out a way to automate the required transactions so I wouldn't forget and owe the fee. As this 3+% is taxable, just decided to buy more stocks as LTCGs receive favorable tax treatment, but ordinary interest does not. Over the l...
by dratkinson
Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reward checking account paying 3+% interest -- good idea?
Replies: 5
Views: 864

Re: American Funds departure or stay?

Research "sunk cost fallacy", as you seem to be responding to this behavioral error. Call Vanguard and have them initial your Roth IRA transfer to them. If you have not done so, make your 2014 Roth contribution before 15 April. Most of us have a "friend" story. I bought whole lif...
by dratkinson
Thu Feb 19, 2015 7:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: American Funds departure or stay?
Replies: 17
Views: 859

Re: Has anyone restored windows?

My house is not as old as yours, but it still has the original single-pane aluminum windows, but vinyl storm windows were added later. Checked on an Energy Star (.gov) website where you enter your home description, utility bills, appliances info, and it recommends upgrade idea. Long story short: it ...
by dratkinson
Wed Feb 18, 2015 3:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has anyone restored windows?
Replies: 25
Views: 1819

Re: Cast Iron Skillet Cooking

Speaking of cornbread. I remember my parent's cornbread as being sweet, but long ago forgot recipe. It was cooked in a CI skillet with a broken handle, so like a large cake pan. Come forward to today. At supper with friends, enjoyed their cornbread and asked about recipe. Turned out it was from a bo...
by dratkinson
Wed Feb 18, 2015 3:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cast Iron Skillet Cooking
Replies: 109
Views: 13218

Re: Tax Exempt Investing

Only other gotcha I can think of is the Alternative Minimum Tax. SS taxation. Given: We have one total fixed income investment. When I look at the SS tax worksheet, I see ordinary dividends (from higher-yield taxable bonds, if that is our choice) come in on line 3. Tax exempt dividends (from lower-y...
by dratkinson
Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:55 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Exempt Investing
Replies: 11
Views: 1138

Re: Dual Momentum Investing

... I read the book, and the simple strategy is laid out in a flow chart. I could teach my 16 year old son how to execute it. Excellent. Problems solved. Implement strategy and report as you make your changes so we may follow along with your results. (I'm looking for something to do as my fun money...
by dratkinson
Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:54 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dual Momentum Investing
Replies: 55
Views: 4265

Re: new portfolio.

When you edit your post so it's structure/clearer for us to understand, include: if you will retire with a pension, retirement expenses vs. income, will your be taking SS as soon as possible or can delay until age 70. Example. If no pension and you must live on your investments during retirement, th...
by dratkinson
Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:29 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: new portfolio.
Replies: 2
Views: 283

Re: Expecting a big inheritance - Should it change my life?

Recently reviewed Calumet Farms and Lundy. $90M surplus to $150M debt in four years. You are not starting with as much surplus, but a comparable lifestyle change will be as quickly devastating for both you and your brother. Beliefs controls thoughts. Thoughts control actions. Actions control outcome...
by dratkinson
Sun Feb 15, 2015 6:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Expecting a big inheritance - Should it change my life?
Replies: 124
Views: 7903

Re: "How to Fix a Client Portfolio"

Scone, If you are uncomfortable sharing your information with the forum, this is how I did my taxable account fixed income analysis.... I downloaded the spreadsheet from excel1040.com and input my last tax return to create an identical tax-return baseline. Using SEC yields and my fixed income $inves...
by dratkinson
Fri Feb 13, 2015 7:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "How to Fix a Client Portfolio"
Replies: 31
Views: 2327

Re: "Muni bonds are overused" ?

After all, one has to do special things with tax-exempt interest when it comes to taxation of Social Security benefits Can you elaborate on this point? I am helping someone out with their taxes and they do have tax-exempt interest and SS. We just started working on the taxes, but I'd be interested ...
by dratkinson
Fri Feb 13, 2015 5:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "How to Fix a Client Portfolio"
Replies: 31
Views: 2327

Re: "How to Fix a Client Portfolio"

scone, The use of muni bond does not mean "no tax reporting required", because you have to report them. However, the federal tax reporting effort is same in both cases: muni and taxable bonds. A muni bond fund dividends are reported as one entry on form 1040. A taxable bond fund dividends ...
by dratkinson
Fri Feb 13, 2015 4:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "How to Fix a Client Portfolio"
Replies: 31
Views: 2327

Re: Became a Vanguard investor by way of WRL IUL

Congratulations, you learned your lesson much sooner and for much less than I. Topic: General personal finance. Read The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need , by Andrew Tobias. Topic: General personal investing. Read The Boglehead's Guide to Investing . Get both from your local library. While wai...
by dratkinson
Fri Feb 13, 2015 3:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Became a Vanguard investor by way of WRL IUL
Replies: 11
Views: 635

Re: Dealing with Long Term Capital Loss Carryover

The $3K loss/year is sheltering an equal amount of ordinary income at their marginal tax rate. Assuming the 15% fed bracket, sheltering $3K or ordinary income reduces fed taxes by $450. If they sold some shares for a $3K long-term gain, the $3K annual loss carry over would offset the gain. As a long...
by dratkinson
Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dealing with Long Term Capital Loss Carryover
Replies: 9
Views: 767

Re: Daily update for Mutual Fund

Run this after 6PM, east coast time. ~75 symbol limit.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/quoteslo ... TSAX,VTSMX


Excel also has a way to download daily prices. Handy if you are using Excel to track your investments.
by dratkinson
Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Daily update for Mutual Fund
Replies: 13
Views: 892

Re: This is a Doozy! [allocation with land and business]

Think of your land and business as an investment in real estate. As you have a significant un-diversified (think: increased risk) real estate investment, so you have no reason to overweight more through any REIT fund.
by dratkinson
Wed Feb 11, 2015 3:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: This is a Doozy! [allocation with land and business]
Replies: 6
Views: 870

Re: Wiki comments requested: The importance of asset allocat

Copied/pasted, in case you change it on me. ;) Asset allocation is the process of dividing an investment portfolio among different asset categories, such as stocks, bonds, and cash.[1] This process of determining which mix of assets to hold in a portfolio is a personal one . The asset allocation tha...
by dratkinson
Tue Feb 10, 2015 6:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wiki comments requested: The importance of asset allocation
Replies: 208
Views: 10303

Re: First job, first everything

BL wrote:...
If you worked at all in 2014, you could put up to that amount or 5500, whichever is less, into a Roth IRA,...

+1

15 April contribution deadline applies.
by dratkinson
Sun Feb 08, 2015 3:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: First job, first everything
Replies: 23
Views: 1257

Re: First job, first everything

Ensure you read The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need, by Andrew Tobias. It covers a wide range of personal finance topics.

You have until ~15 Apr 2016 to fund your 2015 IRA, so plenty of time. In case it was not mentioned previously, the Roth is preferred over the traditional.



Welcome.
by dratkinson
Sat Feb 07, 2015 3:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: First job, first everything
Replies: 23
Views: 1257

Re: Private Car Sale - Risks ?

Local law enforcement (city police, county sheriff) sometimes make their facilities available as a safe meeting place. Can't hurt to ask.
by dratkinson
Fri Feb 06, 2015 5:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Private Car Sale - Risks ?
Replies: 35
Views: 1833

Re: Advice and direction for a beginner

Sounds like you have more disposable income than we first thought. For a better answer, we need better information. Please re-state your situation in the form of the sticky: "Asking Portfolio Questions". Rework your original post into that format. Those of us following you will see the upd...
by dratkinson
Fri Feb 06, 2015 5:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice and direction for a beginner
Replies: 12
Views: 1606

Re: Advice and direction for a beginner

The bad news. Your rIRA rate is so low because it's in a short-term bank CD. The good news. Your rIRA rate is so low, any penalty paid (3-months lost interest?) when you transfer it will also be low. Call Vanguard and tell them you want to move your bank rIRA to Vanguard. Vanguard has a few options ...
by dratkinson
Thu Feb 05, 2015 2:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice and direction for a beginner
Replies: 12
Views: 1606

Re: Higher tax bracket means different bond fund?

Since the LTCG should be small, if you could forecast the increased earnings (degree completion,...), could convert/sell TBM the year before, below the 25% bracket, and pay 0% LTCG tax.
by dratkinson
Thu Feb 05, 2015 1:42 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Higher tax bracket means different bond fund?
Replies: 9
Views: 1023

Re: Best ways to save on electricity bill

i have a question about heating bill. ... Search: compare NG vs heat pump. The answer is "it depends on your situation: location, home construction, utility costs, equipment age, thermostat setting,...." Find the analytical details there. You can safely ignore sites which do not give prim...
by dratkinson
Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best ways to save on electricity bill
Replies: 47
Views: 4624

Re: How to advise 23 year old brother with $50k

Suggest he come here and take a look... while researching his investing options. Should be easy enough for him to compare notes with other military members the forum has advised.
by dratkinson
Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to advise 23 year old brother with $50k
Replies: 13
Views: 1321

Re: What exactly is "wealthy?"

Pajamas wrote:Wealthy is having more than you need.


+1

Wealth is stored time. If you have more stored time than you need for your lifetime, then you are wealthy
by dratkinson
Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What exactly is "wealthy?"
Replies: 47
Views: 4040

Re: Wiki comments requested: The importance of asset allocat

On several wiki pages, such as Asset allocation and Risk and return: an introduction , we make a very bold statement: http://www.bogleheads.org/w/images/c/c8/Ambox_notice.png Asset allocation is one of the most important decisions that investors can make. In other words, the importance of an invest...
by dratkinson
Mon Feb 02, 2015 7:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wiki comments requested: The importance of asset allocation
Replies: 208
Views: 10303

Re: Best ways to save on electricity bill

Turn off electric driveway heater between snowstorms.
by dratkinson
Mon Feb 02, 2015 6:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best ways to save on electricity bill
Replies: 47
Views: 4624

Re: Do retired Bogleheads have rising net assets?

Retired. Pension. Distributions cover ~half my COL but withdrawing 0%, thanks to pension. Assets rising at market rates based on AA. The trick is to live below your means.
by dratkinson
Mon Feb 02, 2015 6:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do retired Bogleheads have rising net assets?
Replies: 42
Views: 4443

Re: First Time Dog Owners -- Any Regrets?

What about a big dog-like cat. There are some, and they can take care of themselves. The Maine Coon breed comes to mind.
by dratkinson
Mon Feb 02, 2015 6:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First Time Dog Owners -- Any Regrets?
Replies: 83
Views: 5937

Re: Is now a bad time to buy a mutual fund?

The short answer. Now is a good time to buy mutual funds. The long answer. Now may not be a good time for YOU to buy mutual funds. Why? By asking the question, it suggests you have not studied investing. Investing without study is guaranteed to result in buyer's remorse at the first market drop. The...
by dratkinson
Fri Jan 30, 2015 5:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is now a bad time to buy a mutual fund?
Replies: 13
Views: 1229
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