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Re: Why Americans are Retiring Overseas

That was not a puff piece, it was an explicit advertisement for a product.
by gd
Sat Apr 12, 2014 7:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why Americans are Retiring Overseas
Replies: 109
Views: 8542

Re: Tax Managed International

So what I'm seeing is that either 1) the "tax managed" bit was empty marketing and removed with no impact to customers, or 2) they're sweeping under the rug the point that holders of the fund should plan on future increases in the tax liabilities associated with the fund. Am I missing some...
by gd
Fri Apr 11, 2014 5:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax Managed International
Replies: 23
Views: 1165

Re: Always understand taxes do not trust software

Although the amounts might be small, this will obviously affect your behavior for years, if not a lifetime. Why not print out the returns for the two tax prep programs, compare everything side by side, dig down into the differences, and resolve the issue? And post the results, since you've already o...
by gd
Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Always understand taxes do not trust software
Replies: 33
Views: 2616

Re: Firecalc says I will be 100% successful but ...

Figure out what "but ..." means and tighten that parameter. Seriously, I'm not being facetious. What is it you aren't comfortable with and don't trust history with? Inflation? Market returns? Spending rates? If you think things might be more volatile than in the past, then you're leaving t...
by gd
Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Firecalc says I will be 100% successful but ...
Replies: 13
Views: 2214

Re: What to do with Win computers?

I am not a Linux-for-all advocate, but I did install Ubuntu recently on a very old laptop who's XP went nuts and would have been junked otherwise. It is much better, much more turnkey than years past. I use it for occasional web browsing and simple documents using the Libreoffice it was bundled with...
by gd
Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with Win computers?
Replies: 51
Views: 2101

Re: Buying for someone who "has everything"

Laughably overpriced mail order consumables companies make lots and lots of money off this. I've been trying for years to talk various relatives out of compulsory, unneeded gift-giving, but recreational shoppers and consumers take it as a personal attack on their value system. It finally occurred to...
by gd
Sun Apr 06, 2014 8:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying for someone who "has everything"
Replies: 43
Views: 2286

Re: Investing Strategy for Future Expats

I'd say renouncing USA citizenship is the key point on which all else pivots. You will pay tax in the USA until you do this. And have paperwork; lots of paperwork. If you decide to renounce in 20 years, you may find your net worth more than you're expecting today, and you have no way of knowing whet...
by gd
Fri Apr 04, 2014 10:34 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing Strategy for Future Expats
Replies: 14
Views: 729

Re: Please help identify quote: I'm richer than he because..

Apropos of only the general topic, almost all internet quotes of Albert Einstein are false, and I'd make a wild guess of half of Abraham Lincoln's and Samuel Clemens'. I find a good rule of thumb is that if I can't identify the specific source work of a famous person's supposed quote within a 2-minu...
by gd
Thu Apr 03, 2014 7:02 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Please help identify quote: I'm richer than he because...
Replies: 28
Views: 2727

Re: Question about e-filing

Consider what you are concerned about, exactly. That TurboTax takes a value and incorrectly reformats it from what you see to what is in the electronic format? I don't know the formats used, but that's probably a very straightforward programming task to do and test. It is vastly more likely that the...
by gd
Sun Mar 30, 2014 7:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about e-filing
Replies: 3
Views: 330

Re: buy I-bonds now or wait after May 1?

amfox1 wrote:Updated:

Sept 2013 CPI-U - 234.149 (baseline for next six month measurement period)
Feb. 2013 CPI-U - 234.781 (0.27%)

Do you mean Feb. 2014 above?
by gd
Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: buy I-bonds now or wait after May 1?
Replies: 49
Views: 7302

Re: Does anyone have an opinion on WealthFront?

.25% fee to invest in .17% (average) Vanguard ETFs. So it's more than doubling the cost of investing in standard vanilla ETFs. Could you elaborate on what you see as the benefit?
by gd
Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:03 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does anyone have an opinion on WealthFront?
Replies: 41
Views: 2824

Re: Please help guestimate some expenses in retirement

I don't understand your tax situation, but suggest you simply use a tax prep program to test scenarios. And check your magic 8 ball for future tax law. Mentioning travel invites a general comment. I also lived a frugal/minimalist life, and more or less retired a bit early. My expenses and activities...
by gd
Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:42 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please help guestimate some expenses in retirement
Replies: 10
Views: 828

Re: foreign sales people calling 5 times daily

That Nomorobo site has the seeds of a great Onion ad. It asks me for an email address before giving even the slightest clue of how it works or what they're going to do for me. Or, for that matter, with my email address. Well, not quite that last-- from their privacy policy, basically the only additi...
by gd
Fri Mar 21, 2014 7:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: foreign sales people calling 5 times daily
Replies: 41
Views: 2604

Re: Replacement for Windows XP Computer

I believe that for the uses you describe, the electronics is pretty much irrelevant as long as it is not a bottom-end model. Consider that the size, color (ok, not that, they're all black), location of plugs and buttons, amount of fan noise, size and stability of monitor may be more relevant over th...
by gd
Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacement for Windows XP Computer
Replies: 72
Views: 4140

Re: Social security - means testing

Roughly same age, no.
by gd
Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social security - means testing
Replies: 6
Views: 1147

Re: What is your 2013 Federal Effective Tax Rate?

I don't agree on the importance of marginal tax rate. Actually, I don't agree with the importance of any tax rate; it's a question of whether you're getting value for the money (NOT whether you agree with what's done with the money after it leaves your hands). I find it a stunningly good value, and ...
by gd
Fri Mar 14, 2014 8:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your 2013 Federal Effective Tax Rate?
Replies: 73
Views: 4711

Re: I don't want to upgrade XP just yet, is that ok?

You might be pleasantly surprised at the improvement a wide monitor (my assumption) and faster CPU makes. But if it's just for pedestrian tasks like writing and run-of-the-mill web browsing, just keep on and mind what you click on. I had XP become unusable on an old laptop; some sort of bug where a ...
by gd
Fri Mar 14, 2014 8:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I don't want to upgrade XP just yet, is that ok?
Replies: 86
Views: 6331

Re: Any Subaru owners out there?

After needing a small station wagon for decades, I finally relented and went to a Subaru dealer with the intention of walking out having bought a new car (not much of a bargainer). I walked in, looked around, and said "where are all the station wagons?". It was the year they turned their l...
by gd
Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Subaru owners out there?
Replies: 53
Views: 4028

Re: Will this affect your Tipping?

I don't know what I'd do, because I've never bought an ice cream cone with a credit card. I'm guessing I'd have looked at the prices and walked away before buying. OT but to reply above, in my modest but relevant experience European service attitudes are based on it being more of a respectable life-...
by gd
Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Will this affect your Tipping? [Suggested Tip Amounts]
Replies: 123
Views: 7546

Re: Tax form 1116 questions

I haven't studied the OP issues, but I did work on my Turbotax 1116 a few days ago. I have a perennial problem with 1116, with an obscure situation requiring special handling (different from OPs). They have improved their 1116 from years past; criticisms based on previous years may not be valid.
by gd
Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax form 1116 questions
Replies: 29
Views: 1642

Re: What to say to Non-Savers

If it's someone you are not morally responsible for, shrug it off. If you really are concerned about this, get your mother some contact with elderly people living on SS, at home and in low-end nursing homes. Then point out this is her future, explaining you will not have the resources. Whether you c...
by gd
Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to say to Non-Savers
Replies: 71
Views: 5177

Re: Indoor Plants - Recommendations?

"NASA researchers suggest efficient air cleaning is accomplished with at least one plant per 100 square feet of home or office space" You might want to do the math first, as well as consider whether you actually are concerned about those specific chemicals in your house. High quality artif...
by gd
Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Indoor Plants - Recommendations?
Replies: 21
Views: 1404

Re: How to Increase Charitable Giving?

Give to something local where you can see it make a difference. For example, IN MY OPINION my local schools will suck up anything I could possibly give, with no discernible impact, and they get half my property taxes in any case. Pass, thanks. My local senior services no-- we anonymously gave a sign...
by gd
Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Increase Charitable Giving?
Replies: 26
Views: 1409

Re: Third party fixed-rate electric power schemes

OP here-- I finally sat down and spent a few minutes rummaging through old electric bills. Interestingly, I seem to have gotten the advertisement for this service just as the utility rates jumped up. Every one of the 5 or so samplings of bills for the last 2 years (all I had access to) had a base ra...
by gd
Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Third party fixed-rate electric power schemes
Replies: 14
Views: 928

Re: Cancellation fee from health provider - feeling ripped o

Just read the last post or two before my first; I don't think overbooking is relevant here. That's a reason to NOT worry so much about no-shows; it helps you realign your schedule and get people handled promptly. This doesn't sound like that kind of specialty, in any case. Insurance billing is a goo...
by gd
Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cancellation fee from health provider - feeling ripped off
Replies: 30
Views: 2050

Re: Cancellation fee from health provider - feeling ripped o

I can imagine a scenario where this is sort of justified. Me, for example. I have a part-time job that I drive 1.5 hours RT to get to. We try to book more than one customer (1-1.5 hrs revenue per session) per day, but sometimes have just one. I often spend more time driving than I get paid for. When...
by gd
Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cancellation fee from health provider - feeling ripped off
Replies: 30
Views: 2050

Third party fixed-rate electric power schemes

I've recently gotten an advertisement from a company (Constellation) supplying fixed-rate electric power rates with a 2-year signup. My personal reaction to these business schemes is that guessing wrong and being locked in would be more irritating to me than guessing right, so I never do it. And som...
by gd
Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Third party fixed-rate electric power schemes
Replies: 14
Views: 928

Re: Windows XP Advice

I'd guess a local computer services business near you (somebody working out of their house or strip mall storefront) could set up a new XP machine for you at any time, now or in 5 years, for a modest price. It's a pretty trivial task for them. If you're genuinely nervous about it, you might buy a sh...
by gd
Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows XP Advice
Replies: 21
Views: 1304

Re: What are your favorite browser extensions?

The Adblock Plus ethics issue isn't much for me, because I would avoid heavily ad-loaded sites in any case, but I'm wondering-- do host sites actually track whether the ad is downloaded or not, or just actually clicked on? I've always assumed they can tell whether it's downloaded, but the more I thi...
by gd
Fri Feb 14, 2014 11:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are your favorite browser extensions?
Replies: 35
Views: 1688

Re: [What is] wrong with Treasury Direct website?

(snip) Thanks for that link, PJW. That's great information. I think every TD user should print out that page and the URL and file it with their other I Bond and financial information so their heirs can easily find it. And perhaps current TD users should also read all of the information and follow a...
by gd
Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [What is] wrong with Treasury Direct website?
Replies: 79
Views: 4695

Re: Tips for making iPhone apps

midareff wrote:you guys make me feel so obsolete.

I find it sort of liberating. I can finally just shrug and let go. And throw out all those WROX books in the attic.
by gd
Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tips for making iPhone apps
Replies: 13
Views: 1173

Re: deleting my posts on bogleheads.org

And if you're embarrassed or nervous about revealing something, keep in mind there's a good chance people don't care about you as much as you think. :D
by gd
Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:10 am
 
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: deleting my posts on bogleheads.org
Replies: 18
Views: 1997

Re: becoming a snowbird

Not in the slightest what you were asking, but... '''my wife's friend has some type of relative that is a realtor". That sounds like a really good one to stay away from. Not because they're necessarily bad, but because the connection is utterly irrelevant to the goal, yet can create feelings of...
by gd
Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: becoming a snowbird
Replies: 21
Views: 3286

Re: Expatriation or International Snowbirding

Besides, I've had family members in nursing homes at the end of their lives. They are nothing more than places to exist (not live) until you die is putting it gently. This is where it gets tricky, particularly if you have a handicapped family member. Going overseas breaks the link to your family or...
by gd
Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Expatriation or International Snowbirding
Replies: 40
Views: 3282

Re: Expatriation or International Snowbirding

Regarding renouncing citizenship, a later line from the wikipedia article referenced earlier: Although naturalizing citizens are required to undertake an oath renouncing previous allegiances, the oath has never been enforced to require the actual termination of original citizenship It depends on how...
by gd
Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Expatriation or International Snowbirding
Replies: 40
Views: 3282

Re: Any tax software that handles Form 1116?(Foreign Tax Cre

Doesn't matter to the OP, but for others drawn to the thread by the title: if you wish to claim foreign tax credit AND have foreign interest without 1099s, such as foreign savings account interest of any amount, you must file the form even for small credits. Since neither Turbotax nor TaxAct underst...
by gd
Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:18 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Any tax software that handles Form 1116?(Foreign Tax Credit)
Replies: 17
Views: 1364

Re: Statistics on specific traffic jam locations

OP here, that Transtar is exactly what I want, but for Boston. So much for the high-tech hub. I'll try the google maps feature. I've lived around here for a long time and know it's bad, just not sure exactly how it behaves and whether I can come up with tactics and negotiate schedules to avoid at le...
by gd
Sat Jan 25, 2014 8:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Statistics on specific traffic jam locations
Replies: 8
Views: 479

Statistics on specific traffic jam locations

I'm considering a commitment to do something several times a week that will require travel on a busy highway in eastern MA (greater Boston). There are web sites available that give live traffic congestion reports, giving speeds all over local highways at about any time. I don't need live reports; I ...
by gd
Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Statistics on specific traffic jam locations
Replies: 8
Views: 479

Re: hybrid cars

Similar needs; I have a tendency to carry things like cinderblocks, squishy pumpkins and pallets, which I can do with my beater Escort without fear. I like airplane cockpits, but not cars with delusions of grandeur. A quick check indicates Prius apparently is forbidden to tow anything. I'm suspectin...
by gd
Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: hybrid cars
Replies: 55
Views: 2715

Re: Truck/Car Envy....How do You Deal with It?

I contemplate the value of a life which measures self-worth by one's vehicle. Or any other possession, but vehicles seem particularly prone to this hunt for self-esteem because they can be paraded in front of others, and give feelings of physical power by their speed and size.
by gd
Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Truck/Car Envy....How do You Deal with It?
Replies: 64
Views: 4402

Re: Having Enough, but Hungry for More

Thoreau's Walden was actually a pretty good dissertation on this.
by gd
Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:57 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Having Enough, but Hungry for More
Replies: 18
Views: 3518

Re: Windows XP users

Here's one reason I'm not interested in 8.1, straight from the article touting it. There were similar bits elsewhere, such as the description of extended search. "Windows 8.1 is also designed to pull you deeper into Microsoft's suite of apps. Metro searches for music will provide links that pul...
by gd
Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows XP users
Replies: 200
Views: 12594

Re: Letting go: Classic textbooks

I would at least spend a few minutes checking. Just about the only books I've ever sold online that were worth the bother were engineering mathematics textbooks from the 70s and early 80s. In at least one case I think I got considerably more than it cost me 30+ years earlier, and they weren't cheap ...
by gd
Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Letting go: Classic textbooks
Replies: 54
Views: 3620

Re: Europe solo at 50?

All my spouse's average quality German towel sets have washcloths, made as square pockets. You can use them like mittens. Aspirin and other OTC drugs are the only thing I bring from the USA. And to be fair, it can be easier to buy aspirin on Sunday than, say, milk. You just have to figure out which ...
by gd
Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Europe solo at 50?
Replies: 59
Views: 3726

Re: Pension insurance plan (from Germany)

I have what I suspect is a very similar situation. I wrote it off as "hooked by a salesman." It makes sense as a supplemental savings plan for a financially naive or disinterested party, in a country where there is a very conservative approach to savings and investments. It appears somewha...
by gd
Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension insurance plan (from Germany)
Replies: 1
Views: 148

Re: "What Five Days of Trading Tell Us About 2014"

The point of the article is to draw readers, who will then provide a basis for their advertising fees. It seems to have worked. From my distant past (very early html), I seem to recall there was a mechanism for servers to determine what web site you had come to them from. I imagine a financial site ...
by gd
Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:03 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "What Five Days of Trading Tell Us About 2014"
Replies: 18
Views: 1767

Re: Potentially moving to Europe for 5-10 years

If the resource is available, try using an employer to assist in housing, bank accounts, driver's licenses and such. When I worked in Germany decades ago my large employer dominated the town, and a phone call or accompaniment by one of the local company guys greased all wheels. Without German reside...
by gd
Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:53 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Potentially moving to Europe for 5-10 years
Replies: 11
Views: 904

Re: US Dollar Increasing

I observe the Euro/Dollar rate on a daily basis; it matters to me. I am not an expert in any aspect of finances; I have an engineer's mindset and balk at overly-certain, under-explained expert pronouncements on currency movements. That said, I don't believe exchange rates are rational to any useful ...
by gd
Sat Jan 11, 2014 9:32 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: US Dollar Increasing
Replies: 14
Views: 1507

Re: large callerid?

My life was made noticeably better by talking caller id. A side note-- our phone (Panasonic of some sort) will look up the caller number in your in-phone address book and announce the name you've programmed in rather than the official caller ID name-- quite handy for cell phones from known people, s...
by gd
Fri Jan 10, 2014 8:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: large callerid?
Replies: 11
Views: 670

Re: Europe solo at 50?

I imagine the usual non-upscale guidebooks can do you better than my 25-year-obsolete advice about B&Bs and hostels, except for one observation. If you like getting out into a country, be advised American guidebooks seem trendy-- by that I mean they describe what all the other guidebooks describ...
by gd
Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:04 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Europe solo at 50?
Replies: 59
Views: 3726
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