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by jebmke
Sat May 30, 2015 7:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone Trying to Login to Vanguard?
Replies: 20
Views: 815

Re: Anyone Trying to Login to Vanguard?

try clearing the cache on IE. Sometimes it reloads the dead page from the browser cache. Generally not a bad idea to set the browser used for financial transactions to clear the cache when the browser is closed.
by jebmke
Sat May 30, 2015 7:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone Trying to Login to Vanguard?
Replies: 20
Views: 815

Re: Anyone Trying to Login to Vanguard?

I was in there about 15 minutes ago (~08:00 EDT).
by jebmke
Thu May 28, 2015 4:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Traditional IRA to Roth conversion
Replies: 5
Views: 434

Re: Traditional IRA to Roth conversion

jebmke, I did file the form 8606 with my returns, so I am good on that. If the IRS treats all contributions as one account, can I do conversion only for a certain dollar amount every year? Would that be a better way to do it, then? Thanks. Yes, you can do it in parts. Whether that is optimal depend...
by jebmke
Thu May 28, 2015 2:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Traditional IRA to Roth conversion
Replies: 5
Views: 434

Re: Traditional IRA to Roth conversion

The IRS treats all of your Traditional IRAs as if they were all in one account. When you convert a portion, regardless of where it is, you prorate pre-tax and post-tax contributions. If you made a non-deductible contribution to a Tira for 2014 you need to file form 8606 to declare the basis whether ...
by jebmke
Thu May 28, 2015 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Retiring" and Age Discrimination
Replies: 24
Views: 2446

Re: "Retiring" and Age Discrimination

Highly compensated individuals need to be very careful to maintain skills/value that justifies the expense of their salary. I've seen a number of employees over the age of 50 who are very over compensated for their current job duties. I was going to make the same comment. I worked in a cyclical ind...
by jebmke
Thu May 28, 2015 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: American Express sneakery
Replies: 37
Views: 4428

Re: American Express sneakery

If you do not pay the current balance in full by the due date, interest will start accruing on the total outstanding balance. My understanding is that the statement balance (not current balance) is due by the due date. The current balance might be higher if charges are posted after the statement da...
by jebmke
Thu May 28, 2015 10:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good e-mail manager?
Replies: 10
Views: 799

Re: Good e-mail manager?

Gmail :happy I have better experience with T-Bird since I have multiple GMail accounts as well as Outlook dot com and Yahoo. I find it easier to manage this in something other than a browser. If I only had a single address with Gmail I'd probably go with the browser. Although, even there, I'd keep ...
by jebmke
Thu May 28, 2015 10:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bond portfolio YTM> 3%
Replies: 24
Views: 1404

Re: Bond portfolio YTM> 3%

I'd advise not to chase yield. Even 2042 Tips don't provide real yields of 1%.
by jebmke
Thu May 28, 2015 8:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cold Calls from Hennion & Walsh
Replies: 3
Views: 432

Re: Cold Calls from Hennion & Walsh

This is easy. We don't answer the phone unless we recognize the number. While it is possible for spammers to spoof numbers (I've seen calls that seem to be coming from myself!), this practice cuts down on the noise level considerably.
by jebmke
Thu May 28, 2015 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need bike hitch and rack for Honda Odyssey 2011
Replies: 8
Views: 358

Re: Need bike hitch and rack for Honda Odyssey 2011

I bought a hitch from etrailer.com. I would recommend looking at the options and watching the install videos. It took me about 45 minutes to install on a prius, which was actually a more complicated install as I had to cut a rubber underbody panel. http://www.etrailer.com/hitch-2011_Honda_Odyssey.h...
by jebmke
Tue May 26, 2015 3:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do I need to sell my REIT in taxable account?
Replies: 18
Views: 1029

Re: Do I need to sell my REIT in taxable account?

Definitely sell as soon as you can. Don't let the loss go long term for sure.
by jebmke
Tue May 26, 2015 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Verizon vs StraightTalk Plans
Replies: 6
Views: 590

Re: Verizon vs StraightTalk Plans

S Verizon reception works 99% of the time. T-Mobile works roughly 95% of the time with much higher data speeds. Very location specific. In my area T-Mobile has no data service at all, only voice. If you stay in one place and the coverage is good, T-Mobile can be a good option. If you travel much, n...
by jebmke
Tue May 26, 2015 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC Questions - Straight AC vs Heat Pump
Replies: 9
Views: 742

Re: HVAC Questions - Straight AC vs Heat Pump

We have a two year old heat pump. It works down to the low teens if it isn't too windy and 20s routinely.

My Mitsubishi split ductless unit in a separate area pumps heat even at outside temps of single digits.
by jebmke
Tue May 26, 2015 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Verizon vs StraightTalk Plans
Replies: 6
Views: 590

Re: Verizon vs StraightTalk Plans

Check on the data rates with ST. I have VZ 4G service in our area but ST doesn't have access to it - only 3G. I opted for VZ due to limited alternatives in our area.
by jebmke
Mon May 25, 2015 11:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Review - Early Retirement (@50)?
Replies: 12
Views: 2057

Re: Portfolio Review - Early Retirement (@50)?

Also, I wouldn't factor in any potential inheritance.
by jebmke
Mon May 25, 2015 11:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HPQ Nov 1 Split
Replies: 5
Views: 219

Re: HPQ Nov 1 Split

Donating shares and dying are two of the most tax efficient ways to dispose of shares with unrealized gains. Of the two, I prefer the former.
by jebmke
Mon May 25, 2015 10:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: please confirm: early retirement
Replies: 90
Views: 7257

Re: please confirm: early retirement

No one seems to have commented on the issue of the spouse working while the husband is retired. That could bring about some of its own stresses. From my perspective I would consider both working for another year or two and then both retiring simultaneously. Depends on the individuals. I continued t...
by jebmke
Mon May 25, 2015 9:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing for my 19 yr old son
Replies: 4
Views: 377

Re: Investing for my 19 yr old son

Of course, he will have to open up the account himself since it will be titled in his name. The TRs have a $1,000 minimum so you will have to start with $1K. Edit: I am not familiar with all the legalities but technically I think you need to gift him the money and he would make the deposit. I don't ...
by jebmke
Mon May 25, 2015 8:51 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: another look at dividend paying stocks and valuations
Replies: 63
Views: 4451

Re: another look at dividend paying stocks and valuations

My average dividend yield for equity is probably around 2%. If I didn't trust the companies with the 2%, how can I trust them with the other 98%?
by jebmke
Mon May 25, 2015 7:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Splurge Question on East Coast??? Pool or Beach Summer House or Both
Replies: 12
Views: 1241

Re: Splurge Question on East Coast??? Pool or Beach Summer House or Both

You must live in the south if you can swim in April. We were still plowing snow at my house. And fairly far south (or heated pools). We have a pool. Maryland. We normally open it in mid-May. Rarely used before June. We close it in the first half of September. When we have a long heat wave, the pool...
by jebmke
Sat May 23, 2015 11:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rebalancing bands in taxable accounts
Replies: 8
Views: 486

Re: Rebalancing bands in taxable accounts

What livesoft said. Over the past couple years I have been peeling off equity periodically to pay my bills (retired). We sweep dividends to cash and spend. Then every once in a while I sell off something if we need more. A couple of times I have sold off a slice just to trim equity back to our targe...
by jebmke
Sat May 23, 2015 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ObamaCare 2016 Premium Increases some 36%
Replies: 40
Views: 2865

Re: ObamaCare 2016 Premium Increases some 36%

I think the states in the South with more poverty, unemployment and unhealthy residents plays into the increase. More unhealthy low income people enrolled in the ACA. I just wonder what BC's excuses were years ago when their increases were out of control. It could also have something to do with the...
by jebmke
Sat May 23, 2015 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ObamaCare 2016 Premium Increases some 36%
Replies: 40
Views: 2865

Re: ObamaCare 2016 Premium Increases some 36%

cricket49 wrote:Not jumping to conclusions. They have increased our premiums many years 20% which is still too high.

Tennessee may be one of those states where the rates are quite volatile. I live in a state that regulates the hospital fees so health insurance rates tend to rise more slowly.
by jebmke
Sat May 23, 2015 10:26 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why government bonds at all?
Replies: 55
Views: 3978

Re: Why government bonds at all?

backpacker wrote:Governments do economically productive things too.

We live outside of "town" so our trash is picked up by a private company.
If we lived in town, the town would pick up our trash.
by jebmke
Sat May 23, 2015 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ObamaCare 2016 Premium Increases some 36%
Replies: 40
Views: 2865

Re: ObamaCare 2016 Premium Increases some 36%

I seem to recall that insurers start by requesting some pretty high increases. Many times the state regulators kick these back and the actual increases are different that what was originally requested. Seems to me that it is early to jump to any conclusions. $2,600 is not a particularly high deducti...
by jebmke
Sat May 23, 2015 8:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why government bonds at all?
Replies: 55
Views: 3978

Re: Why government bonds at all?

I'm not familiar with bankruptcy law but if I had to guess, my guess would be that taxing authorities are first in line as a claimant. Equity holders are generally last in line.
by jebmke
Sat May 23, 2015 8:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why government bonds at all?
Replies: 55
Views: 3978

Re: Why government bonds at all?

When you buy a government bond you are essentially buying into that government's (Federal, state, municipal ...) power to tax (and to a an extent, the power to create money).
by jebmke
Sat May 23, 2015 7:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: please confirm: early retirement
Replies: 90
Views: 7257

Re: please confirm: early retirement

Personally I handle it by adding ~5% for slop. That is what I did. Ground up budget, including amortization for large capital items. Then when I thought I had included everything I added something like 5-10% contingency. Almost every year there is something that comes out of nowhere that was not in...
by jebmke
Wed May 20, 2015 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ways to fund an early retirement?
Replies: 40
Views: 2396

Re: Ways to fund an early retirement?

it seems like if you DCA into taxable over many years, and then withdraw on a regular basis to fund your early retirement, you're going to have a big headache at tax time. Once every 7-10 years or so the market is going to drop like a stone. At that time, you collect up all the lots that are in a l...
by jebmke
Wed May 20, 2015 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ways to fund an early retirement?
Replies: 40
Views: 2396

Re: Ways to fund an early retirement?

This chart may be helpful. It lists some common exceptions to the additional tax on early distributions

http://www.irs.gov/Retirement-Plans/Pla ... tributions
by jebmke
Wed May 20, 2015 8:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ways to fund an early retirement?
Replies: 40
Views: 2396

Re: Ways to fund an early retirement?

In taxable, you only pay taxes once on the basis and once on the earnings. How do you conclude that taxes are paid twice? That's a good point. It's not taxed twice in a literal sense, but I think of it as being taxed twice mainly in comparison to a 401(k) or similar account. In a taxable account, y...
by jebmke
Wed May 20, 2015 8:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ways to fund an early retirement?
Replies: 40
Views: 2396

Re: Ways to fund an early retirement?

I use a taxable account which is extremely tax-efficient. Can you explain why you believe it is painful? ... My opinion is that folks who are going to retire early based on saving and investing will not be able to do so from tax-advantaged plans alone since the contribution limits are so low. Of co...
by jebmke
Wed May 20, 2015 7:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: city selling 'mini-bonds' at attractive rates
Replies: 25
Views: 1855

Re: city selling 'mini-bonds' at attractive rates

I look at it this way. The spread over LT TE is probably ~200bp. On $10K you're talking $200 a year. It isn't worth agonizing over either way.
by jebmke
Wed May 20, 2015 7:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How should drivers react to bicycle riders on one lane roads?
Replies: 68
Views: 2705

Re: How should drivers react to bicycle riders on one lane roads?

As a sometimes cyclist, the threat is rarely a car that sees me and is paying attention (even if they aren't happy). The threat now is the driver with a cell phone in hand. As a result, I have virtually stopped riding on roads that have much traffic. Even roads with wide shoulders/bike lanes are no ...
by jebmke
Tue May 19, 2015 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: South Bend to Chicago to Milwaukee
Replies: 18
Views: 1179

Re: South Bend to Chicago to Milwaukee

With a little luck, the lakes will be ice free by the time you get there. :shock:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/cap ... 2066807531
by jebmke
Mon May 18, 2015 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Questioning a Dentist?
Replies: 43
Views: 3837

Re: Questioning a Dentist?

Absolutely question a dentist. I challenged my local dentist both on his dentistry and his pricing and moved to someone else when he gave me the equivalent of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ .
by jebmke
Mon May 18, 2015 10:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: buying foreign based company stock that trade in the US
Replies: 5
Views: 282

Re: buying foreign based company stock that trade in the US

You might have foreign taxes withheld on dividends in which case you might be eligible for a foreign tax credit on your tax return.
by jebmke
Mon May 18, 2015 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maryland Taxpayers: Comptroller vs. Wynne ruling is out
Replies: 4
Views: 412

Maryland Taxpayers: Comptroller vs. Wynne ruling is out

SCOTUS has ruled in favor of the petitioner and against the State of Maryland. Not allowing MD taxpayers to credit taxes paid in other states against the county portion of their state income tax has been ruled unconstitutional. I'm not sure what it means with respect to MD returns for prior years.
by jebmke
Sat May 16, 2015 3:00 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Forum software upgrade bug reports and change requests
Replies: 206
Views: 9818

Re: Forum software upgrade bug reports and change requests

denovo wrote:Been getting this a lot too today.

Me too
by jebmke
Sat May 16, 2015 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 747
Views: 108277

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Ricola wrote:Darkness, Take My Hand by Dennis Lehane
Author is good at describing emotional and mental states.

The Patrick Kenzie books are entertaining. Lehane's best work so far is The Given Day. A significant notch above his crime dramas.
by jebmke
Fri May 15, 2015 7:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is Vanguard's Web Site So Bad?
Replies: 64
Views: 5031

Re: Why is Vanguard's Web Site So Bad?

gkaplan wrote:First of all, I would never click on a link in an email sent to me. I would access the information directly.


This.

I also don't return their calls.
by jebmke
Wed May 13, 2015 4:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Share the life lessons that you learned in your 30's.
Replies: 27
Views: 2672

Re: Share the life lessons that you learned in your 30's.

Crimsontide wrote:I learned that "they" don't let you make any "real money" until you're forty.

Who are "they"?
by jebmke
Wed May 13, 2015 4:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Share the life lessons that you learned in your 30's.
Replies: 27
Views: 2672

Re: Share the life lessons that you learned in your 30's.

Wear comfortable shoes. You spend a lot of waking hours on your feet.
by jebmke
Tue May 12, 2015 4:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I Hate Vacations
Replies: 113
Views: 9226

Re: I Hate Vacations

Does it not rollover from year to year? Many employers now have a use-it-or-lose-it policy. Mine did. If you didn't take vacation it just went away. Some people are either permanently or at a stage when they have to be "working." Another option to vacation is to take your vacation time to...
by jebmke
Tue May 12, 2015 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I Hate Vacations
Replies: 113
Views: 9226

Re: I Hate Vacations

Someone needs to keep working to cover for those of us who retired early. thanks.
by jebmke
Tue May 12, 2015 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quicken 2012 no longer updating - anyone else?
Replies: 15
Views: 624

Re: Quicken 2012 no longer updating - anyone else?

I have a registered copy of Q-2012. I've been getting emails from them for months about the shut-off of updating. I no longer use it for anything except tracking the basis for my taxable accounts. At some point in the near future I am going to export the data to a spreadsheet and take it over from t...
by jebmke
Mon May 11, 2015 9:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement in 2 years?
Replies: 16
Views: 2289

Re: Retirement in 2 years?

I'd spend some quality time modeling your income and tax situation. I would not be taking capital gains while in the 28% bracket. Once you don't have employment income you have the opportunity to manage your taxable income carefully. Income taxes could easily become your smallest expense item or one...

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