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Re: Vanguard Account Protection

You can sign up for 2 factor authentication, if you have not done so already.

https://personal.vanguard.com/us/insigh ... ity-122014
by jeffyscott
Sat Mar 28, 2015 1:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Account Protection
Replies: 6
Views: 624

Re: Opening a new credit card AND improving credit score

My daughter has somewhat similar credit history, some problems with credit cards 5-6 years ago but very responsible more recently. I think she got rid of all cards at the time she was having problems managing her credit use. Within the last year or so, she decided to try taking advantage of credit c...
by jeffyscott
Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Opening a new credit card AND improving credit score
Replies: 5
Views: 765

Re: Proactively replace water heater?

New front load washer using less water saves on water heating costs and on drying cost as the front loaders spin much faster there is much less water for the dryer to remove by evaporation. Our utility rates are pretty average, we have gas dryer and conventional gas water heater (and range). Gas gen...
by jeffyscott
Sat Mar 21, 2015 7:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Proactively replace water heater?
Replies: 49
Views: 4461

Re: Bonds — The U.S. As a High-Yielding Country?

My own view? If you are a US dollar investor, this is a great time to plan that trip to Europe (ex Switzerland). This USian is hoping low euro lasts until at least next spring or gets even lower, as many seem to expect. I think the all-time low was shortly after the introduction of the euro and it ...
by jeffyscott
Sun Mar 15, 2015 10:41 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds — The U.S. As a High-Yielding Country?
Replies: 13
Views: 1195

Re: Bonds — The U.S. As a High-Yielding Country?

Wouldn't currency values be a factor too? The price of dollars is high, so investors have to buy expensive dollars to get those "high" US rates. For example a year ago a dollar cost about 0.70 euro, now it's about 0.95 euro.
by jeffyscott
Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:13 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds — The U.S. As a High-Yielding Country?
Replies: 13
Views: 1195

Re: Retirement Issues: Life Expectancy

Even if you can determine that your life expectancy is, say, 85 instead of 80 that still tells you very little. There is still going to be a huge range, from dying in an accident tomorrow to living 10 or 15 years beyond the expected age. I don't see that it would help me any to know that at, say, ag...
by jeffyscott
Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Issues: Life Expectancy
Replies: 24
Views: 2207

Re: Providing hotel options for wedding guests

For a small wedding (expecting about 80 guests) we arranged group rates at two hotels. It's completely no-obligation. There is no penalty for unreserved rooms, rooms are available to guests at a discounted rate by phone, they can cancel up to 1 or 3 days before. Rooms are released 3-4 weeks before. ...
by jeffyscott
Sun Mar 15, 2015 7:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Providing hotel options for wedding guests
Replies: 9
Views: 1040

Re: Portland transportation

No Uber or Lyft. Rental cars much cheaper downtown than airport. Yes, even if you want to have a car, reserve for pick up downtown. You can take Max downtown and get a car there. We did not have a car in Portland but got one for the rest of trip to visit other places in Oregon. We took Max from air...
by jeffyscott
Sun Mar 15, 2015 7:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Portland transportation
Replies: 20
Views: 1746

Re: Defined-Benefit Retirement Plan

Nearing 30 years and a DB pension. At retirement my pension will have a PV that is equal to about 1/3 of my total lifetime income from that job. To equal the present value of my pension at the time of retirement, based on employer's annuity factors, would have required 11% per year in contributions ...
by jeffyscott
Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Defined-Benefit Retirement Plan
Replies: 11
Views: 1123

Re: tIRA rollover to HSA

Being new to HSA this year, I had read about that too and thought it might be worth doing this after retirement, since prior to retirement I would rather fund the HSA by payroll deduction to avoid payroll tax. After some thought, I did not see the point as I could simply withdraw money from tIRA, pu...
by jeffyscott
Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: tIRA rollover to HSA
Replies: 3
Views: 275

Re: HDHP and HSA

When I look on healthcare.gov for my area, plans are clearly identified as HSA eligible, such as by having names ending with things like: "...HSA Bronze 4500/90 Low Premium", "...for HSA", "...HSA 6250X", etc. Similar high deductible plans have things like $30 or $75 co...
by jeffyscott
Mon Mar 09, 2015 5:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HDHP and HSA
Replies: 5
Views: 545

Re: The salary you must earn to buy a home: $48,603.82

Why is it assumed everyone must buy a median priced home? Half the houses cost less than the median. Even within a metro area there can be a vast range of medians. My metro area has median of $183K, according to Zillow, but the largest city has a median of only $92,000. The first house we bought in ...
by jeffyscott
Mon Mar 09, 2015 5:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The salary you must earn to buy a home: $48,603.82
Replies: 24
Views: 3000

Re: finance a car or not

Financing cost is $750 in the dealer 2 example. Based on your payments for dealer 2, the cost of the vehicle is about $20,800 in the 0% loan scenario. If you took the rebate, cost would be $20,050 financing that at 1.5% for 4 years would give you a payment of about $431. So the effective interest ra...
by jeffyscott
Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: finance a car or not
Replies: 28
Views: 2031

Re: When you put some credit cards in a drawer and not use t

It's rare. We have a ton of dormant cards from playing the sign-up bonus game. I just had one close due to inactivity, they sent a letter and I could have kept it by calling. I do not recall ever before having had one closed in this way by the bank. I have had some get reissued and I never activated...
by jeffyscott
Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When you put some credit cards in a drawer and not use them
Replies: 17
Views: 1865

Re: Just cut my cable bill...

In contrast to the obnoxious pricing practices of the cable companies, when Netflix increased their rate from $8 to $9 per month, existing customers are the ones that got the special promotional rate of $8 for 24 months (and that was done automatically, without having to make annoying phone calls).
by jeffyscott
Sun Mar 08, 2015 8:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Just cut my cable bill...
Replies: 58
Views: 5382

Re: Just cut my cable bill...

No regrets after 1.5 years w/o cable. But had lost interest in sports by the time we dropped it. We have an antenna but very rarely have watched anything over the air, we prefer watching Netflix (really like having no commercials). We supplement that with some free streaming from Hulu and others plu...
by jeffyscott
Sun Mar 08, 2015 8:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Just cut my cable bill...
Replies: 58
Views: 5382

Re: Proactively replace water heater?

BTW, the change in efficiency standards looks to be quite minimal for 50 gallon gas water heaters. If I have calculated correctly the required "energy factor" changes by only about 4%.

http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/a ... oductid/27
by jeffyscott
Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Proactively replace water heater?
Replies: 49
Views: 4461

Re: Proactively replace water heater?

I got burned once when a 14 year old one started a major leak while I was on vacation. The water supply just kept refilling it and it kept leaking. Who knows how long it was leaking for. When no one will be in the house for an extended period of time, you can turn off the water at main and turn off...
by jeffyscott
Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Proactively replace water heater?
Replies: 49
Views: 4461

Re: Replacing [Oil] Filters: Time vs. Usage

Since my wife stopped working her car gets only about 200 miles per month. It is a VW Jetta, the required oil is synthetic and the recommended oil change interval is 12 months or 10,000 miles. I plan to continue to change oil and filter every 12 months or maybe stretch it to 14 months. I don't think...
by jeffyscott
Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing [Oil] Filters: Time vs. Usage
Replies: 41
Views: 2774

Re: new car battery

You might consider getting an AGM battery. They cost more, but supposedly deal with infrequent usage or deep discharges better than a conventional battery. I would not delay, I discovered that batteries can fail completely to the point where the car will not run after a jump. My car was starting and...
by jeffyscott
Sat Mar 07, 2015 9:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: new car battery
Replies: 45
Views: 2762

Re: new car battery

It's those wimpy winters. Wisconsin and particularly maritime Maine are close to ideal for battery life. Batteries last longer there than most places. If you go south you get warmer summers, which shortens battery life. If you go much further north it gets cold enough that you can freeze concentrat...
by jeffyscott
Sat Mar 07, 2015 9:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: new car battery
Replies: 45
Views: 2762

Re: Saver's credit to Roth then withdraw?

Thanks, didn't catch that the look back would affect multiple future years. Looking at the current form for 2014 taxes, if one had done this in 2012, taking the $228 out in, say, May of 2012 that would still mean the extra $228 would need to be put in for 2014. So that would mean an extra $228 for 2...
by jeffyscott
Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Saver's credit to Roth then withdraw?
Replies: 4
Views: 604

Saver's credit to Roth then withdraw?

Trying to help a very low income person reduce income tax liability, via saver's tax credit. A single person with income of $12,700 would pay Federal income taxes of $114. If this person were to put $228 in a Roth IRA, she would qualify for a 50% saver's credit. This would reduce tax liability by $1...
by jeffyscott
Mon Mar 02, 2015 5:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Saver's credit to Roth then withdraw?
Replies: 4
Views: 604

Re: Inflation Calculator Help Needed.....

Calculator is using the average CPI for each year: http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/frequently-asked-questions-faqs/#HowInflationCalculatorWorks The chart is showing the change for each calendar year. If Jan 1, 2011 CPI = 1, then Dec 31, 2011 CPI = 1.03 (and average is maybe 1.015, unless they a...
by jeffyscott
Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inflation Calculator Help Needed.....
Replies: 3
Views: 280

Re: HSA deduction question

Yes, if your contributions are by payroll deduction then you would not be deducting it from income on tax form. If gross income is $50,000 and $5000 went to HSA by payroll deduction then taxable income on W2 would be $45,000. If instead you made the contribution yourself, then taxable income on W2 w...
by jeffyscott
Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA deduction question
Replies: 3
Views: 434

Re: Taxes on cash back credit card?

Citibank issued 1099s for bonus airline miles awarded for opening bank accounts in 2012. Citibank did not issue 1099s for credit card sign up bonuses and it does not appear that any issuer has ever done that. I trust that these giant banks know better than me what is taxable and what is not. http://...
by jeffyscott
Sun Mar 01, 2015 8:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes on cash back credit card?
Replies: 5
Views: 767

Re: Old car insurance

Collision with uninsured/underinsured or hit and run driver is not covered by comprehensive.

Comprehensive is actually called "other than collision loss" in my policy, under "damage to your auto".
by jeffyscott
Sat Feb 28, 2015 12:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Old car insurance
Replies: 39
Views: 2870

Re: Old car insurance

Question: Why is everybody recommending comprehensive but dropping collision? If you can afford to total the car in a wreck, why would you insure the risk of flood, trees, fire, etc? Yep, I've never understood the logic of that either. It seems to be just based on the cost being minimal. I figure t...
by jeffyscott
Sat Feb 28, 2015 10:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Old car insurance
Replies: 39
Views: 2870

Re: International PE10 Update

None of this is an exact science and long-term forecast from GMO and RAFI (precise to three significant digits!) should be printed somewhere between the funny pages and your daily horoscope. But one basic fact slaps you in the face looking at these charts. Most countries are at or below their histo...
by jeffyscott
Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:54 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International PE10 Update
Replies: 28
Views: 2745

Re: tax dependent vs $3950 vs income

He will get the $3950 personal exemption (plus the standard deduction) and, so, will have no taxable income.

Also, I believe that the college tax credits (lifetime learning credit?) now go to him and can not be claimed by you.
by jeffyscott
Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: tax dependent vs $3950 vs income
Replies: 18
Views: 1169

Re: Poll: How Would You Want Your Estate Divided?

Each of the other children received approximately $10K - so there you have it. The price of a used car. The other children should have offered their extra 10K to the one who was cut out. Better option would have been for grandma to leave it equal and leave it to the better off one to decide if he o...
by jeffyscott
Wed Feb 25, 2015 5:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: How Would You Want Your Estate Divided?
Replies: 43
Views: 3587

Re: Problems with Internet Explorer

KyleAAA wrote:IE hasn't been worth using since the 90s. You made the right choice.


I don't know about that, wasn't Netscape a better option back then :happy .
by jeffyscott
Sun Feb 22, 2015 11:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Problems with Internet Explorer
Replies: 24
Views: 1658

Re: Citi Cash Rewards vs. Fidelity Amex

I'd been thinking of getting the Fidelity Amex, as a lot of our spending is at Costco. With that relationship ending in about a year, I probably won't bother and will wait to see what Costco is going to accept in future. We are mostly aiming at earning sign-up bonuses, so the ongoing 2% rebate would...
by jeffyscott
Sun Feb 22, 2015 11:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Citi Cash Rewards vs. Fidelity Amex
Replies: 23
Views: 2631

Re: Old car insurance

I liked to keep collision and comprehensive on at least one car all the time. This is because that coverage carries over to some other situations such as rental cars (in the US). My policies have always seemed to exclude rented cars for collision and comprehensive coverage, maybe this varies by sta...
by jeffyscott
Sat Feb 21, 2015 1:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Old car insurance
Replies: 39
Views: 2870

Re: Old car insurance

One factor is I don't think the insurance premiums are affected by mileage on the vehicle. They seem to go by just the model year. So I think the premium would be the same if the truck had 150,000 miles, for example. But, were it totaled, you would collect much more on a 40,000 mile truck than a 150...
by jeffyscott
Sat Feb 21, 2015 1:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Old car insurance
Replies: 39
Views: 2870

Re: Poll: How Would You Want Your Estate Divided?

I have read an article it says you don't need to evenly split in many situation. If one child is lawyer and another is school teacher, you should give the school teacher more. The lawyer may be even better off than you are. If one child is disabled, he/she needs more help. You don't need to give an...
by jeffyscott
Sat Feb 21, 2015 12:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: How Would You Want Your Estate Divided?
Replies: 43
Views: 3587

Re: Poll: How Would You Want Your Estate Divided?

I didn't vote simply because, in my opinion all of the selections are unfair, at least if I am understanding them correctly. I agree. Though I may not understand the confusing way the options are presented. I think in situation A, I would like leave 1/3 to the surviving child and divide the other 2...
by jeffyscott
Sat Feb 21, 2015 12:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: How Would You Want Your Estate Divided?
Replies: 43
Views: 3587

Re: Streaming alternatives to Netflix and Amazon?

Don't know if they are on Roku, but but free ones that I have used a bit are snagfilms, NoBudge.com, and crackle. Do not use them a lot, being pretty happy with what Netflix offers. I don't know of anything besides netflix, amazon, and hulu+ that offer service for a monthly fee. Everything else seem...
by jeffyscott
Sat Feb 07, 2015 6:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Streaming alternatives to Netflix and Amazon?
Replies: 5
Views: 651

Re: When 60/40 just isn't appropriate

I propose the center of gravity for those who have accumulated enough for retirement to be 30% stocks and 70% bonds. For example, if we consider 1926 to 1952, the year in which CREF was founded, I am seeing this. 35/65 was the optimum. Funny, not long ago it seemed like 50/50 was considered to be e...
by jeffyscott
Sat Feb 07, 2015 6:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When 60/40 just isn't appropriate
Replies: 127
Views: 13515

Re: Question for Rewards Card Users (Airline)

If it is truly an airline card then it is not even a matter of moving the miles/points, you don't have a choice they get moved automatically to the associated frequent flyer account. I have at least a couple hundred thousand miles/points from credit card sign up bonuses for cards that have been canc...
by jeffyscott
Sat Feb 07, 2015 5:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question for Rewards Card Users (Airline)
Replies: 5
Views: 751

Re: Reliability of LED televisions?

CR says: "Westinghouse is among the more repair-prone brands of flat panel LCD TVs. That's what we found when we asked about more than 177,000 flat panel LCD and plasma TVs purchased by our readers between 2010 and 2014. The graph shows the percentage of models for each brand that were repaired...
by jeffyscott
Sun Jan 25, 2015 10:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reliability of LED televisions?
Replies: 18
Views: 1281

Re: Rental Car Prices - is this the new normal ?

If that is airport price, check for off airport. Also one-way can sometimes be ridiculously inflated. Like a couple others we use Costco as their system is so simple. I could also use AARP but it is annoying as you have to research which coupon codes to use and check each company separately. I book ...
by jeffyscott
Sun Jan 25, 2015 10:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental Car Prices - is this the new normal ?
Replies: 89
Views: 8067

Re: Elderly Mother in MI - Assisted Living transition

Looks like this may be a place to get some info: http://www.payingforseniorcare.com/medicaid-waivers/mi-choice-waiver-program.html But, I would first spend your time finding an assisting living place that will work for her, rather than worrying about how much of her money you can protect for her hei...
by jeffyscott
Sun Jan 25, 2015 10:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Elderly Mother in MI - Assisted Living transition
Replies: 10
Views: 1059

Re: Roth w/d v. 401k loan to pay credit card?

Probably the loan is the better option and even if you did lose the job, you could then take money from the Roth to pay back the loan. After you pay off the debt will you be maxing out your Roth and 403b? Does the 403b have good investment options? The answers to those questions relate to whether or...
by jeffyscott
Mon Jan 19, 2015 10:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth w/d v. 401k loan to pay credit card?
Replies: 3
Views: 305

Re: Savings rate, age, and home affordability

I am currently renting. My total annual rent is 14% of gross salaried income as I am not counting overtime, dividends etc. I am considering purchasing a condo and the purchase price would be 3.4x our gross salary and monthly PITI plus HOA dues would be about 22% of income. You would (hopefully) get...
by jeffyscott
Mon Jan 19, 2015 10:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savings rate, age, and home affordability
Replies: 3
Views: 744

Re: Home Owners insurance pricing ???

4. My coverage A (dwelling) was very high for Hartford. They ran their program again and said the coverage was right. It's supposed to reflect the cost to rebuild in my area. 5. Other insurance companies that I have contacted in the past have a lower valuation for coverage A. Are they just "lo...
by jeffyscott
Sun Jan 18, 2015 1:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Owners insurance pricing ???
Replies: 14
Views: 1592

Re: What Should I Do With My HSA?

Meanwhile, the bank where my HSA was deposited has been acquired by a new bank, which now charges a $3 monthly fee if you don't have a minimum balance of $3k. Further, the only regular health expense I have at the moment would be my yearly eye exams, contacts, and new glasses every now and then. If...
by jeffyscott
Sun Jan 18, 2015 12:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Should I Do With My HSA?
Replies: 10
Views: 1129

Re: Tap IRA early or use SS early ??

Pearl1234 wrote:Nobody gets out alive.


That's one thing I am not sure how to include in this decision. Taking early is best if you die in your 60s or 70s.

A male that makes it to 62 has only a 60% chance of living to 80 and a female has a 70% chance, based on SS actuarial tables.
by jeffyscott
Mon Jan 12, 2015 5:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tap IRA early or use SS early ??
Replies: 121
Views: 7262

Re: 2000-2014

What were the returns of the Wellesley and Wellington funds during this time period? M* has 7.83% for Wellington (VWENX) and 7.86% for Wellesley, not quite the same time period as they update daily so it's for the 15 years ended 1/9/15. I've owned Wellington over that time, also Dodge and Cox balan...
by jeffyscott
Sun Jan 11, 2015 10:35 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2000-2014 [15 year returns]
Replies: 26
Views: 4191

Re: ubunto vs xubuntu vs lubuntu laptop

Mint linux is the most polished linux distribution I've ever used. I agree, not that I have tried all that many versions. In comparison with Xubuntu, the Mint XFCE menu search box works better and the standard included office package is better. The Mint software updater is a bit confusing with the ...
by jeffyscott
Sun Jan 11, 2015 9:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ubunto vs xubuntu vs lubuntu laptop
Replies: 21
Views: 2500
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