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by jsl11
Thu May 28, 2015 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Still make sense to have AAA membership?
Replies: 68
Views: 4741

Re: Still make sense to have AAA membership?

On a dead battery I used to have AAA come out and start my car so I could drive to Belle Tire and wait a couple hours there to save a couple bucks on a battery. Now I prefer to just have AAA install a new battery while they're there and save my time instead. I would be concerned about the performan...
by jsl11
Thu May 28, 2015 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good e-mail manager?
Replies: 10
Views: 729

Re: Good e-mail manager?

I had the same question when I bought my present computer. Thunderbird has been an excellent answer.
by jsl11
Wed May 27, 2015 10:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Sock drawered" credit cards.
Replies: 12
Views: 1423

Re: "Sock drawered" credit cards.

I have two cards that I do not use regularly. One of them sent me a notice advising that if I did not use it soon, they would close it. Since then, I have used the two cards about once every 6 months. It has been a number of years now, and that seems to keep them happy.
by jsl11
Wed May 27, 2015 6:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Money and cell phones when traveling to Canada
Replies: 24
Views: 798

Re: Money and cell phones when traveling to Canada

Some years ago, I wanted some Canadian dollars to take on a trip. I was working downtown, so I had access to all the banks. I called all of them and asked what their exchange rate was for buying Canadian dollars. The were not all the same, so I went to the one that had the best rate. When I came hom...
by jsl11
Tue May 26, 2015 10:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wellington & Wellesley
Replies: 32
Views: 3507

Re: Wellington & Wellesley

Some people purchased their active funds in taxable accounts long ago and are sitting on potentially large capital gains tax burdens if shares are sold. I am luckily not in that category, having no tax liability issue to tie me to any particular active fund, but I remember reading others have. I wa...
by jsl11
Tue May 26, 2015 5:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: American Express sneakery
Replies: 37
Views: 4218

Re: American Express sneakery

The web site for my Costco Amex does not work this way. The big number is the balance due, and the minimum payment is the small number.
by jsl11
Tue May 26, 2015 4:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wellington & Wellesley
Replies: 32
Views: 3507

Re: Wellington & Wellesley

donaldfair71 wrote:Your last paragraph is important, and I think sometimes people forget it is not Active vs Passive, it's expenses vs expenses.

Not everyone agrees with this.
by jsl11
Tue May 26, 2015 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Patient-Ordered Medical (Genetic) Tests
Replies: 20
Views: 1237

Re: Patient-Ordered Medical (Genetic) Tests

My suggestion is to ask your pediatrician for advice.
by jsl11
Tue May 26, 2015 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Window replacement -- Renewal by Andersen?
Replies: 31
Views: 2216

Re: Window replacement -- Renewal by Andersen?

I live in a development of more than 100 homes. The builder used Andersen windows in all of them. If you check the Andersen web site, you will see that they have different product lines, and the better models have higher prices. In the first few years, we had problems with two windows, and Andersen ...
by jsl11
Tue May 26, 2015 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CDs between Bank Accounts
Replies: 4
Views: 314

Re: CDs between Bank Accounts

You apparently are talking about short term CDs with terms of less than one year. From what I have seen, very short term CDs have very low interest rates, and this seems to be the case everywhere. The only way to get a halfway decent CD rate is to have a longer term, such as 5 years. However, this w...
by jsl11
Tue May 26, 2015 10:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wellington & Wellesley
Replies: 32
Views: 3507

Wellington & Wellesley

There is currently a thread running where the OP asked about an active fund that has done well. There are some excellent replies that explain why an index fund would be a better choice for someone who wants to invest now. "There will always be funds that beat the index, but you cannot tell in a...
by jsl11
Tue May 26, 2015 1:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need to sell old home. Should we spend money to modernize it first?
Replies: 38
Views: 2821

Re: Need to sell old home. Should we spend money to modernize it first?

Everything I have read says that it does not pay to make major renovations to make a house more attractive just to sell it. You generally do not get all the cost back in a higher selling price. However, what is worthwhile is to make modest improvements, such as painting walls, to make the house look...
by jsl11
Sat May 23, 2015 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quality medicines
Replies: 8
Views: 779

Re: Quality medicines

I've noticed, on more than one occasion, that prescription antibiotics I have bought at CVS were made by companies in India. I do not know if there is a quality difference, or if other pharmacies are any different.
by jsl11
Sat May 23, 2015 2:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Different funds
Replies: 10
Views: 751

Re: Different funds

If Vanguard failed... Actually, if Vanguard somehow failed, it would make little difference. Each Vanguard fund is a separate company, and the funds own Vanguard. Vanguard just provides administrative services to the funds. If something happened to Vanguard, the funds would need to find an new admi...
by jsl11
Fri May 22, 2015 11:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Confused about Bond returns
Replies: 3
Views: 488

Re: Confused about Bond returns

dbr wrote:If you are saving for a home in a year or two, those savings should be in a savings account or CDs. Forget mutual funds of any kind.

This is good advice. In a bond fund, your net return could be negative over the next year or two. In other words, you might have less money than you started with.
by jsl11
Fri May 22, 2015 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with car insurance coverage
Replies: 16
Views: 661

Re: Help with car insurance coverage

You don't say where you live, how much you drive, or how many accidents or violations you have on your record. However, I have two newer cars, much better coverage, and pay about one third of what you are paying. You might want to shop around some more. There are two easy ways to save on auto insura...
by jsl11
Thu May 21, 2015 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: homeowner vacancy insurance - yikes
Replies: 18
Views: 1317

Re: homeowner vacancy insurance - yikes

We bought a new house back in November and our old house wasn't closing until January and our agent had mentioned vacancy insurance, I went back and found the email and here is the direct quote: When it is empty and on the market you should consider the vacancy endorsement because malicious mischie...
by jsl11
Tue May 19, 2015 12:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: QCD Security Problem at Vanguard
Replies: 8
Views: 999

Re: QCD Security Problem at Vanguard

However, the law providing for QCDs has not been renewed for this year. Hopefully, that will occur, but there is no assurance that it will.
by jsl11
Mon May 18, 2015 6:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Jobs for Retired Air Force (without degree)
Replies: 26
Views: 1585

Re: Jobs for Retired Air Force (without degree)

Every local fire department hires emergency medical technicians. This would seem to be a natural fit.
by jsl11
Mon May 18, 2015 6:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: IQ Elite Scam
Replies: 3
Views: 884

Re: IQ Elite Scam

Perhaps Thunderbird would work for you.
by jsl11
Sun May 17, 2015 3:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newly retired couple are comfortable, but would like supplemental income
Replies: 6
Views: 1399

Re: Newly retired couple are comfortable, but would like supplemental income

Inexperienced investors may be more comfortable using mutual funds rather than ETFs. I would suggest that they hold these directly at Vanguard, unless there is some special reason not to. There are some complexities involved with buying and selling ETFs that would be avoided using funds.
by jsl11
Sat May 16, 2015 7:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rollover IRA: transfer cash Fidelity <->Vanguard
Replies: 4
Views: 402

Re: Rollover IRA: transfer cash Fidelity <->Vanguard

Any time you take money out of a traditional IRA, the custodian will consider it to be a taxable withdrawal and will issue a 1099. You will have to report this on your 1040 and then explain that it is not taxable because it is a rollover. Since this is not a trustee to trustee rollover, it seems you...
by jsl11
Sat May 16, 2015 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A/C Service Deals
Replies: 11
Views: 829

Re: A/C Service Deals

My complaint about my HVAC system (Carrier) is the lack of availability of a parts list. There is no parts list in the owner's manual and it is not available on line. However, I have found that when a part does need to be replaced, I have paid the service company a high price for the part. After the...
by jsl11
Fri May 15, 2015 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?
Replies: 157
Views: 7292

Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

If you can reduce crashes, you do not only reduce your chances of being killed. You reduce your chances of being injured, having your car damaged, and causing death, injury and property damage to someone else. If you add the probabilities for all of these things, the numbers would look somewhat bett...
by jsl11
Fri May 15, 2015 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Roof Replacement, upgrade or not?
Replies: 15
Views: 1123

Re: Roof Replacement, upgrade or not?

My HO insurance company has a list of "approved" hail resistant roof shingles. If you put those shingles on your house, you get a discount on your HO insurance. That could be a selling point when you decide to move.
by jsl11
Fri May 15, 2015 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a New Construction Home - what do I need to consider
Replies: 14
Views: 1075

Re: Buying a New Construction Home - what do I need to consider

We seriously considered one new house and ended up buying another. The first builder had an attractive base price, but all upgrades were limited to those offered by the builder and were marked up substantially. So, we could not get some things we wanted, and those that were available were greatly ov...
by jsl11
Thu May 14, 2015 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Calculating Net Worth
Replies: 8
Views: 791

Re: Calculating Net Worth

The Planner wrote: What is the rationale for counting something like life insurance as part of your net worth?

You could convert these things to cash, if you wanted/needed to do so.
by jsl11
Tue May 12, 2015 7:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I Hate Vacations
Replies: 113
Views: 9196

Re: I Hate Vacations

livesoft wrote:That's the point of vacation to me: No worries, no hassles, no need to be anywhere at anytime.

That sounds more like the definition of retirement. 8-)
by jsl11
Tue May 12, 2015 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Questions on securing house during vacation
Replies: 11
Views: 786

Re: Questions on securing house during vacation

Turn off all the water in the house while you are away. After you turn off the water, open hot and cold faucets to relieve the pressure in the lines. Then close the faucets so you do not have to remember to close them when you turn the water on when you return. It is also a good idea to turn down th...
by jsl11
Tue May 12, 2015 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dealing With the Mind Shift
Replies: 8
Views: 885

Re: Dealing With the Mind Shift

She will have a "nice pension" and you will have your earnings until you retire and then social security. So, it is likely that you will have most of your expenses covered by cash flow. To help with spending your savings, create a conservative budget, such as 2% or 3% of your savings annua...
by jsl11
Tue May 12, 2015 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are potential drawback of pay-per-mile insurance?
Replies: 10
Views: 902

Re: What are potential drawback of pay-per-mile insurance?

My State Farm renewal notice specifies how the vehicle is used. It says "To work, School or Pleasure Driven 7,500 miles or less annually." They never ask about any changes to that. I told them my usage was decreased when I retired (no commuting) and it has been that way since.
by jsl11
Mon May 11, 2015 9:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Cards are Good
Replies: 46
Views: 4123

Re: Credit Cards are Good

It's a complete misnomer to teach people that credit cards are bad. There are so many benefits to using credit cards over using cash. 1. If you get robbed, they won't get any cash since you don't carry any 2. It's so much easier to track your spending when you put everything on a credit card 3. You...
by jsl11
Mon May 11, 2015 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: dishwasher service plan
Replies: 18
Views: 967

Re: dishwasher service plan

We had an unusual situation regarding extended warranties. When we remodeled our kitchen in our previous home, about 20 years ago, we bought a Kitchenaid oven and dishwasher. Of course, we were offered the standard warranty extensions on both items, and we declined the offers. However, when we had t...
by jsl11
Mon May 11, 2015 11:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help With A Co-Worker's Capital Gains Dilemma
Replies: 7
Views: 609

Re: Help With A Co-Worker's Capital Gains Dilemma

If he wants to make any charitable donations, he should give shares of appreciated stock instead of cash. He can deduct the market value of the shares he donates (if he itemizes), and avoid the capital gains taxes. The charities, being tax exempt, can then sell the shares to get the cash without pay...
by jsl11
Mon May 11, 2015 12:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bought a brand new house - what next?
Replies: 17
Views: 2075

Re: Bought a brand new house - what next?

Check the furnace filters. They may be clogged with construction dust.
by jsl11
Sat May 09, 2015 4:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Active vs. passive in more niche markets
Replies: 58
Views: 2460

Re: Active vs. passive in more niche markets

It's easy to pick an active fund that has beaten the index in the past. Picking one that will beat the index in the future is much more difficult. You also need to make sure that the benchmark is appropriate for the fund being discussed. If they are really confident that their fund will beat the ind...
by jsl11
Fri May 08, 2015 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: dishwasher service plan
Replies: 18
Views: 967

Re: dishwasher service plan

Our Kitchenaid dishwasher was fine for the first 8 years. We have repaired it twice. The first repair was a normal wearout of a seal that caused the pump to fail. The second one, not too long after the first, was when the door latch broke. This was something that should not have happened. If we knew...
by jsl11
Thu May 07, 2015 10:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question surrounding a lump-sum of money that I will acquire this week:
Replies: 4
Views: 851

Re: Question surrounding a lump-sum of money that I will acquire this week:

I would not consider the stock market for any money I planned to need within 5 years (some people suggest 10 years). Some good choices are CDs, high interest savings account, or a short term high quality bond fund.
by jsl11
Thu May 07, 2015 8:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Stable Value Funds ~ cash? if so, increase duration?
Replies: 7
Views: 792

Re: Stable Value Funds ~ cash? if so, increase duration?

If I had a guaranteed 4% stable value fund, I would increase that holding substantially. 4% is a very good return for fixed income especially when it is guaranteed. Long term bonds will have the largest capital loss if/when interest rates increase compared to shorter bonds. I have no wish to buy lon...
by jsl11
Thu May 07, 2015 5:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401(k) Trustee
Replies: 5
Views: 485

Re: 401(k) Trustee

Ask them to show you a list of available funds complete with expense ratios. Also have them provide a list of all fees that would apply to both the employer and employees. If they say you can have any funds you want, make a trial list and ask them to provide the costs for that. This should go a long...
by jsl11
Thu May 07, 2015 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do Updates to Home Increase Market Value?
Replies: 32
Views: 2192

Re: Do Updates to Home Increase Market Value?

Some updates make help your home sell faster. Do you get more? Rarely. What's the difference between a 5 year old kitchen, a 10 year old kitchen, and a 20 year old kitchen, all in good condition? Not much. They all look dated. How about the brand new kitchen you just did? Only helps if the buyer li...
by jsl11
Thu May 07, 2015 10:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do Updates to Home Increase Market Value?
Replies: 32
Views: 2192

Re: Do Updates to Home Increase Market Value?

You might want to try another real estate agent/agency. In my experience, many, perhaps most, real estate agents are not very good at their jobs.
by jsl11
Tue May 05, 2015 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking to Retire in Cleveland
Replies: 32
Views: 2497

Re: Looking to Retire in Cleveland

Local taxes in NE Ohio fall into two categories; income tax and real estate tax. Income taxes apply only to "earned income", and therefore will not be a concern when you are retired. The biggest component of real estate taxes are school taxes, and these vary considerably depending on the l...
by jsl11
Mon May 04, 2015 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking to Retire in Cleveland
Replies: 32
Views: 2497

Re: Looking to Retire in Cleveland

My wife and I are also retired and living in the Cleveland area. The first thing about Cleveland to be aware of is that it has a lot of suburbs, and the character of these suburbs vary considerably. Most of the nicer residential areas are in the suburbs. The suburbs range from an "inner city&qu...
by jsl11
Sun May 03, 2015 9:53 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Forum software upgrade bug reports and change requests
Replies: 206
Views: 9650

Re: Forum software upgrade bug reports and change requests

A new problem has arisen. Now, when I click on "view your posts", everything shows up as unread, even the threads that were read a long time ago.
by jsl11
Sun May 03, 2015 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Raining Insurance Bills
Replies: 13
Views: 1038

Re: Raining Insurance Bills

If you just pay the renewal notices when they arrive, you will eliminate 80% of the mail from State Farm.
by jsl11
Sun May 03, 2015 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial Advisor
Replies: 14
Views: 1096

Re: Financial Advisor

Ask this "advisor" how he would be paid to provide this advice. The honest answer would be that he gets commissions on your purchases. That really means he is a salesman and not an advisor. You may have seen recent news about our federal government trying to make stock brokers (advisors) h...
by jsl11
Sun May 03, 2015 11:07 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Forum software upgrade bug reports and change requests
Replies: 206
Views: 9650

Re: Forum software upgrade bug reports and change requests

When I click on "view your posts", it shows which threads have new posts added since the last time I saw them, as it is supposed to. However, when I view one of those threads, and then use the back button to go back to the list, it still shows that thread as having new posts, even though I...
by jsl11
Fri May 01, 2015 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oh Hail! [fix hard to see hail damage to car?]
Replies: 24
Views: 1626

Re: Oh Hail!

I had the same thing happen. The hail dents were barely noticeable. I kept the insurance money. When I traded the car in some years later, the dealer inspected the car and did not even notice the dents.
by jsl11
Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Humbly Seeking Guidance
Replies: 11
Views: 1003

Re: Humbly Seeking Guidance

It depends on what you want to invest in. If you want a general purpose brokerage, others have indicated a preference for Schwab. I have no experience with them. If you want Vanguard funds, Vanguard is the best place for those. I am a long time Vanguard client and have been very pleased.

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