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Re: Which budget heating oil plan?

Any thoughts? Keep in mind that these plans generally turn you into an unsecured creditor of your oil delivery company. Here in the northeast, hardly a winter goes by without reports of an oil delivery firm that either didn't hedge fuel prices or just didn't manage their finances well. Some states ...
by magellan
Tue Apr 22, 2014 4:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which budget heating oil plan?
Replies: 4
Views: 270

Re: If you have ACA health insurance, what is your experien

Under the ACA you can never be refused insurance, no matter what conditions you may develop in the future... While that's true, it's important for young invincibles to know that the uninsured have much lower survival rates for cancer and other life-threatening conditions. Sure, hospitals have to pr...
by magellan
Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If you have ACA health insurance, what is your experience?
Replies: 157
Views: 6713

Re: If you have ACA health insurance, what is your experien

Currrent plan does offer maternity but at age 64 no need... A big reason for your premium increase could have to do with your age being just short of a 5 year age boundary (eg 55, 60, 65). Pre-ACA, many individual policies had 5 year age bands. A 55 year old would pay the same premium as a 59 year ...
by magellan
Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If you have ACA health insurance, what is your experience?
Replies: 157
Views: 6713

Re: Switching Banks

Since you said it's an RCA, I wouldn't worry about that... Yes. I missed that it was an RCA. They could lower the qualifying balance cap down from $25k, but I agree that a dramatic rate drop isn't as likely with an RCA. In addition to the hassle factor of the RCA and possible fees in months you don...
by magellan
Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switching Banks
Replies: 30
Views: 2427

Re: Help select laptop

To the OP, if you are not in a rush now, look at the deals that are posted on http://www.slickdeals.net IMO, this is the best way to go unless you can move your budget up to say $400-500, where a Dell Outlet deal becomes an option. I'd also check out fatwallet.com . I think with both sites, you can...
by magellan
Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help select laptop
Replies: 21
Views: 1428

Re: Software patchs beta or stable

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it is a good start. That's a great start. I'd add that you should use a browser that supports click to play and asks you on a site-by-site basis whether to launch plugins. I believe Firefox and I Chrome offer this, but not IE. In Firefox. from the main me...
by magellan
Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Software patchs beta or stable
Replies: 10
Views: 607

Re: Switching Banks

I am considering switching to a local credit union that pays 2.25% interest on balances up to $25k. Seems like a no brainer.... Is this still a no brainer? What else should I be considering? That rate is probably a teaser that won't last. The interest on $25k at 2.25% is about $560 a year, so maybe...
by magellan
Sun Apr 20, 2014 5:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switching Banks
Replies: 30
Views: 2427

Re: How to avoid ads and not get tracked

Of course, there are exceptions for really obnoxious ads that blast sound and launch pop-ups. I have no problem blocking those. This is generally my threshold as well. Although I do run no-script on Mozilla, which has a side effect of blocking most of the ads served through ad networks. I'm happy t...
by magellan
Sat Apr 19, 2014 6:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to avoid ads and not get tracked
Replies: 49
Views: 2753

Re: How to avoid ads and not get tracked

Even if there isn't a direct correlation between ads and malware.... Actually, there have been a handful of cases where hackers got control of ad network servers and used them to distribute malware infested ads. This allowed the hackers to push their malware to unsuspecting users visiting well know...
by magellan
Fri Apr 18, 2014 9:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to avoid ads and not get tracked
Replies: 49
Views: 2753

Re: Google Voice Not Supported on OBi Devices After May 15 2

There are several low cost VOIP options that offer voicemail as part of their calling bundle. There are even some that let you forward all voicemail to email as an attachment. But does anyone know of a service that matches the Vonage or Google Voice approach of voicemail forwarding to email with bot...
by magellan
Fri Apr 18, 2014 5:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google Voice Not Supported on OBi Devices After May 15 2014
Replies: 57
Views: 2944

Re: Google Voice Not Supported on OBi Devices After May 15 2

One important thing it seems like most posting in this thread aren't aware of is that any solution that works to provide service to your OBi / "landline" can also be used with your smartphone. All you need is an app for your phone that does the same thing (i.e., connect to a VoIP service)...
by magellan
Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google Voice Not Supported on OBi Devices After May 15 2014
Replies: 57
Views: 2944

Re: Quicken 2014 opinions wanted

even to just download quotes, quicken makes you reenter your user id/password every couple of weeks. FWIW, I've been using 2014 for a couple months and download quotes most days that the market is open, and I have never been prompted once to reenter my Intuit ID and password. Perhaps there some set...
by magellan
Fri Apr 18, 2014 3:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quicken 2014 opinions wanted
Replies: 47
Views: 1585

Re: Quicken 2014 opinions wanted

I upgraded from 2011 to 2014 recently due to the sunset policy. I didn't have any major issues, but a handful of things seemed to get broken/changed. First, if your Q2011 data file has a longish password (maybe greater than 12 chars), you have to remove the password before you convert it to 2014 or ...
by magellan
Fri Apr 18, 2014 2:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quicken 2014 opinions wanted
Replies: 47
Views: 1585

Re: heartbleed - widespread internet security problem

PS: Hack, pump, and dump can be used to extract value from a stock trading accounts (but not mutual fund only accounts) quickly. But there have been only a few news reports on it being used. I am not quite sure why it does not happen more often. From a few reports that I've read, so far the losses ...
by magellan
Thu Apr 17, 2014 12:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: heartbleed - widespread internet security problem
Replies: 175
Views: 16542

Re: KeePass vs LastPass

Blue Ears: My router password was ugly before using Last Pass as well. I have a feeling that's a nasty hole in a lot of people's security! It's good to fix this of course, but as long as we're talking about the router login and not the wifi password, it's probably not as bad as it sounds. Most rout...
by magellan
Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: KeePass vs LastPass
Replies: 105
Views: 6022

Re: heartbleed - widespread internet security problem

There is financial risk for credit card and personal bank accounts if you fail to monitor and report the fraud in a timely manner. It's not automatic. I agree. IMO, with all account types including investment accounts, monitoring activity less frequently than monthly can considerably increase your ...
by magellan
Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: heartbleed - widespread internet security problem
Replies: 175
Views: 16542

Re: heartbleed - widespread internet security problem

I think the net effect of the heartbleed bug is to convince me that the internet is full of security holes and you are risking your financial security by transacting on it. I agree with the first part of this but disagree with the second part. IMO, it's best to consider the risk/pain of compromise ...
by magellan
Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: heartbleed - widespread internet security problem
Replies: 175
Views: 16542

Re: HSA question

I have a health insurance with deductible of 5000 per member per year and a family deductible of 15000 per year. Do I qualify for HSA ? If not, what are my other options? From reading most plans one could only qualify for HSA if the following are met: ◾$6,250 for individual coverage in 2013—$6,300 ...
by magellan
Sun Apr 13, 2014 12:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA question
Replies: 2
Views: 411

Re: I disagree

I have a "standard" password that I use here and on other fora. I really don't care how secure it is. Dave, I'm sure you don't mean any harm, but IMO this is bad manners. Even if a breach doesn't worry you, it's a big headache for admins and members on all the non breached forums and emai...
by magellan
Sun Apr 13, 2014 12:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: KeePass vs LastPass
Replies: 105
Views: 6022

Re: HSA cost benefit analysis

...when the risk actually shows up and they receive a bill that is reaches the deductible, they feel troubled and indignant about it. The interesting thing here is that people misjudge their own risk tolerance even in a situation where they can easily afford the worst case . Just saying. My wife an...
by magellan
Sun Apr 13, 2014 11:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA cost benefit analysis
Replies: 23
Views: 1665

Re: HSA cost benefit analysis

You can however save your receipts and withdraw HSA money tax and penalty free to reimburse yourself for medical expenses of past years (while you had the HSA). In that way it could be withdrawn for non medical purposes in the future, even before age 65 This is what we do, although I don't bother w...
by magellan
Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA cost benefit analysis
Replies: 23
Views: 1665

Re: Question for photographers: how is this done?

The trouble with that theory is that I don't know how you get a lighthouse to gallop past a camera. No, probably not a lighthouse. But Elk are sometimes willing. http://i62.tinypic.com/x37t39.png Sorry for the shameless plug of my work. I love doing these long exposure motion shots and trying to ge...
by magellan
Mon Apr 07, 2014 8:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question for photographers: how is this done?
Replies: 15
Views: 1388

Re: Question for photographers: how is this done?

nisiprius wrote:I can't find anything closely the actual "look" of the images shown by the original poster, but there was certainly "Photoshopping" before Photoshop.

Great examples. And don't forget Jerry Uelsmann
by magellan
Mon Apr 07, 2014 8:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question for photographers: how is this done?
Replies: 15
Views: 1388

Re: Help me understand Michael Lewis' "Flash Boys"

This explanation is about 50% right. Most GPS receivers have terrible clocks and use the signals from the GPS satellites to determine what time it is. This is why I mentioned the gps receiver's "synchronized clock." I didn't mean to imply that the gps receiver maintained the time by itsel...
by magellan
Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Help me understand Michael Lewis' "Flash Boys"
Replies: 164
Views: 8804

Re: My take on impact of HFT,

3. I don't think this is an actual problem. I can't imagine FINRA or the SEC asking about orders and a firm trying to pretend they don't know whose they are. They would probably get in bigger trouble for that than the orders they were asked about. Couldn't this be used to help reduce or eliminate q...
by magellan
Sun Apr 06, 2014 1:05 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: My take on impact of HFT,
Replies: 24
Views: 1586

Re: "The 4% rule and a dynamic retirement spending plan"

Here's a Vanguard research paper on their dynamic approach to spending in retirement: https://personal.vanguard.com/pdf/s823.pdf IMO, a sensible withdrawal strategy should define some minimum level of real retiree spending as the worst-case or lower bound that still gets to be called a success. Wit...
by magellan
Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:46 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "The 4% rule and a dynamic retirement spending plan"
Replies: 14
Views: 1623

Re: Help me understand Michael Lewis' "Flash Boys"

The batch auction stuff seems like a mess. You aren't going to synchronize exchanges operating in different places. So you would need a monopoly exchange. Yes, you can synchronize exchanges operating in different places, and no, you don't need a monopoly exchange. Exchanges already operate under a ...
by magellan
Sat Apr 05, 2014 1:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Help me understand Michael Lewis' "Flash Boys"
Replies: 164
Views: 8804

Re: Help me understand Michael Lewis' "Flash Boys"

Here's a question that I don't think anyone has addressed, why does a 350 microsecond delay for all users protect people for HFT tactics? If you slow everyone down by the same amount, can't HFTs still beat you to another market? If the guy shooting the gun to start a race waits an extra millisecond...
by magellan
Sat Apr 05, 2014 9:48 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Help me understand Michael Lewis' "Flash Boys"
Replies: 164
Views: 8804

Re: Help me understand Michael Lewis' "Flash Boys"

The solution zeugmite is describing is something further extends usage of crosses to all regular trading. It works easily with one exchange, but it would be challenging to implement in the US, since we currently have several exchanges and ECNS in the US that all trade independently (NYSE, NASDAQ, A...
by magellan
Sat Apr 05, 2014 8:01 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Help me understand Michael Lewis' "Flash Boys"
Replies: 164
Views: 8804

Re: Help me understand Michael Lewis' "Flash Boys"

A better approach is to do what computer systems have always done when faced with synchronization issues due to propagation delay -- latch and clock. Allow trades to cross only at quantized intervals of time across all exchanges simultaneously, and immediately publish all trades that happened. The ...
by magellan
Fri Apr 04, 2014 8:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Help me understand Michael Lewis' "Flash Boys"
Replies: 164
Views: 8804

Re: Cutting ties with Cable

Aereo might be a good option if you live in a city they operate in and can't get decent OTA reception. Aereo membership begins at $8 per month, for access to Aereo’s cloud-based antenna/DVR technology and 20 hours of DVR storage. For an additional $4, consumers can upgrade their subscription and rec...
by magellan
Thu Apr 03, 2014 7:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting ties with Cable
Replies: 43
Views: 2457

Re: choosing a market place health insurance plan

That 15-20% is the gamble premium. If you gamble and don't need much medical care, you save the deductible and that 15-20%. But if you need a lot of care, you would have been better off with the higher premium/lower deductible plan. Unlike with other insurance, depending on the policy type, 80-85% ...
by magellan
Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: choosing a market place health insurance plan
Replies: 15
Views: 851

Re: Over a few decades, will TBM returns equal TIPS?

I don't understand the fascination with using TIPS in an otherwise diversified risky portfolio. To me, replacing TBM with TIPS is like buying Total Stock Market, then shorting out pharmaceuticals. This eliminates exposure to specific risk factors that could provide an important diversification bene...
by magellan
Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:50 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Over a few decades, will TBM returns equal TIPS?
Replies: 30
Views: 1999

Re: Really confused by Bernstein

Now what struck me is the implicit association between "retiring" and "finite (relatively short) time frame". This LMP line of thinking seems to mostly apply to folks retiring at 70+, and not expecting to become centenarians. Hence considering vehicles like TIPS ladders and SPIA...
by magellan
Sun Mar 30, 2014 11:41 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Really confused by Bernstein
Replies: 168
Views: 12901

Re: Replacement for Windows XP Computer

Well, frankly I got tired of thinking about this. So I went ahead and ordered an Acer Aspire ATC-605-UR14. Yeah, that ought to last you for a little while :) This link has some common cpu benchmarks. You'll notice that your new system's i7-4770 is the forth one from the top of the list. That cpu pr...
by magellan
Sat Mar 29, 2014 8:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacement for Windows XP Computer
Replies: 72
Views: 4180

Re: Savings category in Quicken

I use quicken's "transfer" function which replaces the usual "Category" on the entry, so the transfer doesn't get categorized as savings. Any suggestions on how to categorize transfers as savings? As others have indicated, there are many roads to Dublin with this one. What I'd p...
by magellan
Sat Mar 29, 2014 2:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savings category in Quicken
Replies: 10
Views: 923

Re: Over a few decades, will TBM returns equal TIPS?

From a theoretical standpoint, the expected return on TIPS should be meaningfully lower than that of TBM. As others have pointed out, TIPS are a less risky and less diversified holding than TBM. Honestly, I don't understand the fascination with using TIPS in an otherwise diversified risky portfolio....
by magellan
Sat Mar 29, 2014 11:34 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Over a few decades, will TBM returns equal TIPS?
Replies: 30
Views: 1999

Re: Cloud storage advice?

How secure are these services? Would you store a doc with your social security number in it? I know, never store a social security number in a document on any computer. I use truecrypt volumes to store this type of info on my computer. That keeps the data safe if my computer is lost or stolen. I ba...
by magellan
Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cloud storage advice?
Replies: 22
Views: 1907

Re: Being my own contractor for a bathroom remodel?

1. I can pull the permits as the homeowner and list myself as the contractor; Managing this project requires expertise that it sounds like you don't have. A good general contractor will save enough money and grief to more than earn their contracting fee. They'll probably do the carpentry, cabinet i...
by magellan
Sat Mar 29, 2014 8:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Being my own contractor for a bathroom remodel?
Replies: 19
Views: 1453

Re: Lowes Install Services- anyone use them for a new bathro

I would not reuse the toilet unless it meets new lower water flow flush standards. lots of folks are against low flow and keep outdated 5 gal flush but if you research, read reviews, and get a quality product it will flush fine. We bought an upgraded Kohler one piece 1.5 gal flush 5 yrs ago and are...
by magellan
Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lowes Install Services- anyone use them for a new bathroom?
Replies: 22
Views: 1796

Re: Installing Win8.1 on an old PC - one successful data poi

Windows 8 is considerably faster than windows 7 For a cold boot, sure. 8 is considerably faster. For normal operating stuff, everything I've read puts them about equal in performance. Gaming benchmarks seem to show little to no difference, while benchmarks on some specific operations show 1-2% impr...
by magellan
Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Installing Win8.1 on an old PC - one successful data point
Replies: 24
Views: 1594

Re: Lowes Install Services- anyone use them for a new bathro

I used a Lowes installer to put down prefinished hardwood flooring in a guest bedroom. The project went off without a hitch. The installer was professional, timely, and he did a decent job. It was a very good value for the money. But be aware that these guys generally do mid-level quality work. If y...
by magellan
Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lowes Install Services- anyone use them for a new bathroom?
Replies: 22
Views: 1796

Re: Offering internet access to addition to our home

Before getting into the technical issues, you'll probably want to carefully review your cable/Internet subscriber agreements to see if it's legal to offer guest Internet access to someone renting an apartment in your home. I know roommates often share one subscription to cable/Internet to everyone i...
by magellan
Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Offering internet access to addition to our home
Replies: 11
Views: 786

Re: choosing a market place health insurance plan

What about for an early retiree with no EARNED income (but with a lot of investment income)? Are HSA contributions tax deductible for that person if he does a high deductible plan? Yes, as long as the high deductible plan is HSA qualified. Not all high deductible plans are HSA qualified, so you hav...
by magellan
Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: choosing a market place health insurance plan
Replies: 15
Views: 851

Re: Lawyer, Small Claims Court, or ?

IMO, it makes sense to start with the shopping center owners. The owner is probably a large REIT with a property management company that handles everything. As long as you don't annoy them, they'll probably want to be good neighbors. Any cleanup costs should be insignificant in terms of their operat...
by magellan
Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lawyer, Small Claims Court, or ?
Replies: 27
Views: 1257

Re: choosing a market place health insurance plan

I am asking this because for a self employed, the premiums are tax deductible, whereas medical expenses (insurance deductibles) will not be if the total is not over 10% adjusted gross income. If you choose an HSA compatible health insurance plan for your family, you can deduct up to $6550 a year fo...
by magellan
Wed Mar 26, 2014 9:23 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: choosing a market place health insurance plan
Replies: 15
Views: 851

Re: Really confused by Bernstein

But it has been pointed out to me that for smaller portfolios (I consider $1M small in this case), this might not be a huge issue because tax rates, under current law, will also rise with inflation. I'm suspicious of this logic. Perhaps my logic is also confused, but my understanding is that with a...
by magellan
Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:42 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Really confused by Bernstein
Replies: 168
Views: 12901

Re: Replacement for Windows XP Computer

For the top i7 processors the basic clock rate is 3.4 or 3.5 Ghz and Turbo Boost only raises it to 3.9 Ghz. The top i3 processor has the clock rate fixed at 3.6 Ghz -- not much lower than the i7 with Turbo Boost active. Single thread benchmarks show the i7 not much faster than the i3: http://www.cp...
by magellan
Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacement for Windows XP Computer
Replies: 72
Views: 4180

Re: Does This Person Need Umbrella Ins Coverage?

Increasing the liability limits on homeowners and auto insurance can often be a good value, even when combined with an umbrella policy. Bumping the liability coverage on my auto and homeowners policies from $300k to $1m added only $50-60 to the total yearly cost. As I understand it, these underlying...
by magellan
Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does This Person Need Umbrella Ins Coverage?
Replies: 64
Views: 4414

Re: Replacement for Windows XP Computer

I doubt the difference between otherwise identical i3 and i7 machines would be that easy to notice. The main difference between i7 and i3 is that it usually has more cores (4 on the i7 versus 2 on the i3). The i7 has double the cpu cache compared to the i3 and it supports turbo boost which bumps up...
by magellan
Sat Mar 22, 2014 8:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacement for Windows XP Computer
Replies: 72
Views: 4180
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