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Re: How to (diplomatically) challenge wife's active mgmt fun

1. It's such a small portion of our overall portfolio (~2% and dropping due to low contributions) .... 2. When I've tried to raise these points before, she's pointed out that her funds' performance has been roughly similar to mine over the past few years Nothing like playing armchair marital therap...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to (diplomatically) challenge wife's active mgmt funds
Replies: 90
Views: 5050

Re: new i-bond rate?

John3754 wrote:
JimInIllinois wrote:The real mystery is the fixed rate on i-bonds sold starting May 1.


If it's anything other than 0% I'll be surprised.


Rather than thinking of it as 0%, think of it as "1.6% real". And my 3% CDs are getting 4.6% real. Wow!!

The glass is more fun to drink from when it is half-full.
by protagonist
Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: new i-bond rate?
Replies: 18
Views: 2586

Re: U.S. stocks in freefall

How big is the drop anyway?

Forgive my laziness. I haven't checked the market since 2009. I find out about it from you guys, and when I log into Fidelity to do something in my account it pops up.

Why bother? (laughing)
by protagonist
Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:42 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks in freefall
Replies: 1251
Views: 236639

Re: How to pay real estate tax with Target Redcard

Since Redcard allows a person to pay the bills of the same credit cards used to load it, what benefit would it be to use Redcard to pay anything else - except possibly to get the 5% discount for items I want to purchase at Target? Hi, B. Foot. The advantage is that there are many payees that do not...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to pay real estate tax with Target Redcard
Replies: 20
Views: 1712

Re: How to pay real estate tax with Target Redcard

Use Target Billpay and list the payee as the town. However, list your home address as the address. You will get a paper check in the mail from Target. Either take the check into your town's office or mail it in yourself with the real estate bill. That is my plan next time around. The bill is due Ma...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to pay real estate tax with Target Redcard
Replies: 20
Views: 1712

Re: How to pay real estate tax with Target Redcard

My town also charges a ridiculous amount of money to pay by credit card, which I would like to do for the rewards points (I pay my cc bill in full each month.) Is this because credit card companies charge them a lot? Anyone know what fee a credit card company charges "merchants"? They use...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to pay real estate tax with Target Redcard
Replies: 20
Views: 1712

Re: How to pay real estate tax with Target Redcard

According to various 3rd party sources, yes, if you do a Bill Pay to an unknown or non-affiliated business, Redbird will postal mail a check to them in your name for the amount specified. Assuming your property taxes are significant, you may want to check into the maximum Bill Pay transaction they ...
by protagonist
Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to pay real estate tax with Target Redcard
Replies: 20
Views: 1712

Re: How to pay real estate tax with Target Redcard

Is your REDCard a debit card or a Visa credit card? Either way, it looks like you'd pay the processing fees. I don't see an option where Target will issue a check, as some bank or credit union accounts offer. It is a prepaid "sort of" debit card. But there are important differences. https...
by protagonist
Mon Apr 20, 2015 6:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to pay real estate tax with Target Redcard
Replies: 20
Views: 1712

How to pay real estate tax with Target Redcard

My city allows real estate tax to be paid by check or cash with no fee, but charges usurious fees to pay with a credit card and I assume debit card (credit cards go through a third party called Unipay). If I try to pay my real estate tax with my Redcard and give the city clerk's office as the addres...
by protagonist
Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to pay real estate tax with Target Redcard
Replies: 20
Views: 1712

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

Glad to hear you booked! LoL: regarding the dangers of flying. I am also tempted by those offers a lot, but I can't really say I was ever able to take advantage of those: (1) it is hard to make those trips when working, (2) up until recently I was not a US Citizen, and traveling pretty much everywh...
by protagonist
Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 215
Views: 51505

Re: Another Florida Keys question

We are flying direct to Key West from ATL. Should we bother renting a car in KW or is it fairly easy to get around? Next question, is there a cost effective and convenient way to get to Key Largo from KW without renting a car? Thanks. Unless you plan to stay in KW the whole time (which would not be...
by protagonist
Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another Florida Keys question
Replies: 15
Views: 1877

Re: Can we afford [a masters degree]?

She should at least consider Johns Hopkins' certificate program in Data Science through Coursera. Would only cost her $470. https://www.coursera.org/specialization/jhudatascience/1 What is a "certificate program"? That's great that a venerable institution like Hopkins is offering certific...
by protagonist
Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford [a masters degree]?
Replies: 38
Views: 2633

Re: Can we afford [a masters degree]?

I'm in a data science masters. N of one and all that, but I've already obtained a paid internship that will last for a full year and have every reason to expect they will hire me next winter. My programs average starting salary is $80k and only about half my peers come into the program with previou...
by protagonist
Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford [a masters degree]?
Replies: 38
Views: 2633

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

If you are making 4 night bookings, and if they have a hotel where you want to go, consider the three Club Carlson cards. Two cards have an 85K bonus and the third has a 60K bonus. But in addition, if you buy your room with points for one night you get the second night free. I got a really nice roo...
by protagonist
Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 215
Views: 51505

Re: Can we afford [a masters degree]?

OK, you got me curious. It actually sounds fascinating. Yeah, do it. $40K tuition for a Masters is a bargain these days if it is from a reputable institution. And try to get the school system to pay tuition. Next, somebody has to explain to me what "competitive intelligence" is. Great term...
by protagonist
Wed Apr 15, 2015 8:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford [a masters degree]?
Replies: 38
Views: 2633

Re: How does a retired person mitigate a Bond Bubble?

My mom is age 65 and retired. Her pension + SS pays her monthly expenses. Her entire IRA ($300k) is in Vanguard's Target Retirement Income fund (30% stocks/70% Bonds). Would the bond bubble bursting kill her IRA? If not, why not since it's 70% bonds? If so, how to mitigate it? Why isn't she in bank...
by protagonist
Wed Apr 15, 2015 8:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How does a retired person mitigate a Bond Bubble?
Replies: 46
Views: 5701

Re: Can we afford [a masters degree]?

Hi She is a math teacher would like to get a masters in data science. She will go to school at night and a few classes online. The program is 40k. We are mid 30s couple. We have enough in Roth to pay for it. Should we get loans or take money out from Roth? Thanks. I'm unclear as well as to what &qu...
by protagonist
Wed Apr 15, 2015 7:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford [a masters degree]?
Replies: 38
Views: 2633

Re: WSJ: You may need less than 80% in retirement

Probably because we have a broken chromosome in every cell. The Y means we have more recessive traits, many of which are detrimental. Interesting. I understand why males are much more receptive to X-linked recessive diseases, whereas females are usually just carriers since her other x chromosome is...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 14, 2015 10:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ: You may need less than 80% in retirement
Replies: 98
Views: 8922

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

Glad to hear you booked! LoL: regarding the dangers of flying. I am also tempted by those offers a lot, but I can't really say I was ever able to take advantage of those: (1) it is hard to make those trips when working, (2) up until recently I was not a US Citizen, and traveling pretty much everywh...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 215
Views: 51505

Re: WSJ: You may need less than 80% in retirement

Why are we 65 year old males croaking at twice the rate of our female counterparts, as regards achieving age 95? I for one find this appalling. I shall do what it takes to correct this situation... I hope you mean you will discover new cures for prostate cancer and heart disease, rather than killin...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ: You may need less than 80% in retirement
Replies: 98
Views: 8922

Re: WSJ: You may need less than 80% in retirement

"The over-100 population in the U.S. numbers about 55,000, according to a 2014 Census report; the number of centenarians increased by 60 percent from 1980 to 2010." "Eighty-one percent who live to 100 are women. Having had a lot of time to outlive their savings, 17 percent of those ag...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ: You may need less than 80% in retirement
Replies: 98
Views: 8922

Re: On a budget and Friday night

FEI theatre in Arlington has 5 dollar matinees (7 dollar late night) - this is about as close as I've seen in the greater Boston area. It's a great area - only a mile or two away from the Minuteman bike path and lots of other stuff. Is that the old Capitol Theater that I remember from when I lived ...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: On a budget and Friday night
Replies: 68
Views: 5044

Re: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?

But to me, substituting watching tv for watching netflix isnt really a lifestyle change - I get that it saves $$, but I wouldn't really see the point. I feel like TV provides a lot of value for the $, I just don't like the "time suck" and sedentary aspects of it. I don't think Netflix wou...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?
Replies: 110
Views: 9598

Re: WSJ: You may need less than 80% in retirement

longevity of older people is not exploding upward "In developed countries, the number of centenarians is increasing at approximately 5.5% per year" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_expectancy For couples age 65 in the US, there is a 45% chance that one member will live to 90 and an 18% ...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 14, 2015 12:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ: You may need less than 80% in retirement
Replies: 98
Views: 8922

Re: On a budget and Friday night

I really feel bad for those who don't have a second run movie theater in town. We only go to the real movie theater once a year or so. The rest of the time we go to the second run (dollar) theater (1-3 times a month.) So, $7 for the five of us. $15 if we get popcorn. If you're really cheap, you avo...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 14, 2015 12:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: On a budget and Friday night
Replies: 68
Views: 5044

Re: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?

But to me, substituting watching tv for watching netflix isnt really a lifestyle change - I get that it saves $$, but I wouldn't really see the point. I feel like TV provides a lot of value for the $, I just don't like the "time suck" and sedentary aspects of it. I don't think Netflix wou...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 14, 2015 11:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?
Replies: 110
Views: 9598

Re: On a budget and Friday night

I saw a movie with my friend in Manhattan last week- The Imitation Game- $14/ticket. Add a shared popcorn and a shared beer and the total was well over $40 for two. Arguably that is not bad for 2 hours of entertainment in NYC. But think of a family with 3 kids....a night at the movies is over $100. ...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 14, 2015 11:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: On a budget and Friday night
Replies: 68
Views: 5044

Re: let's focus on reality

daveatca wrote:How many males over the age of 65 wear decorative scarves?
1%, maybe.


When I turn 65 I plan to buy my first decorative scarf. It will go viral. I'm a trendsetter.
by protagonist
Tue Apr 14, 2015 9:48 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ: You may need less than 80% in retirement
Replies: 98
Views: 8922

Re: WSJ: You may need less than 80% in retirement

The article is spot-on. I spend a small fraction of what I was spending before I retired, when I was raising a child and had a wife and a bigger home. And my lifestyle is better. I don't bother budgeting and there is nothing I feel like I need or want that I do not buy. I thought I would need much m...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 14, 2015 9:45 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ: You may need less than 80% in retirement
Replies: 98
Views: 8922

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

I just got the temporary Redcard at the Millbury, MA Target and loaded it with $500 plus the $5 charge....the transaction was extremely simple. Apparently there is little you can do with the temporary card other than using it to buy things at Target....I'm waiting for the permanent card to arrive. I...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 14, 2015 9:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 215
Views: 51505

Re: On a budget and Friday night

I really feel bad for those who don't have a second run movie theater in town. We only go to the real movie theater once a year or so. The rest of the time we go to the second run (dollar) theater (1-3 times a month.) So, $7 for the five of us. $15 if we get popcorn. If you're really cheap, you avo...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 14, 2015 9:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: On a budget and Friday night
Replies: 68
Views: 5044

Re: On a budget and Friday night

I really feel bad for those who don't have a second run movie theater in town. We only go to the real movie theater once a year or so. The rest of the time we go to the second run (dollar) theater (1-3 times a month.) So, $7 for the five of us. $15 if we get popcorn. If you're really cheap, you avo...
by protagonist
Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: On a budget and Friday night
Replies: 68
Views: 5044

Re: On a budget and Friday night

Movie theatres, sadly, are so 20th century. Whenever I go to the cinema these days, that used to be packed, it is nearly empty. There were three art cinemas downtown ten years ago and none remain- one is now an Irish pub and two are high-end performance venues. I have to strain to find another soul ...
by protagonist
Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:04 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: On a budget and Friday night
Replies: 68
Views: 5044

Re: Is 2007 Accord 60K mile service worth $300?

I probably have about a million miles on Hondas dating back about 40 years. Civics, Accords, Preludes and Elements. I've never done anything to them but change the oil unless they needed obvious maintenance (eg tires, brakes, timing belt on schedule, etc). My goal on each is a trip to the moon (238,...
by protagonist
Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is 2007 Accord 60K mile service worth $300?
Replies: 52
Views: 3988

Re: Which 3 year old hybrid: Camry or Prius

Runner01 wrote:Not a hybrid but Honda Fit is always the answer.


Good point.
My friend just bought a new 2015 Fit for about the prices quoted above for the 2012 cars. She says she gets about 400 miles on a $20. fill-up.
by protagonist
Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which 3 year old hybrid: Camry or Prius
Replies: 36
Views: 2705

Re: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?

You don't need anything else besides a decent internet connection. Her costs now: $34.99/mo for up to 50Mbps internet However I live in Boston, and the two Cable provider choices I have are Verizon and Comcast. Comcast is currently offering internet at up to 25Mbps in MA for $45/mo. I called and th...
by protagonist
Fri Apr 10, 2015 5:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?
Replies: 110
Views: 9598

Re: Question about Obamacare in MA

It is my understanding that the OP moves around a fair amount, including being outside the US for a few months each winter. He therefore might not be in any state for over 180 days a year. He could very well become A Man Without a State if this continues... :) Yes, this is indeed the case. I've che...
by protagonist
Fri Apr 10, 2015 5:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about Obamacare in MA
Replies: 4
Views: 459

Question about Obamacare in MA

I can legally declare myself a resident of either Florida or Massachusetts. I would prefer Florida, since there is no state income tax . However, I want to get health insurance via Massachusetts under the Affordable Care Act. Is this possible? Is anybody else doing this? I assume the answer is proba...
by protagonist
Fri Apr 10, 2015 11:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about Obamacare in MA
Replies: 4
Views: 459

Re: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?

Still preparing to cut the cord... Every day you postpone costs you money. Don't prepare. Just do it. Worst scenario, you pay $100/year or so for Netflix or Hulu Plus or whatever (if you find that even necessary), and stream what they don't provide from your laptop or phone over wifi via HDMI or a ...
by protagonist
Thu Apr 09, 2015 1:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?
Replies: 110
Views: 9598

Re: Poll: What is the credit limit of your credit card?

...And PLEASE pay it off in full monthly ....no excuse to pay usurious interest rates and penalties..... I agree completely. But it's worth noting that credit card company consider people who pay off in full every month to be undesirable "deadbeats" because they are using the credit card ...
by protagonist
Thu Apr 09, 2015 11:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Poll: What is the credit limit of your credit card?
Replies: 56
Views: 3415

Re: Poll: What is the credit limit of your credit card?

The larger your limits the better, ultimately, is your credit rating, assuming you pay off your cards every month. A fairly major component of credit score is the percent of your available credit that you use each month- the lower the percentage the better. But if you don't pay it off each month rel...
by protagonist
Thu Apr 09, 2015 9:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Poll: What is the credit limit of your credit card?
Replies: 56
Views: 3415

Re: Tree roots growing into sewer lines

I got two estimates for reaming so far- a recommended drain guy quoted $190/hr (?!...divorce lawyers charge less than that!) Here is another idea: Hire a divorce lawyer to divorce your tree, no roots attached. Victoria Or talk one into reaming my pipes (no pun or irony intended but the humor is not...
by protagonist
Thu Apr 09, 2015 9:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tree roots growing into sewer lines
Replies: 41
Views: 1816

Re: Tree roots growing into sewer lines

Two possible solutions: 1) Have the line reamed out professionally. Not cheap. You can do it yourself with a rented power auger from Home Depot. You can get augers with 100 foot snakes. You need to access the line somehow. Can you access it be removing the toilet and running the auger down the drai...
by protagonist
Thu Apr 09, 2015 9:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tree roots growing into sewer lines
Replies: 41
Views: 1816

Re: Tree roots growing into sewer lines

By the way, $9k to replace a slate roof?? (Maybe we need another slate roof guy!? :happy ) RM I got that vague estimate on the phone, calling him from Venezuela, so I didn't get details. I assume what he was talking about was replacing the exact same tiles, not putting in a new slate roof. I will p...
by protagonist
Thu Apr 09, 2015 9:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tree roots growing into sewer lines
Replies: 41
Views: 1816

Re: Tree roots growing into sewer lines

We lucked out, by having it noticed that the roots were apparently beginning to twist the entire sewer line, boa constrictor style (or something similar). That was *not* going to end well, and there was no treatment from within the sewer line that was going to stop that. Hence... the tree removal. ...
by protagonist
Thu Apr 09, 2015 8:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tree roots growing into sewer lines
Replies: 41
Views: 1816

Re: Cloud Storage

To break a 128-bit encryption code just to get into Protagonist's email would be cool but rather anticlimactic, even if you were one of Protagonist's ex-girlfriends. Be careful with NSA ex-girlfriends. Victoria +1. Thanks for the advice. From the article you provided, Snowden doesn't seem to think ...
by protagonist
Thu Apr 09, 2015 8:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cloud Storage
Replies: 44
Views: 4430

Re: Tree roots growing into sewer lines

It's very interesting how many people posting here have had similar problems. My in-home problems have so far been trivial compared with some of the experiences others have posted. It was a one-time (the last time) regurgitation of water (not excrement) from my washing machine into my downstairs toi...
by protagonist
Thu Apr 09, 2015 7:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tree roots growing into sewer lines
Replies: 41
Views: 1816

Re: Cloud Storage

In many cases breaking encryption is just a matter of trying every possible key. Computers are now fast enough that keys of 64 bits or shorter will allow trying all possibilities so some ancient stuff like 56-bit DES (published back in 1977!) can be broken without special understanding. Each single...
by protagonist
Thu Apr 09, 2015 7:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cloud Storage
Replies: 44
Views: 4430

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

Thank you, TradingPlaces, At this time I have my booking and am pleased with it. For 70,000 miles I will have free flights for three weeks in Germany and a week and a half in S. Korea. Both Berlin and Seoul were planned 2015 trips and the miles provided me with significant cash savings. To reduce f...
by protagonist
Thu Apr 09, 2015 7:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 215
Views: 51505

Re: Cloud Storage

It is highly unlikely that the thief would have the ability to crack that ...not so unlikely for the cyber-hacker. Here are contrary scenarios: 1. The thief is a cyber-hacker. Identity thieves used to do dumpster diving. Fiddling with stolen computers is more dignifying. 2. The thief has a cyber-ha...
by protagonist
Wed Apr 08, 2015 10:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cloud Storage
Replies: 44
Views: 4430
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