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Re: What do you think of storage sheds as an investment?

Around this part of Central Texas there are a bazillion self-storage businesses. Mostly they are self-serve fenced operations where the renters get a gate code to get into the complex. I expect vacancy rates are pretty high, at least seemed to be when I used one temporarily during a move. What seem...
by prudent
Wed Mar 25, 2015 12:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What do you think of storage sheds as an investment?
Replies: 33
Views: 2724

Re: Vanguard HealthCare Fund

Mrs.Feeley wrote:
jay22 wrote:I am guessing this won't be a good fund to hold in your taxable?


Last year the fund threw off capital gains of approx. 9 percent of one's holdings in the fund.


Whoa, that's pretty big.
by prudent
Wed Mar 25, 2015 6:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard HealthCare Fund
Replies: 50
Views: 3738

Re: New washing machine won't fit down basement steps.

In regards to Speed Queen - all of my washer/dryer research, much of it on GardenWeb, places Miele as the #1 brand, with Speed Queen coming in 2nd. If you can afford either of them (and can deal with the utilitarian look/functions of SpeedQueen). That said, look at what Bosch is offering (sold at L...
by prudent
Tue Mar 24, 2015 2:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New washing machine won't fit down basement steps.
Replies: 32
Views: 2791

Re: What do you think of storage sheds as an investment?

I'm good at thinking up ways things can go wrong, although not as good at evaluating the odds of them happening. Units being vandalized due to lack of controlled access Non-paying renters mean lots of legal crap to repo their unit and auction the contents. Units infested by rodents Competing storage...
by prudent
Tue Mar 24, 2015 12:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What do you think of storage sheds as an investment?
Replies: 33
Views: 2724

Re: Choosing an accountant

I would not expect you'll be able to do any interviewing now, this close to Tax Day. Nobody is going to have time to spare. Like NOVACPA said.
by prudent
Tue Mar 24, 2015 8:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Choosing an accountant
Replies: 5
Views: 478

Re: 403b taxes due after death

Agree with Gronnie. Spend it all. If the estate has no money left to pay taxes or any other debts, then those obligations don't get paid. They can't go after anyone else.
by prudent
Mon Mar 23, 2015 7:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 403b taxes due after death
Replies: 5
Views: 435

Re: Sell farmland or keep?

The land is netting you about 1.4% of an assumed $217K value. Even at wheat's all-time high, it would be only about double that. You mentioned a lot of detail about the farming economics but it doesn't amount to that much return it seems to me. Is an appraisal of farmland the same as estimating the ...
by prudent
Mon Mar 23, 2015 7:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sell farmland or keep?
Replies: 16
Views: 1376

Re: Bypass High Yield Checking/Savings Monthly Transactions

Is it possible to set up multiple small payments to various utilities?
by prudent
Mon Mar 23, 2015 6:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bypass High Yield Checking/Savings Monthly Transactions
Replies: 5
Views: 666

Re: Best Bank for Checking Account

"Best" for you is probably not best for me. It depends on what you want from a bank. I belong to a credit union that has no minimum, no service charge, and no catch. But there are lots of other things I want that they don't have (like mobile check deposit), so they aren't my main bank. I c...
by prudent
Mon Mar 23, 2015 5:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Bank for Checking Account
Replies: 29
Views: 2509

Re: Urgent Care Centers - When should they be used?

The urgent care place near me is staffed by MDs. Have been there 3 times - to have something removed from my eye, to have a cyst drained after it started to bleed, and to see if I had broken my finger or if it was just a sprain. I was very pleased. I was seen in under a half-hour each time vs. what ...
by prudent
Sun Mar 22, 2015 3:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Urgent Care Centers - When should they be used?
Replies: 45
Views: 3580

Re: Restaurant tipping

I make adjustments for the type of restaurant. If it's an upscale place and service is downright poor (i.e. the server is the problem), then 10% at most. At a casual place, I still leave generally 20% for so-so service as my expectations aren't as high. There have been times I've had slow service in...
by prudent
Sat Mar 21, 2015 8:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Restaurant tipping
Replies: 177
Views: 9748

Re: Filed my 2014 taxes in February - then I bought a house.

I can't think of any situation where your 2014 taxes would be affected by buying a home in 2015.

You may want to look into whether the mortgage interest deduction you will be claiming next year might indicate a change in your withholding rate through the rest of this year.
by prudent
Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filed my 2014 taxes in February - then I bought a house...
Replies: 5
Views: 525

Re: Advice for good friend

IMHO step number one is to verify that they receive all statements directly from the custodians/banks who hold the money. Not from the advisor, who would have the opportunity to manipulate them. I can't even believe someone who is capable of holding a job, driving a car, and managing a home would al...
by prudent
Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice for good friend
Replies: 38
Views: 3271

Re: Observations from a first time poster, long time reader.

Welcome, Sharpematt! I agree with previous comments that it's valuable to have financial pros participate here. The covered call strategy is not something I do, but I don't disagree that it might make sense for certain individuals. For me it would take more time than I care to spend, for others not ...
by prudent
Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:34 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [New Member Observations- Covered Calls, Financial Advisors]
Replies: 221
Views: 15353

Re: Credit Report Very Low For No Reason? Fixing it?

My guess is if your recent history only contains credit cards and you have a lot of available credit, it's a bad combination. Income and net-worth are not factored into credit scores so all they see is plenty of existing unsecured credit which at anytime you could decide to charge it all at once an...
by prudent
Tue Mar 17, 2015 11:56 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Credit Report Very Low For No Reason? Fixing it?
Replies: 56
Views: 2858

Re: [Poll] How long did you hold primary residence mortgage?

21 years. Started paying extra from the start, but then my wife wanted to retire from her job so we had to cut the amount of the extra payments.
by prudent
Tue Mar 17, 2015 11:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Poll] How long did you hold primary residence mortgage?
Replies: 34
Views: 2669

Re: Credit Report Very Low For No Reason? Fixing it?

Ideally here are the things you need to do to get a perfect credit score: 4. You want to have over 25 different credit accounts (past and present count). Dang!... Really?! :shock: I am not doubting it... just that one really surprised me. Giving a quick thought to my own history, I suppose I may be...
by prudent
Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Credit Report Very Low For No Reason? Fixing it?
Replies: 56
Views: 2858

Re: Credit Report Very Low For No Reason? Fixing it?

Look, your 550 score isn't because of utilization. And you're not going to get a big rebound in 1-2 months IF the reason your score is low is because of negative information on your reports. I don't think even two late payments can drag a score down that low. A large amount of unused credit isn't t...
by prudent
Mon Mar 16, 2015 11:35 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Credit Report Very Low For No Reason? Fixing it?
Replies: 56
Views: 2858

Re: Steering family away from costly Financial Adviser or MY

Boy, this reminded me of a situation from a couple years ago. My wife's close friend inherited an IRA. She turned it over to an advisor who was a friend of hers. Later she asked me to review her holdings and let her know what I thought, and I asked for all 8 months of statements so I could see thing...
by prudent
Mon Mar 16, 2015 11:30 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Steering family away from costly Financial Adviser or MYOB?
Replies: 28
Views: 2244

Re: Credit Report Very Low For No Reason? Fixing it?

After re-reading this, am I right in concluding your score dropped from 650 to 550 ? OK, 550 is in the range of "deadbeat". That's serious, to the point where your other creditors may start cancelling credit lines proactively. Urgent that you get all three reports from annualcreditreport.c...
by prudent
Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:27 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Credit Report Very Low For No Reason? Fixing it?
Replies: 56
Views: 2858

Re: Best source for US mint silver proof sets from 2000?

APMEX is fine for stuff like that. You might want to give your local dealer a shot to see if they will match APMEX's prices with shipping factored in. A lot of dealers are swimming in proof sets and might cut a bit of a deal for a sale like yours. I like buying stuff like that local so I can inspect...
by prudent
Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best source for US mint silver proof sets from 2000?
Replies: 5
Views: 766

Re: Credit Report Very Low For No Reason? Fixing it?

Get reports from annualcreditreport.com (reports do not include scores) and make sure there is no incorrect information on your report. If your score dropped 100 points in a month (assuming a legit source for the scores), you definitely have some recent negative info on your report. Nothing else can...
by prudent
Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:18 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Credit Report Very Low For No Reason? Fixing it?
Replies: 56
Views: 2858

Re: Can I use credit card history for sales tax deduction?

I don't know how you handle receipts where the vendor sells both taxable and tax-exempt items.
by prudent
Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I use credit card history for sales tax deduction?
Replies: 5
Views: 720

Re: Best Business Start-up?

I don't have a dog but my coworker who does is all excited about hiring a poop scooper to clean up the yard. Weather has just gotten nicer after a miserable 2 months of cold and snow, and she hasn't picked up in her own yard in all that time. If you're in a cold weather area, maybe this is the perfe...
by prudent
Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Business Start-up?
Replies: 16
Views: 1173

Re: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi

Thanks to BH's, I got this card last Sept. Just noticed that Citibank has a $0 line item charge for Annual Membership Fee. Anybody else notice that? I wonder if they plan on introducing an annual fee once they have a critical mass of users? I have had some Citi cards for 10 years and all of them sh...
by prudent
Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi
Replies: 240
Views: 52968

Re: Dad buys house for child, later complications

I tend to lean towards the least messy resolution, and for me that would be gifting it back to the parents. I would be free of the complicated tax situation, liability, and everything else. The dent in the lifetime gift exclusion would be negligible to me and well worth it.
by prudent
Tue Mar 10, 2015 7:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dad buys house for child, later complications
Replies: 14
Views: 2261

Re: Quick W2 question

Do you have pre-tax deductions (aka Section 125 cafeteria plan for benefits)? Those aren't subject to Social Security tax and would contribute to a difference between Box 1 and Box 3 amounts.
by prudent
Mon Mar 09, 2015 9:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quick W2 question
Replies: 10
Views: 518

Re: Home building [Is a modular home a good purchase?]

My parents had a modular home built about 10 years ago. There were only a few minor punch-list issues to clean up when they were done and things were handled well. No problems in the time they've lived there. I can't say how much cheaper it was vs. stick-built but I have a feeling it was significant...
by prudent
Sun Mar 08, 2015 6:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home building [Is a modular home a good purchase?]
Replies: 13
Views: 1182

Re: Can my friend retire at 30 with 800K saved?

If "the worst" is that she ends up as a single mom, many years out of the workforce, and only having child support for income, then that's a far cry from inconceivable. It's not even unusual. While I hope they live happily ever after, I think she is short-sighted in her approach. I think S...
by prudent
Sat Mar 07, 2015 2:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can my friend retire at 30 with 800K saved?
Replies: 19
Views: 2326

Re: ER - How did you know it was time?

Use some of the many retirement income calculators which will adjust for inflation. You're right, it's critical to account for that. I particularly like the Fidelity Retirement Income Planner as it factors in inflation and taxes. Remember you'll have Social Security at some point which lightens the ...
by prudent
Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ER - How did you know it was time?
Replies: 6
Views: 646

Re: financial engines on vanguard site?

That's where I see the link to Financial Engines. And when you click on it, what happens? ...a redirect to the home page! Wonder why that happened? So I dug around a little and came to this link https://personal.vanguard.com/us/insights/retirement/financial-engines . The link in the middle of that ...
by prudent
Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: financial engines on vanguard site?
Replies: 5
Views: 819

Re: financial engines on vanguard site?

I go to the Account Overview page, then on the right side about 2/3 of the way down the page is a list of links under the heading Account Maintenance. That's where I see the link to Financial Engines.
by prudent
Sat Mar 07, 2015 9:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: financial engines on vanguard site?
Replies: 5
Views: 819

Re: Washing Dress Shirts

In their own load on perm press. I buy jos a bank traveler dress shirts - come out now and crisp and don't require ironing. Wish I had discovered Jos. A. Bank Traveler shirts long before I did. They really look crisp right out of the dryer. I have a mix of shirts that go to the cleaners and the Tra...
by prudent
Fri Mar 06, 2015 10:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Washing Dress Shirts
Replies: 38
Views: 2691

Re: How much did you have saved up for retirement at age 30?

Envy is the sideways glance, looking at what someone else has, instead of looking at what you have with gratitude. Why is it that we always compare ourselves with people that have more instead of those who have less ? When that concept finally dawned on me years ago, it changed my whole perspective...
by prudent
Tue Mar 03, 2015 12:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much did you have saved up for retirement at age 30?
Replies: 173
Views: 12992

Re: Where to get medallion signature guarantee

This system is really broken. It should not be this difficult to move money between institutions that are already going to verify that both accounts are registered identically. Sorry to hear of you plight, OP. I would be blowing a gasket by now. I like your idea of letting the recipient firm think a...
by prudent
Tue Mar 03, 2015 12:39 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to get medallion signature guarantee
Replies: 49
Views: 4188

Re: No heat

I know some furnace guys and if you tell them your furnace is 15, 16, 17, 18, …, 99, …, 2000 years old, they always have the same response: "Wow, your furnace has lasted that long! That's amazing! It's time to get a new one." I suspect they would say the same thing if the furnace was 5 ye...
by prudent
Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: No heat
Replies: 20
Views: 1192

Re: Gold Coins for FUN, I mean.... investing

Not that anyone wants to find out the hard way, but gold won't melt in a typical house fire of about 1200 degrees F. Whether it will be found encased in a melted and burned glob of its surroundings is another story.
by prudent
Mon Mar 02, 2015 9:26 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Gold Coins for FUN, I mean.... investing
Replies: 53
Views: 4751

Re: American Express Blue preferred vs Sallie Mae Mastercard

Maybe I missed it, but I didn't see any mention of the occasional BCP cardholder offers on the Amex site. In the last 6 months I've gotten $75 in bonus offers (2x$25 for paying our FIOS bill (twice) with the BCP, $5 for any $5+ purchase at McDs, and $20 ($10 on my card and hers) on Small Business Sa...
by prudent
Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: American Express Blue preferred vs Sallie Mae Mastercard
Replies: 45
Views: 7099

Re: iPhone upgrade

boroc7 wrote:How old is yours? I used my original iPhone for four solid years. That's longer than I use my laptops. I could've kept going, too, but I got a great deal on a new one. Never even had a case for it, either.


Had it about 3.5 years.
by prudent
Sat Feb 28, 2015 8:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPhone upgrade
Replies: 30
Views: 2465

Re: iPhone upgrade

I feel your pain. I was pretty late to the smartphone party and now that I see my iPhone has IMHO an enforced limited lifespan due to software, I'm also torn about how to get an upgrade done. Just seems to me that for what these devices cost, they ought to be usable for a longer time. When I looked ...
by prudent
Sat Feb 28, 2015 8:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPhone upgrade
Replies: 30
Views: 2465

Re: Self-directed 401(k) Option

Our 401k has a self-directed brokerage account (SDBA) option within the plan. The 401k plan is run by a large insurance company and the base plan is similar to yours - mostly high (up to 1.2%) ER funds with a couple index funds included. But the SDBA open opens the door to low-cost options and that'...
by prudent
Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:32 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Self-directed 401(k) Option
Replies: 9
Views: 614

Re: Are remote starters bad for cars?

I know that on my wife's next car she'll want remote start as it's her car that sits outside. But I dread the idea because what she does in the winter is go out to start her car, and come back in. Sometimes she gets sidetracked and might not go back out for 15 minutes, but at least she has her coat ...
by prudent
Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:59 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are remote starters bad for cars?
Replies: 41
Views: 2637

Re: How much did you have saved up for retirement at age 30?

For retirement? Nothing. My total net worth was probably less than $5K at age 30.
by prudent
Tue Feb 24, 2015 8:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much did you have saved up for retirement at age 30?
Replies: 173
Views: 12992

Re: Help with selling and clean out of older relative's home

My wife's close friend had this issue. Her mother moved into a care facility and the mother lived in the house for 40 years and was a 4-star hoarder. My reasonable estimate is that my wife and her friend have worked close to 500 hours going through stuff and cleaning, and they are just about done wi...
by prudent
Mon Feb 23, 2015 2:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with selling and clean out of older relative's home
Replies: 19
Views: 1852

Re: Aprilaire Humidifer - won't get above 22%

Could it be that the furnace is simply not on long enough to raise the humidity? You could try running the fan (not the furnace) manually to get more humidity in the house. This does become more of an issue when the outside temperature is higher because the time between calls to the furnace get lon...
by prudent
Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aprilaire Humidifer - won't get above 22%
Replies: 18
Views: 829

Re: Tesla S

The Tesla representative claims that in 2015, not only will auto parking become an available download, but it can do it without a driver. It sounds crazy, but he says the P85D has the capability (when the firmware is released) to let out its passengers, circle a parking lot until it finds a spot, p...
by prudent
Mon Feb 23, 2015 7:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla S
Replies: 630
Views: 77536

Re: Citi Cash Rewards vs. Fidelity Amex

2tall4economy wrote:Not sure why people don't know about it but capital one has had a 2% cash back (at time of purchase) auto-deposit card for years now. And it only costs $59. And it has no fx fees.

Spark 1 cash.


That's a business card, not personal. That's probably why it doesn't get talked about very much.
by prudent
Mon Feb 23, 2015 6:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Citi Cash Rewards vs. Fidelity Amex
Replies: 23
Views: 2614

Re: Are banks required to deposit third party endorsed check

I will add something else that I've always wondered about. On checking deposit slips, there is usually a blank to the left of the little boxes where you enter an individual check's value. What information is supposed to be entered on that line? I always leave it blank. You know that little fraction...
by prudent
Sat Feb 21, 2015 9:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are banks required to deposit third party endorsed checks?
Replies: 52
Views: 2865

Re: On line product reviews vs Consumers Reports

I always check Consumer Reports even though I might not find reviews for what I'm looking for. Their consumerist.com website is also very good for stories about corporate behavior that I find repugnant - things that won't ever show up in a product review. (I'm looking at YOU, Comcast, and your most ...
by prudent
Sat Feb 21, 2015 9:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: On line product reviews vs Consumers Reports
Replies: 37
Views: 2714

Re: Prom budget for teenage girl?

Can't believe I'm going to write this, but anyway... I have seen some heartbroken young women who didn't have the prom they hoped for when their parents clamped the wallet shut. Wasn't a question of "could they afford it". And I'm not talking about a $1,000 evening either. Some girls want ...
by prudent
Sat Feb 21, 2015 9:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prom budget for teenage girl?
Replies: 82
Views: 4887
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