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Re: True Crypt - Possible Security Problems

I am NOT an expert. However, I do know that my old megacorp set up all laptops so that the entire hard disc was encrypted. If this is done, the paging file, and any disc dumps are encrypted. RAM is cleared when your computer is turned off, so in theory, a thief would need to have your password or an...
by tractorguy
Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: True Crypt - Possible Security Problems
Replies: 14
Views: 1400

Re: Losing job-financial advice

+1 on use any medical benefits from current job before they go away +1 on get your house ready for sale NOW. I would be highly concerned if it is more expensive than others in the area. That will limit potential buyers. If you wait for the last minute, you may have to sell under market in order to a...
by tractorguy
Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Losing job-financial advice
Replies: 18
Views: 1909

Re: TurboTax defunct?

Note: To qualify for the Vanguard discount, you must access your TurboTax® Online return from this page each time you log on to continue or finish your work. I didn't see that note. I logged into Turbotax from Vanguard once to start my return (and select the level of service) but every time afterwa...
by tractorguy
Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax defunct?
Replies: 15
Views: 1880

Re: 10 Reasons to take your pension annuity over a lump sum

Reason 11: In at least one state (Illinois), payments from a qualified pension are exempt from state income tax with no limits. I haven't looked in other states but I think some may have a similar provisions with limits. I took the pension and haven't looked back. I've got significant other taxable ...
by tractorguy
Mon Mar 17, 2014 9:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 10 Reasons to take your pension annuity over a lump sum
Replies: 34
Views: 4241

Re: Job taking us from Chicago to Australia.. questions

I was an expat in the UK and Japan. I'd think twice about keeping the house in the U.S. You may find that you really like the expat life and move on to another assignment somewhere else. My 3 year stint overseas ended up being 10. Of the expats I worked with, only a minority kept their U.S. homes. M...
by tractorguy
Sun Mar 16, 2014 3:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job taking us from Chicago to Australia.. questions
Replies: 16
Views: 1220

Re: Old, large account - move it to index and take big tax h

According to Morningstar, PHBLX is a 2 star fund with a 5.75% load and a 1.1% expense ratio. (see here: http://quotes.morningstar.com/fund/phblx/f?t=PHBLX ). Stop re-investing dividends immediately!!! Every time you reinvest, you're paying 5 3/4% to buy more of a fund that is under-performing its pe...
by tractorguy
Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:33 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Old, large account - move it to index and take big tax hit?
Replies: 40
Views: 2599

Re: House too small; what to do?

You are getting a lot of Bogleish, "save money at any cost" by remodeling or live with it replies. My advice is the opposite. If you can afford it, move now so that you can make the transition while the children are young. The older they are, the more disruptive it is for them and the hard...
by tractorguy
Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House too small; what to do?
Replies: 38
Views: 3063

Re: Mutual Fund from Edward Jones to Vanguard

I just did a quick google search for Edward Jones Advisory solutions and find it very interesting that I can't find anything that explicitly tells me what this account has in it. Near as I can tell, its probably a mix of the funds and maybe stocks and bonds that EJ will sell you that is tilted towar...
by tractorguy
Sat Mar 08, 2014 8:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Mutual Fund from Edward Jones to Vanguard
Replies: 16
Views: 1317

Re: Retirees: About your retirement

I had always planned to retire sometime between 62 and 65 because that was "normal." Work was fun and exciting and I got opportunities to work overseas. This was all goodness. Then, two things happened in early 2008. First a close friend was diagnosed with Melanoma in his mid 40's and pass...
by tractorguy
Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirees: About your retirement
Replies: 55
Views: 5496

Re: Switching from Full-Time Career to Contractor - Pros/Con

Depending on your benefits, you need 30-40% more take home pay as a contractor just to break even with a good engineering job. In addition to the items you've identified, your company also pays its share of social security, workman's compensation insurance, and unemployment insurance. If you get the...
by tractorguy
Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switching from Full-Time Career to Contractor - Pros/Cons?
Replies: 14
Views: 781

Re: Help with frustrating investment issue (family involved)

Three primary rules for investing are: 1)Don't buy anything you don't understand, 2) Don't invest with family; 3) Don't mix life insurance and investing. You broke all three. You have no dependents so why do you need life insurance? It's usually bought by people who have dependents that will need co...
by tractorguy
Mon Mar 03, 2014 12:50 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with frustrating investment issue (family involved)
Replies: 26
Views: 2150

Re: Be careful with Turbotax [Importing data from Vanguard]

I imported both my Vanguard and Vanguard brokerage data with few issues. The import put all my holdings as solely held & I had to change them to joint. I also had to add state tax info for my state tax form. Despite these small issues, IMOP, downloading is easier and more accurate than manual en...
by tractorguy
Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Be careful with Turbotax [Importing data from Vanguard]
Replies: 20
Views: 2604

Re: Turbo Tax or tax pro because I'm lost

I used a Cpa last year and turbotax this. My time investment was about the same. In both cases I had to pull together all my paperwork for both. The CPA gave me a paper form to fill out that took as least as long as answering turbotax's questions.
by tractorguy
Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbo Tax or tax pro because I'm lost
Replies: 13
Views: 1130

Re: Job Offer Negotiation / Interview Snafu

+1 on asking your higher up friend about work life balance. However, my experience at a megacorp is that it can vary widely by department. Even within the same department it can change when there is a top management shuffle. The division vice-president seemed to set expectations for his direct repor...
by tractorguy
Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job Offer Negotiation / Interview Snafu
Replies: 175
Views: 15175

Re: Stay for pay, or leave for growth? Seeking opinions.

+1 on finishing the Masters and then start looking. I wouldn't wait until the end of the 1 year period for the tuition re-imbursement payback though. First, it takes time to find a good job. My son in law (in a similar situation) interviewed for about a month and then took another month to negotiate...
by tractorguy
Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stay for pay, or leave for growth? Seeking opinions.
Replies: 14
Views: 1197

Re: Transfering from Investment Advisor to personal account

The best way to get a definitive answer to this question is to call Vanguard and ask. You should try to be prepared with the mutual fund trading symbol (which should be on one of your statements) for all of your funds before you call Vanguard. The Vanguard representative will be able to tell you if ...
by tractorguy
Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Transfering from Investment Advisor to personal account
Replies: 3
Views: 350

Re: Leased a Civic, Need Something Bigger

+1 on the rooftop luggage box, especially if you're only looking at 2-3 times a year when you really need to take more stuff. The downsides are: * Storing the box when you're not using it * It takes about 1 hour to install it after the first time. The first time takes much longer because you have to...
by tractorguy
Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:23 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Leased a Civic, Need Something Bigger
Replies: 14
Views: 1212

Re: TaxAct versus TurboTax

Does TaxAct handle a 1099 Misc for a small business properly? I do a little consulting on the side & have some income I need to report for this activity. This "business" pushes me into the "Home & Business" version of turbotax. Even with Vanguard's discount, I think its $...
by tractorguy
Thu Feb 13, 2014 5:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct versus TurboTax
Replies: 23
Views: 2049

Re: LIFE WITHOUT XP (Part 2): Replacing Outlook Express

What I didn't like about Gmail and it was significantly different from either OE or Thunderbird was the ability to organize messages into folders\sub-folders\sub-folders\etc. That was crucial for me and Gmail wouldn't let me do it. I thought that was a requirement for me also until I used Gmail for...
by tractorguy
Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LIFE WITHOUT XP (Part 2): Replacing Outlook Express
Replies: 34
Views: 1770

Re: Dumb Questions about Edward Jones Fees

What does Mom think about your proposed move? After all its her money :happy As others have said, EJ is staffed by exceedingly pleasant, friendly, confidence inspiring salesmen. Be prepared for them to target your mother (the account holder) with a long story about how they are the professionals and...
by tractorguy
Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:07 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Dumb Questions about Edward Jones Fees
Replies: 10
Views: 1311

Re: Is living without credit cards a dangerous idea?

Its been my experience that credit cards make travel so much easier that I wouldn't be without two of them. (1 to use as backup when the first one is frozen and its very difficult to get a replacement). If you're like some of the people who's 7 hour trip tuned into a 2 day layover in various snowbou...
by tractorguy
Thu Jan 16, 2014 3:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is living without credit cards a dangerous idea?
Replies: 66
Views: 2891

Re: Leaving Financial Advisor; Portfolio Advice Needed

I'll start this by saying that I'm a do it yourself kind of person and also an analyst by nature and training. I have been a long term do it yourself investor who moved from managed funds to index funds at Vanguard. Using index funds is a lot less work and gave me acceptable returns. A few years ago...
by tractorguy
Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Leaving Financial Advisor; Portfolio Advice Needed
Replies: 31
Views: 2716

Re: Potentially moving to Europe for 5-10 years

I was a U.S. expat working in the UK and Japan for 5 years each for a U.S. based multinational. My pay was a mix of U.S. and local. re the banking issue: 15 years ago, it was a mix. There were some old line banks that needed a 10 year employment history in country before they'd let you open an accou...
by tractorguy
Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Potentially moving to Europe for 5-10 years
Replies: 11
Views: 906

Re: Should I move to California from Midwest?

I've not lived in California so am not going to join the debate on the relative merits of the Midwest vs California. A more important issue to me is can you solve your problem (slight boredom with your job) without doing something as risky as transplanting your family several thousand miles. Is your...
by tractorguy
Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I move to California from Midwest?
Replies: 153
Views: 7638

Re: Moving into new home checklist

I'd add painting and any major redecorating that needs to be done to the list of things to do before moving in. It is much, much easier to paint rooms when you don't have to move and cover furniture. Be sure to set aside a few hundred dollars or more for gotcha's. My daughter and husband just moved ...
by tractorguy
Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving into new home checklist
Replies: 6
Views: 523

Re: Should a pay raise offer be negotiated?

It depends on the company culture but at most companies I have dealt with all raises were frozen in the system well before they were communicated to the employee. As others have said, the only long term way to get raises that are much more than COLA is to get promoted. This typically requires that y...
by tractorguy
Sat Dec 07, 2013 4:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should a pay raise offer be negotiated?
Replies: 20
Views: 1799

Re: how much more expensive is a bigger home?

If you ever sell the more expensive home, there is likely going to be an additional cost to bring it up to "market expectations." My house was built 18 years ago with high end (for the time) fittings. Now, even though they work fine, the kitchen and bathroom fixtures and cabinets are outda...
by tractorguy
Mon Nov 18, 2013 6:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how much more expensive is a bigger home?
Replies: 68
Views: 4635

Re: Engineering Career Path [moving within company]

An MBA was not a prereq for any management job below vice president at the megacorp I worked at. In fact my company did not consider an MBA you went out and got yourself to have much value. I worked with one guy in the 80's who took an educational leave of absence and got a 1 year MBA at MIT. He was...
by tractorguy
Thu Nov 14, 2013 6:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Engineering Career Path [moving within company]
Replies: 26
Views: 2381

Re: Pop Up Full Page Ads On Launch

I don't get the pop up adds. I'm using Firefox but I'm not using any of the extensions or plug ins that block adds. I also tried opening the bogleheads site with Internet explorer and did not get any adds. You may have a local problem.
by tractorguy
Thu Nov 14, 2013 6:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What the heck is "Ads by BetterSurf"??
Replies: 20
Views: 2876

Re: Engineering Career Path [moving within company]

What you should do depends on where you want to be 15 years from now. You need to decide if you want to be a technical expert in NVH or if you are interested in going into management. If you are interested in going into management, I'd strongly recommend taking the product design job. It gives you a...
by tractorguy
Thu Nov 14, 2013 3:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Engineering Career Path [moving within company]
Replies: 26
Views: 2381

Re: Planning on leaving, how to think about shoring up cash

I'd stop buying equities and put the money in a savings account so that it is readily available. I think you'd want at least 6 months living expenses in an account that you can tap without any delay. I'd also get at least two credit cards with relatively high ($10K?) credit limits while you still ha...
by tractorguy
Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:23 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Planning on leaving, how to think about shoring up cash
Replies: 3
Views: 1002

Re: Which car should I keep?

I'd sell the Camry and keep the Accord. To me, the issue is the still unknown expected life of the batteries in the Camry Hybrid and the expense of replacing them. My experience with lithium batteries in laptops, cameras, etc. is that it isn't the number of cycles that kills them, its age and heat. ...
by tractorguy
Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which car should I keep?
Replies: 26
Views: 1496

Should I keep my life insurance?

While I was working, my company paid for a 2X salary term life insurance for me as part of my benefit package. Now I'm retired, and I've been informed that this policy is still active but I must take over the quarterly payments if I want to keep it in force. Details are: Insurance: Metlife Group Uni...
by tractorguy
Wed Oct 09, 2013 10:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I keep my life insurance?
Replies: 10
Views: 913

Re: Quicken and Vanguard - Download Problem

I tried the direct connect download at 12:30 Central time on 10/7 and got a couple of error messages from Quicken saying there was a problem with Vanguard. Then the download didn't work. It isn't urgent for me to get this fixed so I'll give them another week or so before I try any of the workarounds...
by tractorguy
Mon Oct 07, 2013 1:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken and Vanguard - Download Problem
Replies: 219
Views: 15484

Re: Need Help With Aging Dad: Stock Ownership Problem

Long distance, IMOP its going to be very difficult. As a minimum, you'll need a power of attorney to act for him. The experts on the board can tell you what kind and its probably a good idea anyway if he's having dementia issues. They tend to get worse. If you visit him, I'd ask to see any year's ta...
by tractorguy
Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:42 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need Help With Aging Dad: Stock Ownership Problem
Replies: 9
Views: 787

Re: When budgeting, do you take a yearly or monthly view?

I take a yearly view of my budget. Just make sure that you really know your business income and the worst case scenario. My company always made me put together a "trough" eg recession budget so that I had a fallback plan when the downturn happened. The key is to make sure that you won't lo...
by tractorguy
Sat Sep 21, 2013 7:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When budgeting, do you take a yearly or monthly view?
Replies: 16
Views: 1364

Re: Get out of Edward Jones???

Faced with a similar situation, I transferred my inheritance to Vanguard 4 years ago and couldn't be happier. EJ will charge you a small fee to close your account. If you ask Vanguard to take care of the transfer, you shouldn't be hit with anything else. I suggest that you transfer in kind and then ...
by tractorguy
Sat Sep 21, 2013 7:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Get out of Edward Jones???
Replies: 23
Views: 3013

Re: Credit Card Compromised -- How Does This Happen?

I just got a letter from my doctor's office (large multi-location clinic in the Chicago burbs) informing us that an employee had collected and sold the credit card information used to pay doctors bills. Of course, this was 2 weeks AFTER the cc company called me to confirm that several $10.00 top up ...
by tractorguy
Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit Card Compromised -- How Does This Happen?
Replies: 34
Views: 3229

Re: passive investors are parasites!

Is it only me or does anyone else think that its hilarious that a person who makes his living by supposedly ferreting out the value of companies is complaining that 1/3 of his potential customers think that the costs of his service outweighs the value? If he can't even value his own services properl...
by tractorguy
Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:54 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: passive investors are parasites!
Replies: 15
Views: 2533

Re: Sell house or stay

linuxology said: I would stay in the current house unless you want something new or the current sutuation is stretched beyond your means. +1 on this. Unless you have an overwhelming and obvious financial pressure, it is much easier to stay put. My experience with college kids is that they frequently...
by tractorguy
Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sell house or stay
Replies: 9
Views: 1505

Re: Inherited House w/ Mortgage. Rental Property?

From my understanding of your situation, it doesn't matter whether or not this home is a great financial investment as a rental. The issue is your ability to afford it. It looks like you'll have a positive cash flow if and only if nothing goes wrong with any of your assumptions. Even a minor hiccup ...
by tractorguy
Mon Sep 02, 2013 12:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inherited House w/ Mortgage. Rental Property?
Replies: 66
Views: 4528

Re: Considering moving everything to Vanguard

From my experience, there are some funds (very few) that Vanguard does not offer in their brokerage service. If you do a search for the fund ticker at Vanguard's site, it will tell you if they handle it and if there are any fees associated with selling it. I transferred mutual funds and municipal bo...
by tractorguy
Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:16 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Considering moving everything to Vanguard
Replies: 22
Views: 2520

Re: After retirement...Sphone? Tablet? Laptop? All?

My wife and I have 4 devices between us and use all of them in retirement. We have (in order of purchase): 1) A desktop PC for her. She uses it to surf, do e-mail, financials for one of her volunteer organizations, etc. when we're at home. We also use this when we do a group hangout with multiple ch...
by tractorguy
Sat Aug 24, 2013 7:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: After retirement...Sphone? Tablet? Laptop? All?
Replies: 27
Views: 1572

Re: in kind transfers

does it sound like i am understanding this correctly? the other option is to let it ride. the last adviser i worked with felt having some active funds in my portfolio would add some diversification. so far (with the involved fees and ER) all it has done is lagged my index funds at 1, 3, 5, 7, and 1...
by tractorguy
Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:11 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: in kind transfers
Replies: 5
Views: 489

Re: Help with a new computer

I've started to worry about replacing my wife's desktop Windows XP machine. She hates change in her computer system so windows 8 will be a non-starter. At the current time, I'd probably get her an updated desktop running Windows 7. I fully expect that Windows 9 will revert to be more W7 like or will...
by tractorguy
Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with a new computer
Replies: 30
Views: 2332

Re: pension - survivor benefit or not?

I elected to take the survivor benefit on my pension even though, like OP, my investments and SS are enough that my spouse could easily live on them if I pass. I don't need the extra money now and I wanted to make things simpler for her if I passed on before her. I'm the financial nerd in the family...
by tractorguy
Mon Aug 19, 2013 9:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: pension - survivor benefit or not?
Replies: 22
Views: 1860

Re: Help with portfolio, fiduciary hourly advisor

Glad to see that you are taking the step to walk away from fees. I didn't realize that your current advisor was Edward Jones. I had similar experiences with one of their offices in the Redmond area when my father passed away and I started helping my mother. I started weaning her from them when one o...
by tractorguy
Thu Jul 25, 2013 2:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with portfolio, fiduciary hourly advisor
Replies: 139
Views: 5791

Re: Class action law suits

I filed a claim for bad (early wear out) OEM tires on my car and got back a check for about $200 to cover part of the cost of installation of the new tires. The auto dealer happened to mention that there was a class action suit going on but didn't do anything to encourage me to file. I got a 1099 mi...
by tractorguy
Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Class action law suits
Replies: 30
Views: 2360

Re: International Banking for Dummies (me) [US expat in Germ

If you are coming to the U.S. periodically to visit family, the other reason for keeping a U.S. bank and credit card account open is to pay for.U.S. expenses in dollars with minimum transfers. Between hotels, car rental and stocking up on clothes and hard to get foods, we spent several thousand ever...
by tractorguy
Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: International Banking for Dummies (me) [US expat in Germany]
Replies: 14
Views: 1603

Re: To what degree is $ negotiation part of the hiring proce

I agree that a great employee is worth 90k if a good one is worth 80. However, I'd also want to make sure that the budget and the pay you are giving other employees has some room for increases next year and following. You don't want to invest a year bringing a new person up to speed and then have th...
by tractorguy
Thu Jul 18, 2013 10:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: To what degree is $ negotiation part of the hiring process
Replies: 13
Views: 1322
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