Search found 5909 matches

by Epsilon Delta
Fri Sep 02, 2016 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frustrated Losing Weight!
Replies: 131
Views: 6552

Re: Frustrated Losing Weight!

Veggies should be your primary food on your plate for all meals. 1/2 the plate! Protein 1/3 and then the remaining 1/6 can be something like soba noodles or sometimes, brown rice. So I never get to enjoy eating again? Is there no solution where I can enjoy good-tasting food, AND lose weight? Brusse...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Sep 02, 2016 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frustrated Losing Weight!
Replies: 131
Views: 6552

Re: Frustrated Losing Weight!

It is easier to diet once a week when you go to the grocers, than three times a day when you go to the fridge.

If you get the munchies in the middle of the night and all you have is a spinach salad, you will eat a spinach salad.
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Sep 02, 2016 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Some urgent health insurance questions
Replies: 22
Views: 1590

Re: Some urgent health insurance questions

So let me see if I have all this straight - If you leave your job, you can enroll in an ACA plan outside of the regular enrollment period. If you apply up to the 15th of the month, your coverage will start the first of the next month. I believe this special enrollment period runs for 60 days. That ...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Sep 02, 2016 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can company convert to auto renewal without your permission?
Replies: 13
Views: 977

Re: Can company convert to auto renewal without your permission?

I think whether they can or can't is only of use to the Attorney General, other consumer watchdog, or somebody who is willing to make a federal case of it. For everybody else the answer is that they did. By far the easiest thing to do is tell them "H*** NO" before the renewal, in practice ...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Sep 02, 2016 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When is a variable interest rate preferred over a fixed?
Replies: 16
Views: 1110

Re: When is a variable interest rate preferred over a fixed?

One consideration is how much pain it will cause you if the variable rate rises to the cap. If it will lead you to financial calamity you need to go with the fixed rate even if the expected value of the variable rate is better.
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Sep 02, 2016 1:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Short term STRIPS yield less than normal bonds - why?
Replies: 7
Views: 733

Re: Short term STRIPS yield less than normal bonds - why?

Here are some yields (today from Vanguard bond sorting) for STRIPS, compared to notes and bonds for August 15 maturities in each year. Each number is an average of bid and ask for two or three issues. 2017 Bonds/Notes 0.647% 2017 STRIPS 0.635% 2018 Bonds/Notes 0.761% 2018 STRIPS 0.745% 2019 Bonds/N...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Sep 01, 2016 12:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google Word Processing and Spreadsheet
Replies: 29
Views: 2940

Re: Google Word Processing and Spreadsheet

lookup, index, address, indirect and frenemies, are one of the most miserable APIs I have ever had to work with. It's all inconsistency and off by ones and converting numbers to strings and pasting strings together to do really simple things. Makes me pine for BSD Unix, at least all the Berkeley pro...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Aug 31, 2016 11:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: zero-dividend investing in taxable account
Replies: 46
Views: 4226

Re: zero-dividend investing in taxable account

DeMuth suggested the zero-dividend stocks - randomly selecting which ones is my silly suggestions - which I still think is a reasonable idea. A better idea might be randomly selecting stocks within a sector, and trying to achieve sector exposure that mirrors TSM (I think this is similar to what Wag...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Resigning from a job: best practices and advice?
Replies: 93
Views: 5756

Re: Resigning from a job: best practices and advice?

You'll also be covered under COBRA for 30 days after termination of your old employer. This is an option if things go awry. You can file for COBRA within this 30 day window. I'm not sure that's accurate. You have 60 days from the date the COBRA notice is sent to apply for COBRA. If you apply during...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Aug 31, 2016 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Subaru owners - tin can sound, maybe heat shield?
Replies: 22
Views: 1421

Re: Subaru owners - tin can sound, maybe heat shield?

After putting the car carefully on jackstands, I also try and have some failsafes - some pieces of 6x6 setting on top of the tires (which are setting flat on the floor), etc, so that even if the jackstands somehow fail the car would only fall a couple of inches. I know I'm being paranoid, and I'm O...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Aug 31, 2016 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth Conversion or Tax Gain Harvest?
Replies: 11
Views: 999

Re: Roth Conversion or Tax Gain Harvest?

But if harvesting the gains has a larger financial benefit, due to the larger differential in tax rates (e.g., 15% vs. 0% compared to 25% vs. 15% or even worse, 28% vs. 25%), why wouldn't you just do that instead of any Roth conversions? Of course this assumes you have no carry-over losses, in whic...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Aug 30, 2016 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?
Replies: 10
Views: 838

Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

I'm not really convinced of the value of such a thing. In my case, I have printed instructions for my wife (or my executor, if it comes to that) referring to a USB memory stick in my safe with all that type information stored on it. What benefit does FidSafe provide that my USB stick in my safe doe...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Aug 30, 2016 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Understanding SS Spousal Benefit
Replies: 8
Views: 821

Re: Understanding SS Spousal Benefit

Thanks, Mike, for the clarification. I still get confused with "spousal benefit" since the rules are different if the spouse is still living or deceased. :? :confused I believe the SSA only uses "spousal benefits" while both are alive. Once one spouse is dead it's "survivor...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Aug 30, 2016 2:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I terminate CD to get a better rate?
Replies: 38
Views: 2389

Re: Should I terminate CD to get a better rate?

The 6 month EWP will cost you 1.125%. You will make that up in less than two years with the new CD because the difference is 0.75% per year. I believe that is 0.25% that it will cost me, no? By my calculations, after 50 months, a 5 yr CD at 2.25% should yield 2%. Did I make a mistake? I'm confused ...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Aug 30, 2016 2:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I terminate CD to get a better rate?
Replies: 38
Views: 2389

Re: Should I terminate CD to get a better rate?

Andrews FCU offers a 3% APY 84 month IRA certificate. They have offered it for quite awhile, but I have no idea if it will still be available when my other certificate matures in June, 2017. Do you have a better idea if that 3% offer will be replace by 3.25% or 2.75%? This is not a simple arbitrage...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Aug 30, 2016 2:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Looking for guidance on survivor benefits options
Replies: 37
Views: 1877

Re: Looking for guidance on survivor benefits options

---------- Alive --------- - PV Discounted - Only You Only Wife Both at 2% at 4% -------- --------- ----- ------- ------- Single life 1,000 0 1,000 173,000 145,000 Joint 50% 438 438 875 164,000 135,000 Joint 75% 629 629 839 175,000 142,000 Joint 100% 807 807 807 186,000 149,000 That's not how the s...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Aug 30, 2016 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Password security question for security experts
Replies: 42
Views: 3443

Re: Password security question for security experts

Don't assume system crackers would design their brute force guessing tool to be specific to the given site. It is more likely they would be using a generic tool they previously built or downloaded from the internet. For a hacker there is a small but significant advantage in eliminating potential pa...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Aug 30, 2016 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?
Replies: 10
Views: 838

Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

This is interesting. I think it's the sort of thing financial institutions should be doing. This piggy backs off of the identification infrastructure (e.g. two factor login) they need to provide anyway. So it has relatively small marginal cost. I would expect they are offering it as an added service...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Aug 30, 2016 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Understanding SS Spousal Benefit
Replies: 8
Views: 821

Re: Understanding SS Spousal Benefit

She won't get any spousal benefit until he files. Once he files her benefit will increase as a spousal benefit is added to the benefit payed on her own record. The base amount of her spousal benefit is the difference between half his benefit at FRA and her benefit at FRA. In this case $2069/2 - $683...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Subaru owners - tin can sound, maybe heat shield?
Replies: 22
Views: 1421

Re: Subaru owners - tin can sound, maybe heat shield?

Jack FFR1846 wrote:If an exhaust shield is even remotely suspect, I simply remove it.


In some states (PA for example) a missing heat shield is supposed to be a vehicle safety inspection failure.

You might also want to consider why car manufacturers put it on the car if it's not needed.
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Subaru owners - tin can sound, maybe heat shield?
Replies: 22
Views: 1421

Re: Subaru owners - tin can sound, maybe heat shield?

The best way to identify things like this is to get underneath your car when it is cold and have someone start it up and get it to the right RPM where you can hear the sound. A stethoscope can help here, among other things it keeps your head away from potentially hot or moving parts. If you don't w...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Aug 30, 2016 1:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Looking for guidance on survivor benefits options
Replies: 37
Views: 1877

Re: Looking for guidance on survivor benefits options

At age 67, I file and suspend SS so wife can file and restrict to her spousal benefit to collect 50% of my full retirement age, (66), benefit until I reach 70 when I'll start SS. Sorry to tell you, but file and suspend was eliminated earlier this year. https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/claiming.h...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Aug 29, 2016 11:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA Conversion for 73 Year old Mother
Replies: 10
Views: 868

Re: Roth IRA Conversion for 73 Year old Mother

Hi, I'm not sure I understand your response. She was taking way more than was required or needed for the RMD and had been. It was setup automatically and that continued after he died. There aren't any other IRAs left. This is the last one she has. Should I try to locate a form 8606 in their previou...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Aug 29, 2016 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: B&M banking - heading the way of record stores, what to do
Replies: 43
Views: 2139

Re: B&M banking - heading the way of record stores, what to do

alfaspider wrote:Cash and the lack of instant inter-bank transfers are the only reason to keep B&M branches around.


There are several identity issues that can only be solved by physically showing up. It's not clear that this service needs to be provided by banks, but it needs to be provided by somebody.
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Aug 29, 2016 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spine injury - How can I get health insurance?
Replies: 31
Views: 2442

Re: Spine injury - How can I get health insurance?

How much is ACA coverage if you just went and purchased it personally? They can't turn you down for the pre-existing condition. The only plans that can turn down pre-existing conditions are grandfathered plans. Apart from those few you can sign up for any plan, (employer sponsored or personal on or...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Aug 29, 2016 2:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Partial backdoor roth
Replies: 6
Views: 295

Re: Partial backdoor roth

Thanks retiredjg. I realize these cannot be withdrawn tax free. Thanks for info on the 5 year clock. I am trying to maximize the withdrawal amount if a need arises in future. The roth conversion amount will be in stocks and will be viewed as retirement savings while the withdrawable amount in bonds...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Aug 29, 2016 1:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Partial backdoor roth
Replies: 6
Views: 295

Re: Partial backdoor roth

You can do a partial backdoor Roth. For many people the main downside of a backdoor Roth is the paperwork. Since the paperwork is the same for any amount, if there is a risk of being in or above the phase out range it's easier to do the backdoor Roth for the full amount and not have to worry about t...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Aug 29, 2016 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Eating Healthy/Meals for One
Replies: 65
Views: 4596

Re: Eating Healthy/Meals for One

I find I'm more likely to cook things if the tools are at hand. If you have a dishwasher it can save prep and cleanup time if you have multiples of commonly used tools. Things like ⋅ Cutting board ⋅ Dishwasher safe ceramic 4 inch knife ⋅ 2 quart colander ⋅ Coo...
by Epsilon Delta
Sat Aug 27, 2016 8:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Password security question for security experts
Replies: 42
Views: 3443

Re: Password security question for security experts

But even more important is setting up two factor authentication. Do it, do it now. If your institution doesn't support it, bank elsewhere. :) Bank elsewhere anyway. "Validating" an old password by doing anything other than hashing it is pretty boneheaded. Clearly they do not spend enough ...
by Epsilon Delta
Sat Aug 27, 2016 8:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: zero-dividend investing in taxable account
Replies: 46
Views: 4226

Re: zero-dividend investing in taxable account

I don't think it's a crazy idea, but it may not work out the way you intended. If you implemented this 15 years ago you might have bough Microsoft. Shortly after that MS announced a special dividend and then regular dividends. Over the last 15 years MS has had a higher dividend yield and lower total...
by Epsilon Delta
Sat Aug 27, 2016 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Password security question for security experts
Replies: 42
Views: 3443

Re: Password security question for security experts

But even more important is setting up two factor authentication. Do it, do it now. If your institution doesn't support it, bank elsewhere. :) Bank elsewhere anyway. "Validating" an old password by doing anything other than hashing it is pretty boneheaded. Clearly they do not spend enough ...
by Epsilon Delta
Sat Aug 27, 2016 6:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who can claim short coverage gap exemption?
Replies: 12
Views: 628

Re: Who can claim short coverage gap exemption?

Did you file form 8965 with your return? Did you tick box 7a to claim the exemption? The 20,600 income limit and how to apply it are Step 3 and Step 4 on page 15 of the instructions. https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i8965.pdf https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8965.pdf (And the reason I'm looking at th...
by Epsilon Delta
Sat Aug 27, 2016 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Optimal timing after death to liquidate estate?
Replies: 21
Views: 1624

Re: Optimal timing after death to liquidate estate?

If the assets are sold on the date of death any capital gains will be reported and taxed on the decedents tax return. This is usually highly suboptimal. I can't see any particular need for haste. I would caution that any power of attorney Fred has would expire with his mother, so it would be irregul...
by Epsilon Delta
Sat Aug 27, 2016 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who can claim short coverage gap exemption?
Replies: 12
Views: 628

Re: Who can claim short coverage gap exemption?

I agree with Katietsu: Continuous coverage gap straddles more than one taxa- ble year. If you do not have minimum essential coverage for a continuous period that begins in one taxable year and ends in the next, for purposes of applying the short coverage gap rules to the first taxable year, the mont...
by Epsilon Delta
Sat Aug 27, 2016 1:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Spouse Roth IRAs
Replies: 8
Views: 655

Re: Spouse Roth IRAs

There is nothing wrong with your plan, as long as the total of all of your and your spouses IRA contributions are less than the total of all of your and your spouses earned income. As an aside, a careful reading of the Federal Code shows if MFJ the any IRA contribution by the lower payed spouse is a...
by Epsilon Delta
Sat Aug 27, 2016 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Not worth putting into Dependent Care FSA in my situation?
Replies: 30
Views: 1825

Re: Not worth putting into Dependent Care FSA in my situation?

OP: If you intend to use the daycare near your work and qualify for the subsidized tuition there is no situation where the FSA can benefit you. Even if you quit or lose your job after a month of daycare you get $1000 benefit with the employer subsidy (you max out the tax free benefit after 5 months...
by Epsilon Delta
Sat Aug 27, 2016 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Route suggestions around New York
Replies: 16
Views: 1022

Re: Route suggestions around New York

You could head north out of Philly. It's about an hour longer if you take the interstates through Scranton. It's still interstate but it's not New York City interstate. It doesn't add much time to cut the corner and drive through the Delaware Water Gap Recreation area. After Port Jervis you have the...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Aug 26, 2016 5:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security - Spousal Benefits - Basics
Replies: 30
Views: 2440

Re: Social Security - Spousal Benefits - Basics

Thanks simplesimon! That's helpful! In your illustration, I get the part about my wife's spouse being the same whether I retire @ 67 or 70. However, I thought that her benefit would also be the same whether I retire at 62 or 67 (except that my benefit, and, therefore, hers, might grow because of ad...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Internet security: which is the lesser of 2 evils?
Replies: 39
Views: 3252

Re: Internet security: which is the lesser of 2 evils?

In the context of personal use I cannot understand this concept of "trusted network". Is a wired hospital network, which can only be accessed by a thousand employees and anybody who happens to be in a room with a jack, that much more secure than the hospitals public wi-fi, which can be acc...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Aug 23, 2016 3:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Gold in what form?
Replies: 38
Views: 6037

Re:

I suppose my thinking on this is similar to the famous Pascal's Wager where the philosopher Blaise Pascal posits that believing in God is smarter than not believing because it's not that "costly" to believe, and the cost of guessing wrong is quite high (eternal damnation). I like that ana...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: State imposes fine for underwitholding after a Roth conversion
Replies: 11
Views: 1008

Re: State imposes fine for underwitholding after a Roth conversion

And related to the OP's question, what's the right way to handle this? You have your tax withholding (from pension, SS, RMDs) set up to cover your taxes on those income sources + anticipated interest/CG distros without overpaying by much and without having to mess with quarterly estimated taxes. Th...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Aug 22, 2016 2:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Long wait on Vanguard Phone Lines-What's going on?
Replies: 54
Views: 5664

Re: Long wait on Vanguard Phone Lines-What's going on?

Just called. As usual it was answered almost immediately and handled in a couple of minutes.

I've found calling in the middle of the afternoon is best. It avoids market close and they haven't let the people with seniority (knowledge and experience) go home.
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Aug 22, 2016 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Starting a new business inside your Roth IRA?
Replies: 9
Views: 455

Re: Starting a new business inside your Roth IRA?

A simple google search will reveal the basic steps you need to take regarding the IRS, filing, employees, etc. :beer Sorry, maybe I'm googling the wrong thing, but every search I've tried only comes up with pages explaining how to invest in a Roth IRA after starting a new business. I'd start with t...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Aug 22, 2016 11:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Timing for RMD withdrawals?
Replies: 33
Views: 2802

Re: Timing for RMD withdrawals?

I'm trying to understand the advantage of taking your RMD as an in-kind transfer. Does that allow one to avoid capital gains from the sale of the original shares in the IRA ?? If you take a distribution in kind then in the taxable account the acquisition date of the stock is the date of the withdra...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please, please advise...Health insurance terminated by insurance company
Replies: 45
Views: 3380

Re: Please, please advise...Health insurance terminated by insurance company

prudent wrote:I agree with the idea of contacting your congressperson.


You have two senators and one representative. It may matter which you approach, so give it some thought. Some are better at constituent service than others, particularly on politically sensitive issues.
by Epsilon Delta
Sun Aug 21, 2016 11:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best/safest/easiest way to send sensitive files to another person over the internet?
Replies: 40
Views: 2676

Re: Best/safest way to send sensitive files to another person over the internet?

.... [*]Copy the original file to a floppy, drive to the airport, fly to the recipients city and deliver it in person.[/list] Stay home and let the recipient come to you to get it. He was In Florida, I was in Detroit, in January. :twisted: I could have tried harder. I should add to the OP that it i...
by Epsilon Delta
Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best/safest/easiest way to send sensitive files to another person over the internet?
Replies: 40
Views: 2676

Re: Best/safest way to send sensitive files to another person over the internet?

The general approach is the encrypt the files before sending them over the Internet. This usually involves a certain degree of inconvenience. There are various ways to do this. Which to use largely depends on how sensitive the files are and the technical competence of the sender and receiver. What I...
by Epsilon Delta
Sun Aug 21, 2016 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early planning for ACA 2017
Replies: 11
Views: 1448

Re: Early planning for ACA 2017

We calculated to keep the Roth coversion amount to this level in order to qualify for specific Silver plan(s) for 2016 and since we don't know precisely changes for 2017, may have to adjust it up or down based on what the MAGI is ending at (even small changes like 500.00 up or down resulted in many...
by Epsilon Delta
Sun Aug 21, 2016 12:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversion or Not?
Replies: 45
Views: 3160

Re: Roth Conversion or Not?

This hasn't been mentioned, so maybe it's not much of a concern to most, but it has me thinking. Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't each tIRA to Roth conversion start a 5 year clock for withdrawing? Each successive year's conversion starts another 5 year clock for withdrawing. Doesn't this end up...
by Epsilon Delta
Sat Aug 20, 2016 1:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversion or Not?
Replies: 45
Views: 3160

Re: Roth Conversion or Not?

If different calculators are giving different results either the calculators are making different assumptions or one (or more) are in error. One way to proceed would be to dig into the assumptions and try to figure out which ones most closely resemble your life. However if the differences between th...

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