Search found 2817 matches

by Ged
Mon Jul 18, 2016 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's up with 4K tv? Should I buy one?
Replies: 101
Views: 6260

Re: What's up with 4K tv? Should I buy one?

If you don't already have the wiring in place, a wireless speaker system, such as Sonos, will sound ok, but it has quite a few limitations. A lot of people already have the wiring and speakers in place though, which sound significantly better than any wireless system out there. Also, quality receiv...
by Ged
Sat Jul 16, 2016 9:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Choosing Medigap Insurance
Replies: 38
Views: 3006

Re: Choosing Medigap Insurance

A warning about F Medigap plans (which has been discussed in previous posts): It has been announced that the powers that be will be eliminating what are called "first dollar" plans, that is, those that cover the deductible. If this happens and you have an F plan, you would be able to keep...
by Ged
Sat Jul 16, 2016 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's up with 4K tv? Should I buy one?
Replies: 101
Views: 6260

Re: What's up with 4K tv? Should I buy one?

I'm also rather skeptical of the advantage of 4K. However OLED is a different story. I think that it really makes a difference in picture quality.

Pricing is high since the technology is new, but take a look at least.
by Ged
Thu Jul 14, 2016 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: taking back a mortgage
Replies: 27
Views: 2602

Re: taking back a mortgage

I know lots of people on H1-B visas who have mortgages. If he has a steady job, he should be able to manage it himself. An H1-B is generally for a maximum of 6 years, so I have no idea why they would be buying a house or why someone would give them a mortgage. Unless they are married to a citizen a...
by Ged
Wed Jul 13, 2016 4:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pull out of market?
Replies: 56
Views: 5285

Re: Pull out of market?

With the Dow at over 18K, I really want to temporarily move my 60% stock mutual funds from there into my Vanguard brokerage account, but keeping the 40% bonds portion in play. I'm willing to forego any little upward ticks that we might see, in favor of protecting my portfolio against the next steep...
by Ged
Sun Jul 10, 2016 10:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do we assume that a well diversified portfolio will inevitably increase over the long term?
Replies: 52
Views: 3935

Re: Why do we assume that a well diversified portfolio will inevitably increase over the long term?

Population growth and/or inflation (money printing) Productivity growth is tricky. Technology puts employees out of work, increasing corporate profits, but then consumers have less to spend. Technology causes employment dislocation. The old jobs disappear. However the net effect is increased produc...
by Ged
Sat Jul 09, 2016 11:58 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bayesian market predictions?
Replies: 75
Views: 4008

Re: Bayesian market predictions?

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by Ged
Sat Jul 09, 2016 10:51 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's your asset allocation and why?
Replies: 103
Views: 5434

Re: What's your asset allocation and why?

40/60. I'm in early retirement. With pensions and SS it looks like I will not need any of my savings to meet basic expenses.

I plan to gradually move to 60/40 when stock market valuations look more favorable for growth of my estate for my children.
by Ged
Fri Jul 08, 2016 4:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity customers: Have you experienced pressure to buy active funds?
Replies: 59
Views: 3213

Re: Fidelity customers: Have you experienced pressure to buy active funds?

A bit yes. A few years ago my account with them moved into two comma territory and one of the reps in the local office asked me to come in to talk. We went over my general picture, and put my numbers into their retirement calculator. He buttered me up pretty good during that process but he was doing...
by Ged
Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Power surge protector for tv, soundbar??
Replies: 30
Views: 1722

Re: Power surge protector for tv, soundbar??

I live in an area where lightening is not common. I can't recall in the last 15 years. Other than lightening strikes, are there other reasons for power surges that might destroy electronics? Certain types of power company problems can create damaging power surges. Here is an article about one such ...
by Ged
Tue Jul 05, 2016 10:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When to proactively replace water heater
Replies: 39
Views: 2653

Re: When to proactively replace water heater

JaneyLH wrote:What is the average expected life of a water heater? :confused


I've heard numbers like 10 years. However that is an average.

The water heater in my house was there when I purchased the house 24 years ago. I don't know when it was originally installed.

As they say YMMV.
by Ged
Tue Jul 05, 2016 12:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Coursera course -- Financial Markets by Robert Shiller
Replies: 9
Views: 1649

Re: New Coursera course -- Financial Markets by Robert Shiller

This is an adaptation of a course taught at Yale as discussed in this thread:

viewtopic.php?t=128342

It's interesting because it is part of a collection of Yale courses openly available.
by Ged
Mon Jul 04, 2016 10:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your Favorite Factory Tours?
Replies: 70
Views: 4424

Re: Your Favorite Factory Tours?

As an engineer I've been in a lot of places like these, and was even responsible for the design and of building one. However there are some unique ones that I find interesting. My favorite tour was of the Princeton Plasma Physics research facility. It's a national laboratory where they conduct testi...
by Ged
Sun Jul 03, 2016 9:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ever Feel Unworthy of Growing income?
Replies: 34
Views: 3392

Re: Ever Feel Unworthy of Growing income?

If it really starts bothering you PM me and I'll provide an account you can transfer it to.
by Ged
Sat Jul 02, 2016 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cracked iPhone 6 screen
Replies: 12
Views: 991

Re: Cracked iPhone 6 screen

Back it up then take it to an Apple Store and pay the $109 (assuming no AppleCare).

Third party repairs have a history of causing problems such as bricking the phone and will invalidate any warranty you have with Apple so can be much more expensive in the long run.
by Ged
Sat Jul 02, 2016 11:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VG vs. Fido - The Grass Is Not Always Greener (or Is It?)
Replies: 68
Views: 6718

Re: VG vs. Fido - The Grass Is Not Always Greener (or Is It?)

I've had both Vanguard and Fidelity accounts. A few years ago I closed my Vanguard account and consolidated at Fidelity because of superior cash management features, their donor advised charitable fund, and a very positive experience with their estate services when my father passed. I've also used t...
by Ged
Sat Jul 02, 2016 10:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Equities = musical chairs?
Replies: 93
Views: 3804

Re: Equities = musical chairs?

Like gold, equities hold no intrinsic value beyond a group's belief that they have value. The value of life itself is a group belief. What you are exploring is a form of nihlism. It's not going to lead to any useful result. Are you sure though that the current PE ratio will stay? Are you sure that ...
by Ged
Thu Jun 30, 2016 11:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Equities = musical chairs?
Replies: 93
Views: 3804

Re: Equities = musical chairs?

kathyauburn wrote:Like gold, equities hold no intrinsic value beyond a group's belief that they have value.


The value of life itself is a group belief. What you are exploring is a form of nihlism. It's not going to lead to any useful result.
by Ged
Tue Jun 28, 2016 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you want to know if your doctor doesn't take your insurance?
Replies: 59
Views: 2909

Re: Would you want to know if your doctor doesn't take your insurance?

Medicare and Medicaid have rules that an out-of-network doctor like me cannot bill a patient unless the patient signs a form stating they know I am an out of network provider. In other words, Medicare wants me to show up in the ER with a form for you to sign regarding payment. I cringe at this but ...
by Ged
Tue Jun 28, 2016 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you want to know if your doctor doesn't take your insurance?
Replies: 59
Views: 2909

Re: Would you want to know if your doctor doesn't take your insurance?

Medicare and Medicaid have rules that an out-of-network doctor like me cannot bill a patient unless the patient signs a form stating they know I am an out of network provider. In other words, Medicare wants me to show up in the ER with a form for you to sign regarding payment. I cringe at this but ...
by Ged
Thu Jun 23, 2016 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: estimated health care costs in retirement?
Replies: 27
Views: 1618

Re: estimated health care costs in retirement?

20 years? I would say there is no meaningful, reasonable estimate other than "a lot." Heck, we are retiring next year and I have just done an un-SWAG of $2000 a month for the two of us. That's high now in our state/region, but 4 or 5 years from now? And what if one of us comes up with a h...
by Ged
Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to dispose of an inorganic chemical kit?
Replies: 31
Views: 1953

Re: How to dispose of an inorganic chemical kit?

Yah! When the county hazard disposal advertises they accept chemistry sets, I think they're talking about your 3rd grade kit, not this one (or those from the landlord that just evicted the meth lab or terrorist lab from their apartment). Good thing you didn't have the internet of today. Urban folkt...
by Ged
Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Costco Visa Online Access
Replies: 30
Views: 2015

Re: Costo Visa Online Access

I already had a Citi account. On the 21st I went in and added my Costco card to it. Took about 5 minutes.

I noticed that my balance from Amex, and rebate credits showed up as well.

No complaints.
by Ged
Wed Jun 22, 2016 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where (safely and legally) to keep "cash"?
Replies: 78
Views: 5305

Re: Where (safely and legally) to keep "cash"?

And there is no law restricting how much cash you can have. However, there have been cases where people have had large amounts of cash seized by authorities under the assumption they must have gotten it illegally. This happens constantly. In 2014 more property was taken by the police than was stole...
by Ged
Sun Jun 19, 2016 10:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to dispose of an inorganic chemical kit?
Replies: 31
Views: 1953

Re: How to dispose of an inorganic chemical kit?

I would definitely start with your county waste disposal organization. The one in my county handles a great variety of materials including old pesticides that are quite toxic. They advertise that they will take old chemistry sets. They take up to 20 gallons of material per visit. They would likely t...
by Ged
Sun Jun 19, 2016 10:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Older MacBook: what could go wrong?
Replies: 12
Views: 1351

Re: Older MacBook: what could go wrong?

I'd try to put an economic cost on the failure of the laptop. Would it be $1000 or $10,000?
by Ged
Sat Jun 18, 2016 9:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I need a company to sell software?
Replies: 51
Views: 2077

Re: Do I need a company to sell software?

A big reason to set up a company is to limit any liability to pay claims to the assets of the company. Otherwise you could find such claims attaching to your personal assets. There are horror stories of people losing their assets by failing to protect themselves. There is some folderol associated wi...
by Ged
Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's the ideal safe retirement net worth target?
Replies: 162
Views: 16670

Re: What's the ideal safe retirement net worth target?

25x expenses is fine so long as you include the value of your pensions and social security in the calculation. Another reasonable way is 25x expenses not covered by pensions and Social Security. Do you count your taxes as part of your annual expenses? Do you take into consideration whether the 25x ...
by Ged
Wed Jun 15, 2016 1:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's the ideal safe retirement net worth target?
Replies: 162
Views: 16670

Re: What's the ideal safe retirement net worth target?

I am curious what everyone think's would be the "safe" net-worth target to enable a couple to retire comfortably, no matter where they live in the country (so obviously assuming they continue to live in HCL area)? 25x expenses is fine so long as you include the value of your pensions and ...
by Ged
Tue Jun 14, 2016 7:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Problem with Thunderbird
Replies: 8
Views: 1023

Re: Problem with Thunderbird

It's likely the server was running into space issues so whoever administrated it disabled storing the messages on the server. If that's the case IMAP might have restrictions too.
by Ged
Mon Jun 13, 2016 7:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help! Microsoft kills WIN Live Mail-2012
Replies: 22
Views: 1743

Re: Help! Microsoft kills WIN Live Mail-2012

Thunderbird supports both IMAP and POP. I use it with my own server which is configured primarily for IMAP. Mostly because Thunderbird supports both Windows and Linux. Server side it's Maildir which I love. Very robust. I have all my email (about 20 years worth) stored in it. There is a migration pa...
by Ged
Mon Jun 13, 2016 4:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Donate stock instead of cash?
Replies: 47
Views: 2124

Re: Donate stock instead of cash?

Ok, the DAF is starting to seem a bit more appealing. I probably won't itemize this year, but may next. So it would make sense to wait to open one correct? What organizations can you give to? How is it verified on Fidelity's end? Also, if an employer does a company match, could there be any issues ...
by Ged
Mon Jun 13, 2016 4:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Donate stock instead of cash?
Replies: 47
Views: 2124

Re: Donate stock instead of cash?

But if those shares would not have otherwise been sold during your lifetime, or sold at time when your LT cap gains tax rate is 0, then you haven't actually gained an advantage. So it's more or less a wash. My preference would be to still give the edge to donating the stocks, since a future LT rate...
by Ged
Sun Jun 12, 2016 9:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is a Medigap plan worth it, with our assets?
Replies: 27
Views: 2027

Re: Is a Medigap plan worth it, with our assets?

My mother died of metastatic brain cancer. Her Medigap insurance was well worthwhile. Her expenses would have put a big dent in the estate. My father died died of a heart attack. His Medigap wasn't invoked at all as far as I can tell. One thing you might consider is that if you quit and then try to ...
by Ged
Sun Jun 12, 2016 8:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SSD + HDD good option for upgrading desktop PC?
Replies: 62
Views: 6871

Re: SSD + HDD good option for upgrading desktop PC?

I have had great service for several years with two Samsung SSD drives while some folks I know who bought cheap drives haven't. I don't look at anything else now. For improving the startup performance of a machine short of a clean install here are some steps you can take: 1. Remove all software you ...
by Ged
Sun Jun 12, 2016 8:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Donate stock instead of cash?
Replies: 47
Views: 2124

Re: Donate stock instead of cash?

If your long term cap taxation rate is below your income bracket rate (likely) and you itemize you would be better off donating cash. What? How does that make any sense? One's LTCG tax rate is always below one's income tax rate. It's not lower if you have ordinary income levels below the personal e...
by Ged
Sun Jun 12, 2016 8:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newly retired Police Sergeant 457(b) plan
Replies: 14
Views: 1718

Re: Newly retired Police Sergeant 457(b) plan

Thank you for serving brother. I bit the bullet at 53 after 26 years in Dallas. I'm just leaving my 457 intact. Basically,if I rolled it over with my 401k,I would keep it in Fidelity Balanced,where it's at now. Stay safe. But have fun. It is likely your 457 has additional fees that you would escape...
by Ged
Sun Jun 12, 2016 6:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Donate stock instead of cash?
Replies: 47
Views: 2124

Re: Donate stock instead of cash?

I'm planning to make some donations to a non-profit that accepts stock donations. I have some mutual funds with gains at about 15%. What are the pros and cons to donating stock instead of cash? I'm thinking the main benefit is to not have to pay LTCG on the donated amount, and then I could buy back...
by Ged
Sun Jun 12, 2016 6:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendation for international SIM cards?
Replies: 30
Views: 1826

Re: Recommendation for international SIM cards?

I have had good luck with T-Mobile service travelling around Europe however I would not recommend using them unless you are already a customer. They have failed me in a couple of ways. The first is security issues with my personal information being compromised by their credit agency, and the second ...
by Ged
Sat Jun 11, 2016 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Received New Costco Am Ex card
Replies: 10
Views: 1282

Re: Received New Costco Am Ex card

hicabob wrote:Does the Amex account actually become dead?


It will be dead in 9 days.
by Ged
Fri Jun 10, 2016 9:15 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Why isn't there a bogleheads app
Replies: 51
Views: 4998

Re: Why isn't there a bogleheads app

Gone are the days of IE optimized sites, or websites that required a specific browser (and version) to work properly. I wish! My company still has resources and functionality that requires IE, and some of it requires IE8. Heck, they even bungled up the compatability between Wikipedia and Firefox, s...
by Ged
Thu Jun 09, 2016 5:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is USB 3 (the computer cable connection) a failure?
Replies: 28
Views: 2074

Re: Is USB 3 (the computer cable connection) a failure?

Building a computer with USB C only is risky, but having it as one option is not, so plenty of manufacturers are doing just that. I wish I could get a motherboard with USB C only. When I did my current machine some years ago USB 3 was just coming in, and now I have a problem with not enough USB 3 p...
by Ged
Thu Jun 09, 2016 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is USB 3 (the computer cable connection) a failure?
Replies: 28
Views: 2074

Re: Is USB 3 (the computer cable connection) a failure?

http://www.theverge.com/2015/6/2/8704551/usb-type-c-is-the-future I have a USB C Nexus phone and like the new connector a lot. Among other things it has bilateral symmetry so it goes in to the socket either way. Apple has already adopted USB C for it's phones and computers. I think it's inevitable t...
by Ged
Wed Jun 08, 2016 8:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Received $30k inheritance. I need advice on entry timing.
Replies: 27
Views: 2718

Re: Received $30k inheritance. I need advice on entry timing.

What is the time frame when you plan to use the money? 40 years? The S&P was 98.6 in 1976. And that's just price growth not including dividends.

Holding out and trying to catch a flyer is more likely to cost you in the long run. At worst you should DCA the money in over a year.
by Ged
Mon Jun 06, 2016 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking of buying a used luxury car-need help!
Replies: 21
Views: 1808

Re: Thinking of buying a used luxury car-need help!

You may want to look at total cost of ownership for these vehicles on Edmunds.

http://www.edmunds.com/tco.html
by Ged
Sun Jun 05, 2016 8:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How invest 800k now in ira
Replies: 9
Views: 1241

Re: How invest 800k now in ira

My financial profile is very similar to the OP's except that I am 66. I've been doing a lot of thinking about my Roth conversion strategy, including the issue of whether to go into the 25% bracket. One thing I've done a bit differently is delay my SS payments till 70 so I currently have more headroo...
by Ged
Sat Jun 04, 2016 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sole beneficiary as executor?
Replies: 26
Views: 1876

Re: Sole beneficiary as executor?

That is what I have always done. I am not aware of a downside. In fact, if you do this, it is possible that there would be no need for an estate/executor/probate. Depending on the size of the estate and the state you live in there are some potential tax disadvantages to doing this. http://www.ustru...
by Ged
Fri Jun 03, 2016 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gotham Steel Ceramic fry pan
Replies: 17
Views: 1847

Re: Gotham Steel Ceramic fry pan

Cast iron will outlast these 1000 to 1.

viewtopic.php?t=147501
by Ged
Thu Jun 02, 2016 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are all cable companies horrible from a customer service standpoint?
Replies: 42
Views: 2234

Re: Are all cable companies horrible from a customer service standpoint?

I've been a Cablevision subscriber for 15 years. My impression is that they were completely clueless when we got them, got to a point where they could actually do billing in about 3 years (they actually didn't bill me the first 3 years I had them), and then bumbled along at a low level of competence...
by Ged
Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 3-Day Weekend: Monday vs. Friday?
Replies: 47
Views: 3257

Re: 3-Day Weekend: Monday vs. Friday?

I would always take Mondays off while I was still working. The reason is that my boss would come in on Mondays full of cockamamie ideas. By Tuesday he would forget them.

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