Search found 2827 matches

by Ged
Sat Aug 27, 2016 10:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Medallion Signature Guarantee
Replies: 58
Views: 8623

Re: Medallion Signature Guarantee

Medallion guarantees are standard procedure in the securities business. Notary is not the same thing. We get ours free at our local banking institution. If you don't have one, call ahead and see what they will probably charge you. "Free" is a subjective thing. When I had to get one for so...
by Ged
Sat Aug 27, 2016 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone else make this mistake? [include home as retirement income]
Replies: 33
Views: 2732

Re: Anyone else make this mistake? [include home as retirement income]

Not sure what the value of "net worth" is in any retirement calculation. Really retirement is about income and liquid assets which can be used to meet expenses.

However it is very important when you are doing estate planning.
by Ged
Thu Aug 25, 2016 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your system for dealing with coins?
Replies: 110
Views: 5899

Re: What is your system for dealing with coins?

I have trouble using the Coinstar booths knowing they take a portion from it. If I banked at a brick and mortar bank I'd probably fill up rolls like I did 10 years ago. Coinstar's machines would not exist if they didn't get some compensation for their operation. However the face value of the Amazon...
by Ged
Wed Aug 24, 2016 10:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Office Chair
Replies: 31
Views: 2027

Re: Office Chair

I buy refurbished or open box Steelcase Leap chairs from Ebay dealers. Excellent chairs that last a decade or more for about $400.
by Ged
Wed Aug 24, 2016 10:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your system for dealing with coins?
Replies: 110
Views: 5899

Re: What is your system for dealing with coins?

I save them in a old windshield washer jug. When it gets about half full I take to a local grocery and feed it into a Coinstar in return for an Amazon gift card.
by Ged
Wed Aug 24, 2016 8:50 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Computer Security [Risk of using online financial services]
Replies: 31
Views: 2451

Re: Computer Security [Risk of using online financial services]

one day sometime tried to get into my account and vanguard shut my account down and contacted me. they guessed my real name, but couldn't get past the password. Another recommendation is to never use a real name for the user name or real for the answer to a security question for an account. Make up...
by Ged
Wed Aug 17, 2016 11:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Computer Security [Risk of using online financial services]
Replies: 31
Views: 2451

Re: Computer Security [Risk of using online financial services]

I am looking for opinions on the risk involved in using online financial services. I have a number of accounts - two brokerage and two transfer agents - that I access in a number of ways, including web and native mobile apps. In addition, I am considering using personalcapital.com as an aggregator ...
by Ged
Sat Aug 06, 2016 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving from Android to iPhone
Replies: 48
Views: 3158

Re: Moving from Android to iPhone

To me anyway Google Fi is a huge reason to stay in the Android (specifically Nexus) world.
by Ged
Thu Aug 04, 2016 6:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Tax Risk Of Too-Tax-Efficient Investment Strategies by Michael Kitces
Replies: 9
Views: 1322

Re: The Tax Risk Of Too-Tax-Efficient Investment Strategies by Michael Kitces

Now it is true there is a top limit to one's IRA (?about $10 million) that if one gets above, it becomes almost impossible to perform enough Roth conversions (and tax gain harvesting) before age 70 to lower one's IRA enough, and very soon the RMDs will start to force an effective tax rate that is j...
by Ged
Wed Aug 03, 2016 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Consumer Reports, how could you? [Investment Company Buying Guide]
Replies: 74
Views: 6427

Re: Consumer Reports, how could you? [Investment Company Buying Guide]

I am a long term CR subscriber however I am not going to renew. The quality of their content has gone down considerably, and their politics are showing more strongly every year especially with regard to their unscientific bias towards organic foods and against GMOs.
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: 6416

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: 3084

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: 6416

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: 2648

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: 5372

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: 4002

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: 4098

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: 5635

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: 76
Views: 4871

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: 1797

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: 2713

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: 1658

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: 4539

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: 3459

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: 1003

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: 69
Views: 7200

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: 3947

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: 3947

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: 2954

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: 2954

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: 1644

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: 35
Views: 2303

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: 2042

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: 5392

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: 35
Views: 2303

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: 1376

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: 2153

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: 16992

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: 16992

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: 1040

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: 1791

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: 2217

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: 2217

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: 2099

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: 6983

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: 2217

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: 24
Views: 2587

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: 2217

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: 1876

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: 1298

Re: Received New Costco Am Ex card

hicabob wrote:Does the Amex account actually become dead?


It will be dead in 9 days.

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