Search found 268 matches

by John151
Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How often do you put money in Vanguard
Replies: 55
Views: 3895

Re: How often do you put money in Vanguard

Anything over a certain amount in my local checking account goes to Vanguard, and that’s usually once a month.
by John151
Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How old were you when you got your first credit card?
Replies: 46
Views: 1887

How old were you when you got your first credit card?

I was twenty-seven. I had recently finished graduate school, I was settling into my first full-time job, and I was earning a decent salary. I received a credit card invitation in the mail, filled it out, and was initially turned down, probably because I didn’t have a credit history. I mentioned this...
by John151
Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct for $13.50
Replies: 41
Views: 3176

Re: TaxAct for $13.50

runner26 wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2017 2:14 pm
I got no offer, even though I used TA the last 2 years, and 7 of the last 9. :annoyed I use the download version. For those of you getting these offers, are you online or download users.
I got the offer, and I’m an online user.
by John151
Thu Aug 31, 2017 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct for $13.50
Replies: 41
Views: 3176

Re: TaxAct for $13.50

I’ve compared TaxAct’s price this year to what I paid last year and the year before: $14.98 for e-filing my federal and state returns using TaxAct Plus online for tax year 2015, and $35.50 for e-filing my federal and state returns using TaxAct Plus online for tax year 2016. This year my cost for e-f...
by John151
Wed Aug 30, 2017 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct for $13.50
Replies: 41
Views: 3176

Re: TaxAct for $13.50

To all the returning customers saying they didn't receive the email: I found it. I had to search through my Junk Mail folder for it, because they sent it from a different domain than usual. info@em.taxact.com Mine was sent yesterday afternoon. $13.50 Mine was sent from that email address too, and I...
by John151
Wed Aug 30, 2017 1:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct for $13.50
Replies: 41
Views: 3176

Re: TaxAct for $13.50

barber wrote:
Wed Aug 30, 2017 8:40 am
My email, for returning users, stated to log in and go to 2016 tax forms and to click auto pay. This is for 2017 tax act deluxe @ 13.50, state and federal.
That’s the same email that I received, except that in my case the offer was for TaxAct Plus for federal only.
by John151
Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct for $13.50
Replies: 41
Views: 3176

Re: TaxAct for $13.50

tetractys wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:52 pm
Never got the email. Don't see anything about it anywhere outside this thread. Maybe OP's been fished. -- Tet
I don’t think so. You don’t sign on via email. You sign on at TaxAct’s website, and I was careful to make sure that the website was truly TaxAct’s.
by John151
Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct for $13.50
Replies: 41
Views: 3176

Re: TaxAct for $13.50

dbltrbl wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:46 pm
John,

I am a returning customer. In fact for 10 out of last 11 years, I have filed with Tax act must be some special promotion.
You may get an email offer too. They may not email everybody on the same day.
by John151
Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct for $13.50
Replies: 41
Views: 3176

Re: TaxAct for $13.50

The offer came by email, and it’s probably a special price for returning customers. I don’t know what the price will be for first-timers. They usually post their prices later in the year, so you might want to check their website periodically.
by John151
Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct for $13.50
Replies: 41
Views: 3176

TaxAct for $13.50

I’ve filed my income taxes with TaxAct for the last couple of years, and today I received an email from them offering TaxAct Plus for filing my 2017 federal income taxes for $13.50. The state return will be extra, at a price that hasn’t been announced. I signed up right away. The offer expires on Se...
by John151
Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to stash your emergency fund
Replies: 36
Views: 4069

Re: Where to stash your emergency fund

Vanguard also offers a Prime Money Market Fund, a Federal Money Market Fund, and a Treasury Money Market Fund. I think that any of Vanguard’s money market funds would be a reasonable choice for most investors.
by John151
Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What do you do with RMD money you don't need?
Replies: 51
Views: 4123

Re: What do you do with RMD money you don't need?

This is my first year for taking required minimum distributions. One of them is from an IRA invested in a Vanguard bond fund, and the other is from a stable value fund in my 403(b). This is money that I don’t need to spend right away, so the proceeds are going into my Vanguard tax-exempt bond fund.
by John151
Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your cash reserve limit, above which you invest?
Replies: 25
Views: 2658

Re: What is your cash reserve limit, above which you invest?

I think this is a very individual decision. People will vary as to how much they spend in a year and what percentage of their investments that represents. I keep about two years’ worth of expenses in a Vanguard money market fund, and that represents about five percent of my investments. Also, keep i...
by John151
Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to stash your emergency fund
Replies: 36
Views: 4069

Re: Where to stash your emergency fund

I keep my emergency money in a Vanguard money market fund. It doesn’t bother me that it’s paying very little. I just like knowing that it’s there if I need it.
by John151
Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you watch movies? (Theater, online streaming, DVD, etc.)
Replies: 40
Views: 2760

Re: How do you watch movies? (Theater, online streaming, DVD, etc.)

I stopped going to movie theaters several years ago. If a movie comes out that I want to see, I wait until it’s available on DVD and then order it from Amazon. That’s maybe three or four times a year. For me, it’s much more enjoyable watching a movie at home. I don’t have to listen to other people’s...
by John151
Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What Percentage CASH are you?
Replies: 90
Views: 6464

Re: What Percentage CASH are you?

Defining “cash” as my checking account and my Vanguard money market fund, I keep 2% to 3% of my investments in cash. I classify all of my other fixed income investments as “bonds.”
by John151
Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Treasury Money Market Fund (VUSXX)
Replies: 5
Views: 931

Re: Vanguard Treasury Money Market Fund (VUSXX)

I’ve wondered about that too. Perhaps it costs Vanguard less to manage one account with $50,000 than ten accounts with $5,000? If Treasury yields rise, Vanguard may lower the minimum.
by John151
Sat Aug 05, 2017 3:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Has the "bond bubble" caused you to change your allocation?
Replies: 90
Views: 9553

Re: Has the "bond bubble" caused you to change your allocation?

About half of my bond holdings are in Vanguard bond funds. Early this year, I shifted some of that into shorter-duration funds. My bond funds’ average duration is now about three years. It used to be about five years. The rest of my bond investments are in I Bonds and a stable value fund. New money ...
by John151
Sat Jul 29, 2017 4:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone invest in I Bonds and why?
Replies: 17
Views: 1892

Re: Anyone invest in I Bonds and why?

I stocked up on I Bonds when the fixed rate was over three percent, and I continued to buy them until the fixed rate dropped to under one percent. Even with a fixed rate of zero, I Bonds are still a reasonable investment for many people. They offer safety, some inflation protection, tax-deferred inc...
by John151
Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Good Service for Flagship Investors
Replies: 35
Views: 4370

Good Service for Flagship Investors

There have been a number of complaints about Vanguard’s customer service, including customer service for Flagship investors. I’d like to report exactly the opposite experience. So far this year, I’ve opened a new tax-exempt bond fund, taken my first required minimum distribution, changed from one Va...
by John151
Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Placement of TIAA Traditional and S&P 500
Replies: 7
Views: 647

Re: Placement of TIAA Traditional and S&P 500

My 403(b) is entirely in TIAA Traditional. I’d love to add to it, but I’ve recently turned seventy and have to take required minimum distributions. My advice would be to put as much as possible into TIAA Traditional and then invest in Vanguard stock index funds in your taxable accounts. Another poss...
by John151
Sat Jun 10, 2017 12:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone still buying I-Bonds these days?
Replies: 16
Views: 2295

Re: Anyone still buying I-Bonds these days?

I stopped buying when the fixed rate dropped below 1%. Happily, I have quite a few paying as much as 3.4% plus the rate of inflation.
by John151
Thu May 25, 2017 2:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing Emergency Fund
Replies: 33
Views: 4271

Re: Investing Emergency Fund

I keep an emergency reserve of about one year’s expenses in a Vanguard money market fund. It doesn’t bother me that it pays very little. I like knowing that it’s there if I need it.
by John151
Thu May 18, 2017 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question for you high net worth individuals... [real estate investments]
Replies: 82
Views: 11588

Re: Question for you high net worth individuals...

Zero for me too. I bought my condo thirty years ago, and its value hasn’t kept up with inflation. My net worth is the result of frugal living and careful investing, mostly in index funds.
by John151
Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did you file your taxes with Credit Karma?
Replies: 14
Views: 1367

Did you file your taxes with Credit Karma?

Credit Karma offered free e-filing of both federal and state income taxes for tax year 2016. Unfortunately, they didn’t support Form 1116 (Foreign Tax Credit), so I filed with TaxAct instead.

Did you try out Credit Karma, and if you filed with them, how would you rate their service?
by John151
Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is anyone decreasing % of bonds this year?
Replies: 91
Views: 8046

Re: Is anyone decreasing % of bonds this year?

I haven’t decreased my bond allocation, but I’ve shifted about half of my bond holdings from intermediate-term bond funds into short-term bond funds, and new money is going into my Vanguard money market fund. Is this a wise move? I don’t know, but I guess I’ll find out.
by John151
Sat Apr 01, 2017 3:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Article--Vanguard's customer service takes a hit as it receives epic inflows of cash
Replies: 33
Views: 4680

Re: Article--Vanguard's customer service takes a hit as it receives epic inflows of cash

Perhaps I’ve lived a charmed existence, but I’ve been investing with Vanguard for over thirty years, and I’ve never had a service problem. The phone reps I’ve talked with have always been helpful, and all of my transactions have been processed flawlessly, including my first required minimum distribu...
by John151
Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How did you do your income taxes?
Replies: 95
Views: 5561

How did you do your income taxes?

I asked this question last year, and I’ve decided to ask it again: If you’ve done your income taxes, how did you do them? Did you do them by hand? Did you have a paid preparer do them for you? Or did you use computer software, and, if so, which software package did you use? I calculated my federal a...
by John151
Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying $20 to E-File State Return
Replies: 75
Views: 13581

Re: Paying $20 to E-File State Return

It can cost more than $20 to e-file a state return. For their online products, TaxAct currently charges $37 to e-file a state return, and TurboTax charges $39.99. As FYI - TurboTax only charged me $24.99 to e-file state. Maybe the $39.99 is the cost if you don't pay for the software or some other p...
by John151
Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying $20 to E-File State Return
Replies: 75
Views: 13581

Re: Paying $20 to E-File State Return

It can cost more than $20 to e-file a state return. For their online products, TaxAct currently charges $37 to e-file a state return, and TurboTax charges $39.99. As FYI - TurboTax only charged me $24.99 to e-file state. Maybe the $39.99 is the cost if you don't pay for the software or some other p...
by John151
Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying $20 to E-File State Return
Replies: 75
Views: 13581

Re: Paying $20 to E-File State Return

It can cost more than $20 to e-file a state return. For their online products, TaxAct currently charges $37 to e-file a state return, and TurboTax charges $39.99.
by John151
Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early Retirement - what to do about healthcare?
Replies: 228
Views: 26664

Re: Early Retirement - what to do about healthcare?

I was able to retire at fifty-five from a government job with health insurance for life. My cousin retired at the same age from a private-sector job with no health insurance at all. She was able to buy private medical coverage, beginning at around $450 a month, but the premiums skyrocketed before sh...
by John151
Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct still not importing stock data
Replies: 32
Views: 4365

Re: TaxAct still not importing stock data

As I wrote in a related topic, I filed with TaxAct Plus online in late January for $10.50 (federal) and $25.00 (state). Total price: $35.50. But TaxAct has raised its prices to $33.00 (federal) and $37.00 (state). Total price: $70.00. Since TaxAct didn’t import my 1099-DIV and 1099-B information, I ...
by John151
Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct Has Raised Its Prices
Replies: 2
Views: 779

TaxAct Has Raised Its Prices

I filed with TaxAct Plus online in late January for $10.50 (federal) and $25.00 (state). Total price: $35.50. But TaxAct has raised its prices to $33.00 (federal) and $37.00 (state). Total price: $70.00. I’m glad I filed early.
by John151
Thu Feb 09, 2017 1:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Saved too much? What do you splurge on?
Replies: 90
Views: 10204

Re: Saved too much? What do you splurge on?

Redecorate your house? New wall paint, new flooring, new kitchen, new bathrooms . . .
by John151
Fri Feb 03, 2017 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax is playing games again.
Replies: 52
Views: 10551

Re: TurboTax is playing games again.

I’m quoting TurboTax’s charges for their online product: Premier at $54.99, plus $36.99 for preparing and e-filing my state return. TaxAct charged $10.50 for my federal return, and $25.00 for my state return.
by John151
Fri Feb 03, 2017 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax is playing games again.
Replies: 52
Views: 10551

Re: TurboTax is playing games again.

I filed my federal and state taxes with TaxAct for $35.50. They’ve since raised their price to $60.00, a jump of 69%. But that’s still less than the $91.98 TurboTax would have charged me.
by John151
Tue Jan 24, 2017 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax is playing games again.
Replies: 52
Views: 10551

Re: TurboTax is playing games again.

As I said above, I sold some securities and will have to file a Schedule D. That means using the online version of TurboTax Premier at a cost of $54.99. My state return will cost another $36.99. Total cost: $91.98. TaxAct will charge me only $35.50. Granted, TurboTax will automatically import my inv...
by John151
Mon Jan 23, 2017 7:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax is playing games again.
Replies: 52
Views: 10551

TurboTax is playing games again.

If you sold securities in 2016 and need to file a Schedule D, the desktop version of TurboTax Deluxe will handle that. But if you’re using the online version, TurboTax will require you to upgrade to TurboTax Premier for another twenty dollars.
by John151
Wed Dec 28, 2016 10:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Tax-Exempt Bond Fund Wash Sale?
Replies: 4
Views: 642

Vanguard Tax-Exempt Bond Fund Wash Sale?

Would selling Vanguard’s Limited-Term Tax-Exempt Bond Fund at a loss, and then immediately purchasing Vanguard’s Short-Term Tax-Exempt Bond Fund, trigger the wash sale rule? Or are the funds sufficiently different to avoid a wash sale?
by John151
Sat Dec 17, 2016 4:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax loss harvesting muni bonds - are you still moving back?
Replies: 19
Views: 1548

Re: Tax loss harvesting muni bonds - are you still moving back?

Last week I tax-loss harvested most of my shares in Vanguard Limited Term Tax Exempt, leaving just enough shares in the fund to keep the fund open. After thirty-one days in a money market fund, the proceeds will go back into Vanguard Limited Term.
by John151
Sat Dec 17, 2016 2:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirees: How much cash do you keep?
Replies: 103
Views: 10639

Re: Retirees: How much cash do you keep?

I keep between two and three percent of my investments in a Vanguard money market fund. Everything else is in stocks and bonds. It doesn’t bother me that the money market fund is paying very little. I like knowing that it’s there if I need it.
by John151
Sun Dec 11, 2016 2:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct pre-purchase discount
Replies: 142
Views: 20035

Re: TaxAct pre-purchase discount

The same thing happened to me—right after I praised TaxAct in a different post. Oh well. Maybe I’ll take a look at FreeTaxUSA.
by John151
Sat Dec 10, 2016 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax Pricing
Replies: 2
Views: 624

TurboTax Pricing

I filed my taxes with TurboTax for many years, until their bait-and-switch pricing led me to switch to TaxAct. Today I received an email from TurboTax asking me to come back, with a notice that I could file my federal and state taxes for “Absolute Zero.” So I logged on to TurboTax and discovered tha...
by John151
Wed Dec 07, 2016 6:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is a money market fund better than a tax-exempt bond fund?
Replies: 12
Views: 1795

Re: Is a money market fund better than a tax-exempt bond fund?

Thank you, dratkinson. I don’t mind price fluctuations in my stock funds, or in bond funds in my tax-advantaged accounts. The problem with my tax-exempt bond fund is that it’s earmarked for emergencies and major unplanned purchases, so I’d like to keep it as stable and as liquid as possible. And sin...
by John151
Tue Dec 06, 2016 5:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is a money market fund better than a tax-exempt bond fund?
Replies: 12
Views: 1795

Re: Is a money market fund better than a tax-exempt bond fund?

Thanks to everyone for your advice. I’ve decided to harvest a tax loss by selling half of my shares in Vanguard’s Limited-Term Tax-Exempt Bond Fund, with the proceeds going into Vanguard’s Short-Term Tax-Exempt Bond Fund. It has a slightly lower yield with slightly less volatility.
by John151
Sat Dec 03, 2016 2:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is a money market fund better than a tax-exempt bond fund?
Replies: 12
Views: 1795

Is a money market fund better than a tax-exempt bond fund?

I’m invested in both the Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund and the Vanguard Limited-Term Tax-Exempt Bond Fund. As of December 2, the year-to-date return on the money market fund is 0.43%, while the return on the tax-exempt bond fund is -0.55%. So would I have been better off in the money market fund?...