Search found 358 matches

by Small Law Survivor
Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Heading for a top?
Replies: 103
Views: 7528

Re: Heading for a top?

But are we heading for a "melt up"? Bracing Yourself for a Possible Near-Term Melt-Up Jeremy Grantham https://www.gmo.com/docs/default-source/research-and-commentary/strategies/asset-allocation/viewpoints---bracing-yourself-for-a-possible-near-term-melt-up.pdf "I made my money by selling too soon" B...
by Small Law Survivor
Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:31 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How many years of fixed income for Sequence of Return Risk
Replies: 26
Views: 1897

Re: How many years of fixed income for Sequence of Return Risk

I'm 67 this year. Have a 50/50 allocation. However, this is spread over taxable, tIRA, rIRA. Planning to take SS at 70. Am shooting for 4% withdrawal, but when SS kicks in withdrawal rate will fall to around 3-3.5%. If market tanked I would withdraw bond $$ from taxable from 2019-2021 (already have ...
by Small Law Survivor
Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HMO Blue vs. Preferred Blue PPO
Replies: 10
Views: 491

Re: HMO Blue vs. Preferred Blue PPO

when you have something interesting and want a second or third opinion that things get interesting Very good point - I'll inquire into second opinions. The day-to-day hoot is probably not with the referrals as such, but in the cases where random parts of a bill turn out to be out of network. Radiol...
by Small Law Survivor
Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HMO Blue vs. Preferred Blue PPO
Replies: 10
Views: 491

HMO Blue vs. Preferred Blue PPO

My health insurance is through BC/BS of Massachusetts. This is an employer plan, and we have a choice, every year, of enrolling in HMO Blue or BC/BS's "PPO". The annual premiums for the HMO is about $2,600 less expensive than the PPO ($5,700 vs. $8,300). I have to admit that for many years I enrolle...
by Small Law Survivor
Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Letter from Social Security re Fraudulent Claim
Replies: 43
Views: 3170

Re: Letter from Social Security re Fraudulent Claim

Update: I spoke with the SSA - someone tried to make a claim for 6 months back-benefits using my SS number. They caught it. I have an appointment to go in to sign a document that will be used to create the legal file on this matter. The SSA employee (the person identified in the letter, who was quit...
by Small Law Survivor
Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: OnePlus 5t Smartphone?
Replies: 21
Views: 1156

Re: OnePlus 5t Smartphone?

Thanks for all these observations!
by Small Law Survivor
Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Letter from Social Security re Fraudulent Claim
Replies: 43
Views: 3170

Re: Letter from Social Security re Fraudulent Claim

Wow, I really got people's imaginations going!

I'll call them in the next day or two. If the call doesn't do it, I'll go to the SSA office towards the end of month, when I'm back from a trip beginning this weekend.

Then I'll report back.

The letter looks 100% authentic.
by Small Law Survivor
Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Letter from Social Security re Fraudulent Claim
Replies: 43
Views: 3170

Letter from Social Security re Fraudulent Claim

I am not on Social Security or Medicare. I have not filed for Medicare. I've received a letter from SSA asking me to "please" visit their office before the end of January regarding "a claim that could have been filed fraudulently using your social security number." They instruct me to bring this let...
by Small Law Survivor
Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: OnePlus 5t Smartphone?
Replies: 21
Views: 1156

OnePlus 5t Smartphone?

My daughter needs a new phone, and she asked my opinion of this phone.

https://oneplus.net/

I'm not a phone expert, but I had never even heard of this phone.

Does anyone have experience with it, that they'd like to share?
by Small Law Survivor
Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frozen Pipes
Replies: 30
Views: 3385

Re: Frozen Pipes

I would like OP to provide closure on this topic. I am hoping that this was NOT frozen pipes but rather just the issue with the dishwasher which might have been fixed with a simple reboot of dishwasher! It was frozen pipes, but a fix occurred to me: unblock the interior basement window that opened ...
by Small Law Survivor
Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Current BH Thinking On Bonds in Tax-Deferred Account
Replies: 1
Views: 317

Current BH Thinking On Bonds in Tax-Deferred Account

My bond investments in my tax-deferred accounts have always been a hodgepodge of short, intermediate, corporate, treasuries ... you name it. I've never felt like it was a well-thought out, coherent strategy. It was a little helping of everything .... I just moved my 401K to Vanguard IRA accounts (tI...
by Small Law Survivor
Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frozen Pipes
Replies: 30
Views: 3385

Re: Frozen Pipes

TierArtz wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:20 am
I'm a fellow Miele owner and wish I could send some warm southern AZ air your way.
Would be nice if you could arrange that. I'm starting to feel that every winter up here is like the Siege of Leningrad.
by Small Law Survivor
Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frozen Pipes
Replies: 30
Views: 3385

Re: Frozen Pipes

Thank you for all these suggestions - I am investigating and will proceed as suggested. Every dishwasher I have ever installed gets it water supply underneath your kitchen sink which is next to it. It then pumps waste water back to the kitchen sink drain. I would be highly suspicious that if this is...
by Small Law Survivor
Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frozen Pipes
Replies: 30
Views: 3385

Frozen Pipes

You may have read or heard about the cold spell we're having in the Northeast. Wow, it is bad! This is our 24th winter in our house, and we've never had a problem with frozen pipes. Now, our Miele dishwasher has stopped working, and the readout says "open stopcock." I spoke with a good repair guy wh...
by Small Law Survivor
Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard "Balances and Holdings" Page Does Not Sync Bank/America
Replies: 5
Views: 440

Re: Vanguard "Balances and Holdings" Page Does Not Sync Bank/America

My BOA checking syncs fine with the Vanguard balances & holdings page, and has for a long time. I've had to use the 'refresh' link under the Bank of America title only once that I remember. It just works for me. I wonder why you don't have an issue, and I do. I'm not doing anything to slow this dow...
by Small Law Survivor
Sun Dec 31, 2017 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard "Balances and Holdings" Page Does Not Sync Bank/America
Replies: 5
Views: 440

Re: Vanguard "Balances and Holdings" Page Does Not Sync Bank/America

Not only does Vanguard's sync with BoA lag several days, but when you refresh that account it presents a different number than appears on the bank's website - by several thousand dollars. Really lame ...
by Small Law Survivor
Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: is using HSA as investment vehicle worth the trouble?
Replies: 50
Views: 4201

Re: is using HSA as investment vehicle worth the trouble?

How can you be expected to prove a negative in this sort of situation? When you paid for a legitimate expense and the healthcare provider has no documentation that you were reimbursed, why would the IRS suspect otherwise when there is no smoking gun? It is possible to prove a negative with a reason...
by Small Law Survivor
Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Share your net worth progression
Replies: 708
Views: 182584

Re: Share your net worth progression

I'm 66 yrs old. I have net worth statements going back many years, but it would be a bit of work to dig them out of the basement to record them. Maybe I'll do that at some point, but not today. However, I do have on hand net worth as of January 1st of each year from 2013 to present: 2013 - $4,620,00...
by Small Law Survivor
Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbotax Online vs. Download
Replies: 34
Views: 2440

Re: Turbotax Online vs. Download

Just wanted to wish you happy new year, and take a chance to good naturedly rib you just a tiny bit… You retired in a nice financial position, and the markets have been good for all of us since then, so you can loosen your purse strings and buy a new computer now! Thanks J295, and Happy New Year to...
by Small Law Survivor
Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbotax Online vs. Download
Replies: 34
Views: 2440

Re: Turbotax Online vs. Download

Are you able to do multiple returns (for planning purposes)? I use HRBlock downloaded and one of the reasons is to be able to prepare and save multiple returns. I can complete a pro-forma and make a copy to tweak and be able to compare both returns side by side. No, you cannot do multiple returns w...
by Small Law Survivor
Wed Dec 27, 2017 5:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Muni Money Market funds starting to look good!
Replies: 57
Views: 7914

Re: Muni Money Market funds starting to look good!

One thing to note is that these are the SEC yields, not the actual distribution yields which have been much lower. For example, VCTXX has an SEC yield of 1.14%, but the distribution yield was 0.76% in November. Not sure what conclusion to draw from this. The distribution yields have been going up g...
by Small Law Survivor
Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbotax Online vs. Download
Replies: 34
Views: 2440

Turbotax Online vs. Download

In past years I've downloaded Turbotax, but this year I'm forced to use the online version - my computer/OS is too ... old :!: So, I've put a lot of numbers (some of which are estimates) into the online program (to do Roth conversion modeling), and my impression is that it's a better designed, smoot...
by Small Law Survivor
Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Transfers From Vanguard to Bank/America - how long does it take you?
Replies: 1
Views: 222

Transfers From Vanguard to Bank/America - how long does it take you?

These transfers usually take 3 full business days. There is a "black hole" where the money appears neither in my Vanguard acct., nor in BoA. This can be 1-2 days.

Why does this take so long? Does everyone else experience the same delay?
by Small Law Survivor
Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: is using HSA as investment vehicle worth the trouble?
Replies: 50
Views: 4201

Re: is using HSA as investment vehicle worth the trouble?

If the IRS were to be aggressive and demand actual proof of payment, we'd be in trouble since I haven't been saving all of our credit card statements, etc. I haven't saved credit card statements either - I've assumed, rightly/wrongly, that the bill/invoice is sufficient. What concerns me is the IRS...
by Small Law Survivor
Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Confusion about prepaying property taxes
Replies: 110
Views: 10981

Re: Confusion about prepaying property taxes

Just got back from the treasurer/assessor's office in my town, where it's the rare person that doesn't itemize. People were lining up to prepay property taxes. I pre-paid the two payments that would have been due in the first half of 2018 - these are part of the 2017-18 fiscal year, so that seemed l...
by Small Law Survivor
Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: is using HSA as investment vehicle worth the trouble?
Replies: 50
Views: 4201

Re: is using HSA as investment vehicle worth the trouble?

I am troubled by this as well. We have close to $100,000 in our HSA account. We are in our mid-60s The money is invested via Ameritrade. I have saved our actual receipts and end-of-year pharmacy statements (for most years, not all), but I have not saved EOBs. The HSA commenced in 2009, so we have 9 ...
by Small Law Survivor
Mon Dec 25, 2017 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Confusion about prepaying property taxes
Replies: 110
Views: 10981

Re: Confusion about prepaying property taxes

Chip wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:53 pm
Personally, I won't be itemizing for the forseeable future. So it's 2017 or not at all.
Ditto ....
by Small Law Survivor
Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do any of you follow Bob Brinker?
Replies: 64
Views: 6184

Re: Do any of you follow Bob Brinker?

Used to listen to him in '90s when he was on local radio Sunday afternoons, but I don't think he's on any more. He was quite repetitive, and did have too many replay shows. Lost interest over time.
by Small Law Survivor
Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Roth Recharacterization deadlines
Replies: 10
Views: 946

Re: Roth Recharacterization deadlines

So does anyone know definitively if I were to convert a traditional IRA --> roth before end of year, can I still recharacterize it back to a Roth next October should the market fall? Thanks! This is being debated quite extensively, here and elsewhere - bottom line seems to be that no one knows for ...
by Small Law Survivor
Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tax Question: How Far Ahead Should I Pre-Pay 2018 Property Taxes?
Replies: 1
Views: 376

Tax Question: How Far Ahead Should I Pre-Pay 2018 Property Taxes?

Deductions are valuable to me this year, since I'm doing a Roth conversion that will put me into the 25% bracket and plan to do the same next year. However, next year I doubt that I'll get anywhere close to the new standard deduction - my house is paid off; no HELOC (paid that off this year and no l...
by Small Law Survivor
Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to stay - Venice & Rome
Replies: 21
Views: 1224

Where to stay - Venice & Rome

My wife and a cousin are traveling to Venice and Rome for pleasure in late March. i'd appreciate any suggestions of hotels, bed and breakfasts or Airbnbs that they could stay at. They are traveling BH-style - trying to budget around $150-$170/night for a double. They are both mid-60s, so carrying th...
by Small Law Survivor
Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth Recharacterizations in 2018 for 2017 Tax Year?
Replies: 12
Views: 862

Roth Recharacterizations in 2018 for 2017 Tax Year?

The thread on the tax bill is getting too long - over 650 posts as of this morning. So, I'm starting a separate topic limited to recharacterizations of Roth conversions made in 2017 in calendar year 2018. The tax act is ambiguous on this - it's not clear whether recharacterizations are allowed in 20...
by Small Law Survivor
Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please Post Tax Bill Questions Here [was Tax Bill Omnibus Thread]
Replies: 878
Views: 48466

Re: Tax Bill Omnibus Thread

1. Recharacterization of Roth IRA Conversions will be gone as of 1/1/18. Think you may still be able to undo a 2017 conversion next year until October, but don't take my word for it. No more doing multiple conversions and undoing the least profitable. I didn't think that was widespread and I'm surp...
by Small Law Survivor
Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do We Have to Wait Until Trump Signs the Bill Before We Can Discuss It?
Replies: 44
Views: 2713

Re: Do We Have to Wait Until Trump Signs the Bill Before We Can Discuss It?

mffl wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:42 am
Either the President signs it at SOME point (99.9% chance) or doesn't (0.1% chance)
I think .1% is way too big a number :happy
by Small Law Survivor
Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do We Have to Wait Until Trump Signs the Bill Before We Can Discuss It?
Replies: 44
Views: 2713

Re: Do We Have to Wait Until Trump Signs the Bill Before We Can Discuss It?

If Trump signs the bill tomorrow that leave only 10 days in the calendar year, and five of those are weekends/holiday. Not much time to discuss things like impact on Roth conversions/recharacterizations!
by Small Law Survivor
Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do We Have to Wait Until Trump Signs the Bill Before We Can Discuss It?
Replies: 44
Views: 2713

Do We Have to Wait Until Trump Signs the Bill Before We Can Discuss It?

Doesn't leave much time for year-end issues .... :oops:

"There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception."
James Thurber
by Small Law Survivor
Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anybody been to Dubrovnik? March 25-30, 2018?
Replies: 13
Views: 1048

Re: Anybody been to Dubrovnik? March 25-30, 2018?

I was there many years ago - it was beautiful and amazing - one of my most memorable experiences in Europe. Hoping to return some day.
by Small Law Survivor
Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard "Balances and Holdings" Page Does Not Sync Bank/America
Replies: 5
Views: 440

Re: Vanguard "Balances and Holdings" Page Does Not Sync Bank/America

livesoft wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:26 am
I can't even get the Balances and Holding page to synch with my Vanguard accounts. This is a well-known problem that we have all given up on getting fixed.
Hmmm ... is seems to sync slowly and a bit erratically, but it does sync non-Vanguard accounts for me, with the exception of BoA.
by Small Law Survivor
Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard "Balances and Holdings" Page Does Not Sync Bank/America
Replies: 5
Views: 440

Vanguard "Balances and Holdings" Page Does Not Sync Bank/America

I have several non-Vanguard financial institutions on my "Balances and Holdings" page. They all sync just fine, with the exception of our Bank of America checking account. Even though the date of the most recent sync is current, the balance is incorrect. And, this is getting worse - in the past I no...
by Small Law Survivor
Sat Dec 16, 2017 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My Plan for Roth Conversion in December - Does This Make Sense?
Replies: 9
Views: 911

Re: My Plan for Roth Conversion in December - Does This Make Sense?

Agee that this seems quite important to people that may be planning to rechar in 2018. Under this bill they will be unable to do that - they must rechar by end of 2017.
by Small Law Survivor
Sat Dec 16, 2017 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax Prices
Replies: 151
Views: 16955

Re: TurboTax Prices

The online version is NOT identical and will not process all the same forms. If you're filing a 1040A or a 1040EZ, its probably ok. I need to report cap gains, divs, Roth conversion. Deduct property taxes, mortgage, medical deductions .... Is TT online ok at that level? If not, does anyone have a r...
by Small Law Survivor
Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax Prices
Replies: 151
Views: 16955

Re: TurboTax Prices

I purchased desktop-TT for my Macbook this week, but discovered that it would not run on my mid-2009 Mac's IOS, and that I can't upgrade the OS (my computer is too old). I called TT, and they issued a refund. They also urged me to use the online version of the program. Any thoughts on whether the on...
by Small Law Survivor
Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kerosene Heater (for power-out emergencies)
Replies: 33
Views: 1811

Re: Kerosene Heater (for power-out emergencies)

Here are responses to some of the comments above - Rather than using a risky and potentially dangerous kerosene heater, why not install a backup generator to provide electricity to the furnace? I'm assuming since power outages are thing that you've got a propane or natural gas furnace We have oil. I...
by Small Law Survivor
Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kerosene Heater (for power-out emergencies)
Replies: 33
Views: 1811

Kerosene Heater (for power-out emergencies)

I've been researching heaters I could use here in New England if we get a lengthy power outage. We've had a few over the years that lasted 10-15 hours, and it doesn't take long for the indoor/outdoor temps to equalize. We have a wood stove in one room that will heat that room nicely, but I'm trying ...
by Small Law Survivor
Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How is Home Equity Line of Credit Payoff Number Calculated?
Replies: 4
Views: 308

Re: How is Home Equity Line of Credit Payoff Number Calculated?

There's a local branch very close by - maybe I'll just drop the check off there. Thanks!
by Small Law Survivor
Tue Dec 05, 2017 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How is Home Equity Line of Credit Payoff Number Calculated?
Replies: 4
Views: 308

How is Home Equity Line of Credit Payoff Number Calculated?

I have a HELOC with Webster Bank in Massachusetts. I've decided to pay it off in full before end of the year. I called them up to get a payoff number, and their response was $xxxx. I asked how they calculated that, and they said this was balance plus interest until Dec. 31st, plus a recording fee. I...
by Small Law Survivor
Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Understanding the World of Credit Card "Points"
Replies: 60
Views: 3540

Re: Understanding the World of Credit Card "Points"

mega317 wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:05 am
viewtopic.php?t=192008

Here is a 2k+ post thread on this topic. Should cover your free time for the month.
Ah, ok .... :happy
by Small Law Survivor
Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Understanding the World of Credit Card "Points"
Replies: 60
Views: 3540

Re: Understanding the World of Credit Card "Points"

The one I use the most is the BOA card that gets a boost from Preferred Rewards, so it's 5.25% gas, 3.5% grocery, 1.75% other. Oh oh - I have a BOA Preferred Debit Card (the red card). Should I be getting these rewards somewhere, or is this a different card from what you use? I'm so confused. Maybe...