Search found 266 matches

by Small Law Survivor
Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Renting A Winter Escape For A Month
Replies: 21
Views: 1649

Re: Renting A Winter Escape For A Month

I've been to many Caribbean islands over the last 30+ years, and my favorite is Granada - been there twice. Always fantasized about renting for a month or so on Grande Anse beach. Damn, I've even fantasized about buying a second home on Granda. Any other Granda lovers here? Any ideas about how to go...
by Small Law Survivor
Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [If I die before my spouse, how to direct Vanguard advisors?]
Replies: 38
Views: 2716

Re: [If I die before my spouse, how to direct Vanguard advisors?]

Does a surviving spouse receive a step-up in basis in securities on death of a spouse? I didn't know that - is it correct? Even of the securities are jointly owned?
by Small Law Survivor
Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [If I die before my spouse, how to direct Vanguard advisors?]
Replies: 38
Views: 2716

Re: [If I die before my spouse, how to direct Vanguard advisors?]

This is an interesting thread. I'm in a similar boat as OP. DW has no interest in managing....or even trying to figure out what to do with account after I am past tense. What I have instructed her to do is to contact Vanguard and have the account managed by their Advisory Service.......I don't care...
by Small Law Survivor
Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Separate Roth IRA accounts for the backdoor and the mega backdoor?
Replies: 11
Views: 866

Re: Separate Roth IRA accounts for the backdoor and the mega backdoor?

What is the difference between a "backdoor" and a "mega backdoor," please?
by Small Law Survivor
Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I paying too much for insurance?
Replies: 18
Views: 1724

Am I paying too much for insurance?

When I was working I was too busy/harassed to think about trying to reduce specific expenses. Now that I'm retired, I'm trying to go through some of them. We live in Eastern Massachusetts. Our house is worth about $800,000. We have a 2007 Volvo and a 2012 Prius. Our net worth is around $5.8MM. Here ...
by Small Law Survivor
Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax issue: Made a mistake on Inherited IRA RMDs for five years
Replies: 38
Views: 2798

Re: Tax issue: Made a mistake on Inherited IRA RMDs for five years

I made this exact same mistake for 8 years and underpaid by $130 over that time period. After discovering the mistake I began using the correct factor from then on without going back an making any adjustment or corrections. Your error is so small I wouldn't worry about it. Just do it correctly goin...
by Small Law Survivor
Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone used Zelle?
Replies: 18
Views: 1796

Re: Anyone used Zelle?

I also use Venmo to send money/request money from various people. Again easy. I believe with Venmo you have to click a few buttons to have the money sent to your attached banking account. Not really a hassle, just different. Once you have the app on your phone, it is easy and fast. I haven't used a...
by Small Law Survivor
Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax issue: Made a mistake on Inherited IRA RMDs for five years
Replies: 38
Views: 2798

Re: Tax issue: Made a mistake on Inherited IRA RMDs for five years

Also, when I log in, I can see not only the RMD dollar amount but also how it was computed (birthday, factor, 12/31 balance, etc) and RMD history. Is yours there? My Account. => Retirement contributions, distributions & RMDs. => RMD tab. Accessed that page, but it has "N/A" beside the RMD. Maybe we...
by Small Law Survivor
Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax issue: Made a mistake on Inherited IRA RMDs for five years
Replies: 38
Views: 2798

Re: Tax issue: Made a mistake on Inherited IRA RMDs for five years

The IRA custodians are supposed to calculate the official RMD each year and tell the account holder what it is each January. Did your wife ever get a notice for any of the years? It could even have been part of the year-end statement. Then you would have seen that you were planning to withdraw a di...
by Small Law Survivor
Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Often Should I Have Chimney Cleaned (New England)?
Replies: 17
Views: 1664

Re: How Often Should I Have Chimney Cleaned (New England)?

[/quote]Do you actually have a enclosed fireplace insert? If not, I'd seriously consider getting one. Open fireplaces allow most of the heat to get wasted up the chimney. In the worst cases, they can actually draw so much room air out of the house that although the room the fireplace is in may be wa...
by Small Law Survivor
Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax issue: Made a mistake on Inherited IRA RMDs for five years
Replies: 38
Views: 2798

Re: Tax issue: Made a mistake on Inherited IRA RMDs for five years

Thanks for suggestions above - however, keep in mind that this was a $15,000 inherited IRA. I have created a spreadsheet showing the actual RMDs and the "correct" RMDs, and the total difference over the five year period is about $100. I guess I'm wondering whether this is so de minimis that it's not...
by Small Law Survivor
Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax issue: Made a mistake on Inherited IRA RMDs for five years
Replies: 38
Views: 2798

Tax issue: Made a mistake on Inherited IRA RMDs for five years

My wife inherited a small IRA in 2011 - approximately $15,000. Being the know-it-all that I am, I helped her figure out the RMDs from 2011 through last year. However, I calculated the RMDs from the single life expectancy table. I did not (as I should have) used the "factor minus one" method. I was d...
by Small Law Survivor
Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: River cruise recommendations (Europe)
Replies: 19
Views: 1475

Re: River cruise recommendations (Europe)

This is all very interesting and informative, thank you all. To those who say, "travel with your feet, and get off the beaten path," I agree 100%, and that is how I prefer to travel. However, my wife likes an organized tour, and we both appreciate educational programs and guides that help us appreci...
by Small Law Survivor
Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relationship between Roth IRA and 401K contribution (tax issue)
Replies: 7
Views: 578

Re: Relationship between Roth IRA and 401K contribution (tax issue)

Well, I've learned a lot from this thread. I guess I'll give up on this idea for 2017. Thank you all.
by Small Law Survivor
Thu Oct 05, 2017 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relationship between Roth IRA and 401K contribution (tax issue)
Replies: 7
Views: 578

Re: Relationship between Roth IRA and 401K contribution (tax issue)

Be aware however that other pre-tax withholding items from your payroll can also eat into the 25k box 1 budget....like an employee-paid portion of premiums for firm-provided health care, state-mandated short-term disability or workman's comp insurance, etc. Oh my gosh - I am paying about $1,000/mon...
by Small Law Survivor
Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: That blank stare... ?
Replies: 49
Views: 2882

Re: That blank stare... ?

I sit down with DW several times a year, and go over an investment asset spreadsheet and our expenses YTD. When I call Vanguard I have her on the call, so she's comfortable talking with them. When I do a transaction I have her watch (I ask her to do transactions, but she often defers). I have a note...
by Small Law Survivor
Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relationship between Roth IRA and 401K contribution (tax issue)
Replies: 7
Views: 578

Relationship between Roth IRA and 401K contribution (tax issue)

I "semi-retired" last year, and this year, for the first time, I am a W2 employee of my law firm. My salary/earned income is $25,000. That is our family's only earned income this year. Earlier this year my wife and I each made a $6,500 Roth IRA contribution ($5,000 plus $1,000 catch-up). So, $13,000...
by Small Law Survivor
Wed Oct 04, 2017 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: River cruise recommendations (Europe)
Replies: 19
Views: 1475

River cruise recommendations (Europe)

So, everyone keeps urging me to spend some of that hard-earned retirement savings, and not be the richest guy in the graveyard. A friend keeps joking that he's "spending his kids inheritance" every time he spends money on his guitar/amp setup. My wife has expressed the desire to go on a river cruise...
by Small Law Survivor
Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Domestic SCV? [Small Cap Value]
Replies: 27
Views: 2628

Re: Domestic SCV? [Small Cap Value]

Go to the ETF search list, and then click on "Filter" and "Other Indexes" to see a list of those ETFs tracking S&P and Russell indexes. Vanguard prefers to hide these on the retail investors page, because most retail investors won't want to consider them (except the S&P 500, which is displayed on t...
by Small Law Survivor
Sun Oct 01, 2017 4:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Domestic SCV? [Small Cap Value]
Replies: 27
Views: 2628

Re: Domestic SCV? [Small Cap Value]

I had thought, until now, that Vanguard's ETFs were all ETF versions of it mutual funds. Learned something new today. Note that when you got to Vanguard's list of ETFs, VIOV is not listed. https://investor.vanguard.com/etf/list#/etf/asset-class/month-end-returns However, when you use Vanguard's sear...
by Small Law Survivor
Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Domestic SCV? [Small Cap Value]
Replies: 27
Views: 2628

Re: Domestic SCV? [Small Cap Value]

How does VIOV (Vanguard Small Cap 600 Value = an ETF) differ from VISVX (Vanguard Small Cap Value Index - the mutual fund)? I did look at the 15 year performance of each, and it appears that VIOV has a higher return. I'm not very familiar with ETFs - does Vanguard sell ETFs that don't have a mutual ...
by Small Law Survivor
Sat Sep 30, 2017 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Often Should I Have Chimney Cleaned (New England)?
Replies: 17
Views: 1664

How Often Should I Have Chimney Cleaned (New England)?

We have a fireplace in our family room that we use, on average ~15 times/year. We haven't had it cleaned in maybe five years. I inspected it (by looking up the flue past the damper with a flashlight), so see if there was accumulation of creosote on the walls (familyhandyman.com website said to clean...
by Small Law Survivor
Sat Sep 30, 2017 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it a waste of money having your furnace checked every year?
Replies: 58
Views: 6019

Re: Is it a waste of money having your furnace checked every year?

I do it every couple of years, in the Fall. Seems like a reasonable precaution up here in cold New England.
by Small Law Survivor
Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Robert Powell's "So Long Folks" Column on Marketwatch
Replies: 0
Views: 452

Robert Powell's "So Long Folks" Column on Marketwatch

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/what-ive-learned-over-14-years-of-covering-the-depressing-but-crucial-topic-of-retirement-2017-09-29 "What I’ve learned over 14 years of covering the ‘depressing’ — but crucial — topic of retirement" So, what have we learned together? Well, first, we’ve learned that...
by Small Law Survivor
Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I get a New Macbook Pro?
Replies: 47
Views: 3958

Re: Should I get a New Mac or Macbookpro?

Thanks for all these comments/suggestions. I don't stay current on computer technology, so some of this is a bit over my head - it will take me a while to work through this and post follow-up questions.
by Small Law Survivor
Fri Sep 29, 2017 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I get a New Macbook Pro?
Replies: 47
Views: 3958

Should I get a New Macbook Pro?

I purchased the Macbook Pro I'm writing this post on in 2010. It's been a workhorse, and the 500 gig drive is only about 60% full. In theory, it could operate for another 7 years without a problem. I have several issues: First, this computer is very slow now. I get the "spinning wheel" quite often. ...
by Small Law Survivor
Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Equifax customer information leak
Replies: 711
Views: 47369

Re: Equifax customer information leak

Wow, there are over 650 posts on this thread - way too long to read!

Is there a "best practices" summary/conclusions somewhere?
by Small Law Survivor
Wed Sep 27, 2017 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High end cruising suggestions.
Replies: 26
Views: 2796

Re: High end cruising suggestions.

This is a timely thread - just yesterday I was asking an acquaintance who has taken many river cruises in Europe for her recommendations. She recommended three companies: Uniworld Ama Waterways Abalon I'm particularly interested in France, Italy and eastern Europe. Any thoughts or recommendations wo...
by Small Law Survivor
Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:12 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: AA if you were just starting out again
Replies: 49
Views: 3721

Re: AA if you were just starting out again

I'm 66 years old. If I could take a time machine back and speak to my 22 year old self (when I started investing, albeit small dollars), I would tell myself to be 100% stocks, from 1973 until today. With a couple of exceptions in the late '90s, when I got a bit caught up in the dot com craze, every ...
by Small Law Survivor
Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you have an umbrella policy?
Replies: 141
Views: 15997

Re: Do you have an umbrella policy?

Do plaintiff attorneys know how much of an umbrella you have in a malpractice case? In many states not only can they learn this in routine discovery, but you are OBLIGATED to tell them up front, in the highly unlikely event that they forget to ask. I guess someone hanging a shingle right out of law...
by Small Law Survivor
Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you have an umbrella policy?
Replies: 141
Views: 15997

Re: Do you have an umbrella policy?

MikeG62 wrote:
Sat Apr 15, 2017 9:48 am
Insurance agent I spoke with said they had never personally seen anyone approved for more than $5 million before (and consequently never personally seen anyone who opted for that level of coverage).
I have $10MM with Chubb. $900/year.
by Small Law Survivor
Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard Does Not have 2-Factor Authentication on Mobile App? Corr. w/Vanguard re This
Replies: 9
Views: 839

Re: Vanguard Does Not have 2-Factor Authentication on Mobile App? Corr. w/Vanguard re This

This means thieves just need to keep the old version of the app and they won't be asked for a code.
I wonder whether, or to what extent, there have been thefts from Vanguard account holders based on stolen passwords, or other electronic shenagins.
by Small Law Survivor
Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard Does Not have 2-Factor Authentication on Mobile App? Corr. w/Vanguard re This
Replies: 9
Views: 839

Re: Vanguard Does Not have 2-Factor Authentication on Mobile App? Corr. w/Vanguard re This

My Vanguard rep updated me as follows: Good news. I contacted our Web Technical Support team. They informed me that clients who are not receiving the security codes need to delete and reinstall the mobile application at this time. From there the mobile application should connect with our security co...
by Small Law Survivor
Thu Sep 14, 2017 4:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Problems obtaining a free annual Equifax credit report online
Replies: 30
Views: 2222

Re: Problems obtaining a free annual Equifax credit report online

Yes, as I mentioned on another thread earlier today, annualcreditreport.com is nonfunctional on Equifax. Seems like Equifax has had a complete and total meltdown ....
by Small Law Survivor
Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Equifax is a mess
Replies: 21
Views: 3520

Re: Equifax is a mess

I did use annual (not free) ... fixing that above now ....
by Small Law Survivor
Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Equifax is a mess
Replies: 21
Views: 3520

Re: Equifax is a mess

I tried to get my credit report from Equifax this morning (via annualcreditreport.com), and after I entered my info, the site just opened a new browser tab and froze. I think annualcreditreport.com just sends you to the credit agency site (one of the three), so I think it was the equifax site that f...
by Small Law Survivor
Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard Does Not have 2-Factor Authentication on Mobile App? Corr. w/Vanguard re This
Replies: 9
Views: 839

Vanguard Does Not have 2-Factor Authentication on Mobile App? Corr. w/Vanguard re This

I just started 2-factor authentication in my Vanguard acct. However, when I accessed Vanguard via my iPhone, I was not asked to enter a code. I wrote to Vanguard about this, and received this reply today: Thank you for bringing this to my attention. You are correct. Our website has two factor authen...
by Small Law Survivor
Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is a security freeze at Innovis really needed?
Replies: 68
Views: 26112

Re: Is a security freeze at Innovis really needed?

Freezing Innovis much easier than the big three. You don't need to create an account, no poorly worded, obscure test questions ("what was your rent in 1995 ...")
by Small Law Survivor
Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can't Register With TransUnion
Replies: 16
Views: 1621

Re: Can't Register With TransUnion

carolinaman wrote:
Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:53 am
It must be the screwball questions.
Thanks, I'll call them. The questions are indeed screwball!
by Small Law Survivor
Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can't Register With TransUnion
Replies: 16
Views: 1621

Re: Can't Register With TransUnion

CAsage wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:19 pm
Call them.
Oh, man, I hate to do that ....
by Small Law Survivor
Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can't Register With TransUnion
Replies: 16
Views: 1621

Can't Register With TransUnion

I tried to set up an account with TransUnion last week, in order to put a credit freeze in. Experian and Equifax were no problem for both my wife and me, but TransUnion frustrated us both. For me - I couldn't answer some of the financial questions in their qualifying "quiz" - these questions went ba...
by Small Law Survivor
Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto body repair: What to do about car insurance?
Replies: 21
Views: 1479

Re: Auto body repair: What to do about car insurance?

My 23 yr. old daughter just did something similar - $3,000 repair job. She has $1,000 deductible. Our insurance agent insisted that it would be better to pay than to file a claim - increase in premiums was likely to end up costing more. However, she could not say with certainty what the premium incr...
by Small Law Survivor
Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA - is keeping 40 years of medical records practical?
Replies: 157
Views: 16650

Re: HSA - is keeping 40 years of medical records practical?

I've been saving HSA money since day 1 - have never withdrawn a cent. It's now around $85,000. My wife and I are in our mid-60s. The HSA is well-invested via Ameritrade. My general plan has been to wait another 10 years or so, and then start using the money to pay for Medicare premiums and large med...
by Small Law Survivor
Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tell me all about snowblowers
Replies: 50
Views: 4338

Re: Tell me all about snowblowers

This is all great info, thank you! I went to Ariens website to search for local dealers, and of course Home Depot is listed - until, that is, you click on only "service" (choices are lawn, snow, service). Then HD disappears. I notice that some dealers are identified as "Preferred Dealers" - any diff...
by Small Law Survivor
Fri Sep 01, 2017 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tell me all about snowblowers
Replies: 50
Views: 4338

Re: Tell me all about snowblowers

Winter is not that far off here in New England, and I'm thinking of getting an Ariens 28" blower. I have a long driveway, and I've had it truck-plowed in past years at great cost. Now that I'm semi-retired I figure I can use a snow blower and do it myself. I've used a neighbor's blower a few times, ...
by Small Law Survivor
Thu Aug 24, 2017 7:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At age 66, should let my $1MM life insurance policy lapse?
Replies: 32
Views: 4353

Re: At age 66, should let my $1MM life insurance policy lapse?

Hmmm ... thank you for the "expected value" analysis of this decision. That hadn't occurred to me, and as an economics major in college, it appeals to me. I haven't decided (and I probably won't until the last minute), but I'm less likely to drop the insurance now than I was before I started this th...
by Small Law Survivor
Wed Aug 23, 2017 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At age 66, should let my $1MM life insurance policy lapse?
Replies: 32
Views: 4353

At age 66, should let my $1MM life insurance policy lapse?

I purchased a 20 year, $1 million term policy when I was 49. Annual cost: $2,500. I'm 66, and the annual premium for the next year will be due in September. I could continue to pay these annual premiums until I am 69. However, every year (for the last few years) I debate whether to let the policy la...
by Small Law Survivor
Mon Aug 21, 2017 2:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help Me Understand CDs at Vanguard
Replies: 6
Views: 1186

Re: Help Me Understand CDs at Vanguard

No, will look for the videos, thanks!
by Small Law Survivor
Mon Aug 21, 2017 12:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help Me Understand CDs at Vanguard
Replies: 6
Views: 1186

Re: Help Me Understand CDs at Vanguard

Yes, I've been reading things like this - that's what has me interested in this. I think allocating some money in my IRA to CDs might be prudent. However, I need to gain an education on how to evaluate CDs - I know what a callable CD is, and I know about FDIC protection, but beyond that I'm a novice.
by Small Law Survivor
Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help Me Understand CDs at Vanguard
Replies: 6
Views: 1186

Help Me Understand CDs at Vanguard

Is there a thread or a wiki page that will educate me on buying CDs via Vanguard's brokerage service? I've never purchased CDs, and I don't understand terms like "Yield to worst bid" and "Yield to maturity bid". If this isn't available online, I'd be willing to purchase a book that explains this. I ...