Search found 996 matches

by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Feb 13, 2016 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard Charitable
Replies: 3
Views: 188

Re: Vanguard Charitable

No problem with having my "recommendations followed takes 5-7 business days
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Feb 13, 2016 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best way to move money internationally?
Replies: 18
Views: 983

Re: Best way to move money internationally?

I have needed to send money to friends in China and always do a transfer from my vanguard MMF,and send it to my friend,s bank account.You use the swift number and the account number, the foreign bank has a US correspondent, in this case ICBC has a branch. I have a choice to send dollars or renminbi,...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Feb 12, 2016 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Questions on House Affordability
Replies: 25
Views: 1580

Re: Questions on House Affordability

Pdxnative wrote:You are locking in housing costs, and at a good rate.


Taxes, repairs, HOA are all not "locked in"
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Feb 10, 2016 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mailing a US Passport in for Renewal
Replies: 19
Views: 1724

Re: Mailing a US Passport in for Renewal

Priority mail worked great for me and saved me the cost of an envelope; got our new passports back in about two weeks. (Although the expired passports haven't been returned yet.) That time may begin to lengthen, however, as millions of passports are about to reach their 10-year expiration dates. Be...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Feb 10, 2016 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Canada on sale? [Currency exchange rate vs. USD]
Replies: 21
Views: 2041

Re: Is Canada on sale?

Montreal has been our "out to dinner" city for the past 40 years as we are about 90 minutes away. We visit Quebec City less frequently and are just back from there and it was a bargain compared to other large North American cities. A wonderland old town apartment, two large bedrooms, huge ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Am I getting fleeced on my IRA? Opinions welcome.
Replies: 21
Views: 886

Re: Am I getting fleeced on my IRA? Opinions welcome.

Yes you are getting fleeced. Not sure which "major brokerage" you are with but some of them (Fidelity for sure) you can move to a non-advisor account and save the 1.5%. In addition, if there are high fees associated with the funds, then you might want to go elsewhere and access less expens...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Feb 05, 2016 5:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Part-B premium
Replies: 5
Views: 603

Re: Medicare Part-B premium

If you are not receiving social security the new premium applies
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Feb 05, 2016 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MS Money and Vanguard, quadrupled transactions
Replies: 4
Views: 389

Re: MS Money and Vanguard, quadrupled transactions

I use MS Money, but have never downnloaded transactions. I didn't think downloading transactions was really supported anymore, so I just enter them manually. I have so few transactions that it is not onerous and it also forces me to double-check transactions, too. I suggest you just delete the dupl...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Feb 05, 2016 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MS Money and Vanguard, quadrupled transactions
Replies: 4
Views: 389

MS Money and Vanguard, quadrupled transactions

I have finally punted on Quicken, too many things I did not need. I had moved to a spreadsheet for investment tracking (I am seeking only to keep track of totals and update prices, no need for returns or the like) and have decided to give the Sunset edition of MS Money a try as it will also allow me...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Jan 30, 2016 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What online Email do you use
Replies: 59
Views: 4880

Re: What online Email do you use

I currently use Thunderbird to collect all my various email addresses. What keeps me there is the superior spell check (I am a typist from hunger). With Thunderbird I am moved from error to error, just as in a word processing program.With the web-based alternatives I need to move the cursor from err...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Jan 29, 2016 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Handling RE Taxes after Sale of and Purchase of House
Replies: 5
Views: 347

Re: Handling RE Taxes after Sale of and Purchase of House

It looks like lines 106-108 (or 406-408) should tell you what you want to know (on the HUD 1)
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Jan 29, 2016 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Part B premiums
Replies: 33
Views: 2088

Re: Medicare Part B premiums

If I do a Roth conversion, does this count towards MAGI? Yes indeed! I learned the hard way to watch this very carefully. Two years ago I made a large charitable contribution (I used Vanguard Charitable Foundation to make it 5 year's worth) and used the space created to convert a large amount from ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Nearing Retirement - Need Some Advice
Replies: 14
Views: 1470

Re: Nearing Retirement - Need Some Advice

My thought was to use most of the taxable account balances before touching the tax deferred accounts. You seem to be suggesting coming as close as possible to the maximum income for the 15% bracket (btw I thought this was $75, not $95, for married filing jointly). Is this advantageous even if we do...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Roofing Replacement Estimate??
Replies: 24
Views: 1526

Re: Roofing Replacement Estimate??

When posters talk about metal roof I am not sure if they are taking about standing seam roof or the corrugated 2' X8' panels. The former is fabricated on site and there are some examples here in northern Vermont that are 75 years old with no problems. The corrugated materials is less expensive and l...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Jan 26, 2016 8:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax-exempt - When?
Replies: 10
Views: 974

Re: Tax-exempt - When?

Although we are in the 15% bracket I use the Intermediate Term tax exempt. It allows me more space within the 15% bracket to do the "post-retirement, pre-Social security" gambit and convert as much as my TIRA to a Roth within the 15% bracket.
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Jan 25, 2016 9:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2016 Mazda CX-3, Honda HR-V, Subaru Crosstrek (or Honda Civic)?
Replies: 28
Views: 2282

Re: 2016 Mazda CX-3, Honda HR-V, Subaru Crosstrek (or Honda Civic)?

I am from Vermont, no stranger to snow and nasty wintery mixes that are as difficult as I-80 out to Tahoe (done it several times). For years I rode Audi Quattro, always with winter treads. Think winter treads don't matter, catch this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfuE00qdhLA I am now back to front...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Jan 18, 2016 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Safety of new Corolla vs new Camry
Replies: 38
Views: 2433

Re: Safety of new Corolla vs new Camry

Seriously and with all due respect, honestly, can you summarize that in plain English? It means when the clown with low self esteem driving a Hummer hits you, you're more likely to get injured than he is. Yep, that pretty well sums it up. Sometimes people make the comment that ensuring your own saf...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Jan 16, 2016 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pizza Stone / Homemade Pizza Advice
Replies: 58
Views: 4124

Re: Pizza Stone / Homemade Pizza Advice

Here is my list; 1) Make the dough using 00 Italian flour if you can find it reasonably priced. 2) Prepare the dough and then retard its rise by placing it in the refrigerator for 8-24 hours (you can then freeze some for future use) 3) This little unit has transformed my pizza: http://uuni.net/ , it...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Jan 15, 2016 6:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help getting out of a fund in taxable
Replies: 18
Views: 778

Re: Help getting out of a fund in taxable

I just looked it up. That dividend fund paid me over 20k in distributions in '15. I guess that why it shouldn't be held in taxable. Darn. My math may be wrong but I think the additional return will cover the taxes - at least for last year. I am not sure what the 20k was (capital gains, dividends or...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Heavy Lifting Job: $60/hr nights or $75/hr weekends?
Replies: 36
Views: 4407

Re: Heavy Lifting Job: $60/hr nights or $75/hr weekends?

There is a great deal of research out there that shows the broad impact night shift work has on one's health; this is somewhat mitigated if you are an owl (which you seem to be) as opposed to a lark.

https://www.nasw.org/users/llamberg/larkowl.htm
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Jan 09, 2016 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card $50 statement credit .... FYI
Replies: 15
Views: 1819

Re: Credit Card $50 statement credit .... FYI

When my Chase United card came up for renewal I called to cancel. They offered me a $100 credit for keeping the card and paying the $95 fee, so I held on for another year. This has not always worked this way in the past, but it cannot hurt to ask!
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How is Costco's gas so cheap? (15% cheaper in my area)
Replies: 59
Views: 5009

Re: How is Costco's gas so cheap? (15% cheaper in my area)

The benefit of TopTier gas is that it is formulated to include a higher amount of detergent than is required by the EPA. With the spread of direct injection engines, which tend to carbon up the valve train, the higher level of valve train cleaning elements is a benefit.
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Jan 03, 2016 3:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Moving IRA To Vanguard from State Employee Credit Union.
Replies: 6
Views: 512

Re: Moving IRA To Vanguard from State Employee Credit Union.

You don't give enough information for a substantive assessment but if you do go ahead with this you should have Vanguard pull the resources from the credit union, rather than have the credit union push them to Vanguard. A call to Vanguard to get the ball rolling would be my first step if I were to m...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Jan 03, 2016 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to do for elderly parent, if they reject help?
Replies: 54
Views: 4156

Re: What to do for elderly parent, if they reject help?

I have familiarity with two such instance as the OP describes; elderly, living alone, comprised judgment and unwilling to accept help. In both cases we got agreement to have someone "visit" 2- 3X/week to help with their "work". In the case of my MIL, she was an artist and we got ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Dec 31, 2015 5:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ooma Phone Service - I Do NOT Recommend
Replies: 34
Views: 2293

Re: Ooma Phone Service - I Do NOT Recommend

Leeraar wrote:I sort of get it, but why not just Skype?

L.


Because with Skype you need to be in front of a computer or other non-standard device.
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Dec 17, 2015 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What am I missing ? ... Smart Phones $100 vs. $600
Replies: 65
Views: 5767

Re: What am I missing ? ... Smart Phones $100 vs. $600

It actually has got harder to just pick up and use a SIM in some countries recently. Examples are where registration is required with evidence of why visiting the country, waiting periods to get a SIM etc. Also the SIM cost + packages sometimes trump just using rare roaming when one doesn't make a ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Dec 15, 2015 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best noise cancelling headphones?
Replies: 47
Views: 3243

Re: Best noise cancelling headphones?

The Bose never worked for me, too big and bulky. I went with the Shure SE215, they are in the ear buds, very compact, come with a variety of tips to fit every ear, and are $90. The cables are very rugged, the are detachable if they need replacement, and there are no batteries to replace or switches ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Dec 15, 2015 9:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used Car Purchase - Get a bill of sale
Replies: 23
Views: 1088

Re: Used Car Purchase - Get a bill of sale

In Vermont the tax on purchasing a vehicle is called a use tax. When a used car is purchased you can write in any price you care to, but the DMV will assign it a book value and that is the basis for the tax, unless you take an additional step. That would e to bring it to a mechanic that is certified...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need recommendations for 4WD/AWD vehicle
Replies: 56
Views: 3839

Re: Need recommendations for 4WD/AWD vehicle

Over at youtube there are many videos showing the benefits of winter tires (tyres!), here is one example:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfuE00qdhLA
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Dec 12, 2015 10:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The psychology of high deductible health plans
Replies: 102
Views: 6777

Re: The psychology of high deductible health plans

Price transparency, good to have it. But there are other impediments: 1) People are not very good at determining when they need to go see a practitioner (I use that term as much primary care is handled by so called "mid-level" clinicians.) I can't tell you how many people will run to the d...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Dec 05, 2015 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Writing checks - a Bogleheads thing to do?
Replies: 117
Views: 8066

Re: Writing checks - a Bogleheads thing to do?

I started using AMEX Serve this year, it allows me to have them write and mail the check. I use it for rent, for the most part, but sometimes I owe a friend for my part of a resto tab and I will SERVE her a check.

I use my AMEX card to transfer money (limited to $1000 a month) and get the 2% back.
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Dec 05, 2015 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Delaying Social Security: What's the goal?
Replies: 47
Views: 3501

Re: Delaying Social Security: What's the goal?

I am waiting to 70 for the reason you outlined, it is a great annuity purchase.

Of course, this was predicated on my having sufficient funds to get me to 70 (retired at 59.)
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Dec 03, 2015 7:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Married couple - separate plans bronze hsa + silver -any downsides?
Replies: 2
Views: 398

Re: Married couple - separate plans bronze hsa + silver -any downsides?

We tend to put health insurance in a different category than other sorts of insurance (house, auto, life.) In the latter instances we are elated when we don't collect but in the case of health insurance we calculate differently. One approach is to buy as much insurance as you need. Just as you might...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Dec 03, 2015 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the "Honda Accord" of bicycles?
Replies: 78
Views: 5632

Re: What is the "Honda Accord" of bicycles?

The Craigslist approach can work, but there are some caveats. SIZE- This is an essential, especially for the adult bike (the kid will probably grow out of it in a year.) It is hard to tell, standing in someone's drive, whether the bike on offer fits or not. You could get properly sized (there are se...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Nov 30, 2015 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Accord broke down last night
Replies: 71
Views: 8826

Re: Honda Accord broke down last night

One other option is to buy a transmission from a 2004 or later (whichever will fit) from a salvage yard. I had a stick trannie go on an Acura (1987, 5-door hatch, a great car) when the mechanic put the wrong fluid in it (these used something like motor oil.) The shop was helpful, we found a salvage ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Nov 17, 2015 8:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: NYC in early December
Replies: 29
Views: 2903

Re: NYC in early December

You are picking a time of year when accommodations may be even pricier than usual. Where to stay depends a lot on what you want to do. Our preference is Greenwich Village; last March we rented an Airbnb on 5th ave and 9th street, A one bedroom apartment, close to many subway lines, and in walking di...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Nov 17, 2015 7:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Eyeglasses - Costco Changed Policies - Help!
Replies: 41
Views: 7468

Re: Eyeglasses - Costco Changed Policies - Help!

This must either be a very new policy or one that is local to your Costco. Three weeks ago my wife brought in a pair of frames (she has a very narrow head as is particular about getting narrow frames) and they accepted them with the usual $18 surcharge.
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Nov 16, 2015 10:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: In-Kind Transfer from Wealthfront to Vanguard
Replies: 16
Views: 1466

Re: In-Kind Transfer from Wealthfront to Vanguard

You may not have ANY long term capital gains if Wealthfront has been tax loss harvesting along the way - any gains are likely short term given your time frame and recent market history. Be prepared for slow transfer of your basis information if you proceed with an in-kind transfer. You will sleep e...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Nov 12, 2015 6:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Plan F High Deductible--Simplify the Ded. Payments?
Replies: 45
Views: 2985

Re: Medicare Plan F High Deductible--Simplify the Ded. Payments?

After filtering out weak insurance company ratings, the 4 lowest-priced companies that have a Plan G (for my zip) I found were: Colonial Penn Mutual of Omaha (no F-HD) Thrivent Financial United American (smaller company with possible waiting period) The common advice is to ignore the ratings of the...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Nov 10, 2015 9:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Humana-Walmart Part D plan: your experience?
Replies: 4
Views: 463

Re: Humana-Walmart Part D plan: your experience?

Been with them for the past few years, only one drug in chronic use and the cost at the local pharmacy was less thn the mail order.

I have gotten some drug without deductible Flonase, no real complaints.
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Plan F High Deductible--Simplify the Ded. Payments?
Replies: 45
Views: 2985

Re: Medicare Plan F High Deductible--Simplify the Ded. Payment

I know one can't switch in and out of traditional Medicare but can one change plans? Theoretically a person can change from one Medigap plan to another, but once the original "guaranteed issue" window has passed, medical underwriting requirements of the contemplated new plan may prevent t...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Nov 08, 2015 2:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Plan F High Deductible--Simplify the Ded. Payments?
Replies: 45
Views: 2985

Re: Medicare Plan F High Deductible--Simplify the Ded. Payments?

Yes you will still have to pay a few bills every year but you save money for your effort. It will also alert you to using lower cost providers like the Labcorp (or ???) for blood work versus your local hospital. Same for x-rays or CT scans. I use the special dedicated Imaging lab instead of the hos...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Nov 08, 2015 2:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Plan F High Deductible--Simplify the Ded. Payments?
Replies: 45
Views: 2985

Re: Medicare Plan F High Deductible--Simplify the Ded. Payments?

Have you thought about a medigap policy that would pay the deductible? We'll need to make a decision next year on plans. Guess it's time for me to revisit the topic and do some research. The OP is discussing so-called Medigap policies and only Plan F pays all the deductibles, all the rest require s...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Nov 06, 2015 3:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to take advantage of 15% tax bracket?
Replies: 37
Views: 4152

Re: How to take advantage of 15% tax bracket?

Here is my simple take on it, but I haven't done too much modeling. The capital gains will be taxed lower than regular income, at least under current laws. IRA distributions, on the other hand, will be taxed at your regular rate and RMDs will force you to take them. Capital gains you can take when y...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Nov 06, 2015 2:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Winterization -- Window Insulation Film, Weatherstripping, etc.
Replies: 10
Views: 1393

Re: Home Winterization -- Window Insulation Film, Weatherstripping, etc.

The window insulation film helped keep out much of the cold air, but on some windy/colder days the plastic film would bulge excessively due to the amount of cold air that it was struggling to hold back. Later in the winter, a few small stretches of film became unfastened from the window frames due ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Nov 01, 2015 1:19 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Subject is filled in with my screen name
Replies: 13
Views: 1500

Re: Subject is filled in with my screen name

I don't know if this is what you are seeing, but at some time in the last few months http ://www.bogleheads.org has been inaccessible, it always redirects to https ://www.bogleheads.org.* Happened on September 20th when the server was upgraded, per https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=2...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Nov 01, 2015 2:10 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Subject is filled in with my screen name
Replies: 13
Views: 1500

Re: Subject is filled in with my screen name

Two possible options that I can see. First, for the BH forum entry in LastPass, click the "Advance settings". In my settings, Disable AutoFill is checked. There is also an "Edit Form Fields" link, you might want to check if the Subject field is one of the form fields. Otherwise ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Oct 31, 2015 10:53 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Subject is filled in with my screen name
Replies: 13
Views: 1500

Subject is filled in with my screen name

OK, LastPass is the culprit I have disabled auto login to no avail. Not sure what else needs to be done here.
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Oct 31, 2015 3:38 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Subject is filled in with my screen name
Replies: 13
Views: 1500

Subject is filled in with my screen name

And when I go into incognito mode in Chrome, everything works fine. The hunt goes on!
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Oct 31, 2015 3:30 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Subject is filled in with my screen name
Replies: 13
Views: 1500

Subject is filled in with my screen name

I tried that, cleared autofill back to the "end of time", closed chrome and opened it up to no benefit. One other quirk, when I send a PM it also fills in my screen name (as well as the intended recipient on the line below. As I said, Firefox works fine so I know if I keep digging in Chrom...

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