Search found 1238 matches

by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Long Day Trip: Drive Old Car or Rent Car?
Replies: 59
Views: 3383

Re: Long Day Trip: Drive Old Car or Rent Car?

At this moment, we are 230 miles into a 10 day 1500 mile trip throughout the Northeast. For 10 days the rental is $200, insurance is covered on credit card (yes, including loss of use). At this rate it is worth my while to rent. As a side benefit I get a car with an automatic (I drive a stick) which...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What Do You Keep In Your Bank Safe Deposit Box?
Replies: 39
Views: 3698

Re: What Do You Keep In Your Bank Safe Deposit Box?

We recently moved and that forced me to empty the safe deposit box. The contents were: Old coin collection going back to the late 19th Century Various wills and medical power of attorney documents from friends who had named me Paper e bonds purchased in the 1990's and I bonds that were tax refunds O...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CIT Bank???
Replies: 6
Views: 464

Re: CIT Bank???

I have used them for several years now, both CDs (in the past) and the 1.05% savings (recently raised from .95%). I have it linked to my Vanguard Advantage account which I use as a checking account and have them move a monthly amount. No issues
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Feb 11, 2017 4:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How Much Cash Do You Actually Hold?
Replies: 101
Views: 8477

Re: How Much Cash Do You Actually Hold?

I exclude CDs, I bonds, EE bonds from the cash totals. To me those are bonds, some with a free put option. Retired, not yet collecting SS, small pensions (covers state and US taxes) and keep about 18 months in high yield savings account, which also receives dividends from mutual funds. Each month I ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Feb 09, 2017 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Deal on 2016 CPO Honda Odyssey
Replies: 34
Views: 2065

Re: Deal on 2016 CPO Honda Odyssey

The ubiquitous call for OTD (out the door) prices is one that confuses me, since it usually infers tax included. But if the tax in your jurisdiction is 5% and in mine it is 7.55, what I really want to know, as a relevant data point, is your total price (vehicle, document fee, etc) BUT not including ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Feb 08, 2017 7:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wow, Vanguard Flagship service is bad. Really bad.
Replies: 142
Views: 19173

Re: Vanguard Select???

Another member here just PMd me saying that with my investment level, I should be Flagship Select. Indeed, I just got off the phone with Vanguard and asked about that level, and they said I qualify. I asked why I was not automatically moved, and they said it is by customer request only. It is not a...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Please help buying new Avalon limited!
Replies: 51
Views: 3374

Re: Please help buying new Avalon limited!

Although it will be interesting to see what they quote you, if you don't live in California it won't be a "fair" comparison since California (and a dozen other states) have extra emissions and clean air requirements on cars sold here compared to other states. http://e360.yale.edu/features...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Natural Gas detector alarm
Replies: 2
Views: 286

Natural Gas detector alarm

We had an incident in our community house earlier this week; I came in early one morning and smelled gas (we are on a natural gas line). Called the supplier, they got out her in 15 minutes and identified 4 small leaks, two of them not on appliance connections but in 90 degree joints. No nasty conseq...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA reimbursement for 2015 cataract surgery
Replies: 28
Views: 1782

Re: HSA reimbursement for 2015 cataract surgery

Under Medicare payment will be made for the basic implant; if you want something other than that (toric, multi-focal) then there is no coverage.

Look here https://www.caring.com/questions/does-medicare-cover-cataract-surgery and read down through the comments for real world experience.
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fix a car or not?
Replies: 14
Views: 1161

Re: Fix a car or not?

It's a bogus metric. I repaired my 18 year old truck almost 7 years ago after it was totaled. My consideration was that I liked the truck, knew what it had been through, and none of the repairs would affect the longevity of the truck. Insurance totaled it, valuing it at $2,900. I bought it back for...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: XFR from Fidelity "Premium" to self-managed Fidelity
Replies: 4
Views: 248

Re: XFR from Fidelity "Premium" to self-managed Fidelity

^EXCELLENT, right to the point (and eerily similar to the situation of my cousin).
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: XFR from Fidelity "Premium" to self-managed Fidelity
Replies: 4
Views: 248

Re: XFR from Fidelity "Premium" to self-managed Fidelity

Indeed, I had some similar thoughts. The question is what is the easiest way to effect the switch?
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: XFR from Fidelity "Premium" to self-managed Fidelity
Replies: 4
Views: 248

XFR from Fidelity "Premium" to self-managed Fidelity

I have an elderly widowed cousin who has been in a Fidelity "premium" account for the past number of years. Her financial professional has her in 17 different accounts in an IRA of a bit under $500k. There are some real stinkers in the account and the goal is to get her into a basic two or...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have GEICO auto, asked for quote online, $150 less
Replies: 19
Views: 1944

Re: Have GEICO auto, asked for quote online, $150 less

Pajamas wrote:
Alan S. wrote:
Must be overpaying the gecko!


I wonder if the difference between buying from an agent and buying online is the agent's commission?


I don't think Geico has agents, in any case I have always purchased mine online.
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Jan 16, 2017 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have GEICO auto, asked for quote online, $150 less
Replies: 19
Views: 1944

Have GEICO auto, asked for quote online, $150 less

We have been with Geico for years. Reviewing all insurance and thought the $670 a year I was paying was high. I went to their online quote and got a price of $550, same car, same location. Tomorrow I will call them and ask them to "match" their own price.

What gives??
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Jan 16, 2017 7:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are Costco's best deals?
Replies: 346
Views: 55146

Re: What are Costco's best deals?

I will not be doing much charging on my Citi card. During the Costco changeover from Amex to Citi they made a big screw up on my accounts in June. Citi opened a second account in my name and did not tell me about it. Then they moved Amex charges to it and added late fees etc.. I did not know there ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:27 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Flagship Reps
Replies: 62
Views: 5277

Re: Flafship Reps

I have been flagship for years, not a big deal, certainly not a case of: wow, unbelievable how bad it is getting at vanguard. The only time I think it helped was when I was in China for a year and my rep reimbursed me for some FedEx documents I had to send in to complete some matters for an estate f...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Jan 08, 2017 8:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Requirements to change passwords frequently?
Replies: 42
Views: 3258

Re: Requirements to change passwords frequently?

RE: Lastpass

Yesterday I took the security test with LastPass and it offered to automatically change what it regarded as weak or duplicate passwords. With some I was able to click "automatically change this password" and it was done, the new one entered into the database.
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Dec 27, 2016 10:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seeking fee only advisor in Essex County, NJ
Replies: 0
Views: 144

Seeking fee only advisor in Essex County, NJ

This is for ne older relative, recently widowed (though her husband was totally ignorant of financial matters). She has been under the sway of a Fidelity "advisor" who has her in all sorts of exotice assets while what she is seeking is reliability, simplicity, and safety. She also has some...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Dec 27, 2016 10:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buying "closed" mutual funds with a different Vanguard account
Replies: 7
Views: 500

Re: Buying "closed" mutual funds with a different Vanguard account

How about transferring one share from the account where it is held to the one where you want to hold it? Then go ahead a buy some more?
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Dec 21, 2016 8:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: housing options-- stretch for schools?
Replies: 37
Views: 2289

Re: housing options-- stretch for schools?

Actually, if you want to find the best school then look for the one with the highest percentage of Asians attending. My son recently went to a math event and in the district there are approx 6% Asian population yet they easily accounted for 90%+ of the top kids of the district. Typically the same i...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Dec 21, 2016 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: End of year distribution estimates-Vanguard
Replies: 4
Views: 740

End of year distribution estimates-Vanguard

Searching for this on the Vanguard web site gave me "search is unavailable at this time" for days. Went to my favoirte search engine and was directed here https://advisors.vanguard.com/VGApp/iip/site/advisor/researchcommentary/article/IWE_NewsYearEndEstDistr2016 and the relevant numbers we...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Dec 18, 2016 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Timing of Roth IRA conversion
Replies: 30
Views: 3761

Re: Timing of Roth IRA conversion

When I do a Roth conversion, I have always put it into an existing Roth but make sure that it is the only such asset in that account. When I have wanted to re-characterize, Vanguard has always been able to move the total asset (or a portion thereof) with no complications. As it is I have a bunch of ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Nov 28, 2016 6:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity free Turbotax
Replies: 132
Views: 18102

Re: Fidelity free Turbotax

A good offer available through the end of December is this one from MerrillEdge that will get you $1000 for a $200K transfer http://www.merrilledge.com/offers/1000offer A $200K balance on your account makes you eligible for a BankOfAmerica Premier (I think that is the name) account which includes f...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Nov 25, 2016 2:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Brokerage Account at VG (terms needed to understand)
Replies: 12
Views: 1154

Re: Brokerage Account at VG (terms needed to understand)

Your Roth account can either be in a (legacy) mutual fund only account OR a (contemporary) brokerage account, which can hold both Vanguard mutual funds and other assets, including individual stocks. When you open a brokerage account it must be titled, could be Joe Doe, Joe Doe JTROS Jane Doe, Joe Do...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Nov 22, 2016 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hospital Indemnity/Accident/Critical Illness supplements for medical insurance
Replies: 11
Views: 726

Re: Hospital Indemnity/Accident/Critical Illness supplements for medical insurance

To me,, this resembles "cancer" insurance. Generally, not a very good deal for anyone except the underwriter.
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Nov 22, 2016 2:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: In a taxable account do you reinvest dividends and capital gains?
Replies: 24
Views: 1657

Re: In a taxable account do you reinvest dividends and capital gains?

In accumulation stage I always reinvested, kept things simple.

Now that we are de-accumulating, we use the dividends for day to day expenses; they get swept into our savings account and bills (mostly credit cards) get paid from there
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Nov 21, 2016 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paid Loss Ratios for Car Insurance
Replies: 7
Views: 657

Mutual car insurers come out ahead

At least as measured by their loss ratio; http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/20/business/the-kind-of-car-insurer-that-gives-consumers-the-best-value.html?&moduleDetail=section-news-3&action=click&contentCollection=Automobiles&region=Footer&module=MoreInSection&version=WhatsNext&a...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Nov 21, 2016 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google voice without forwarding number
Replies: 6
Views: 670

Re: Google voice without forwarding number

All the help you need: https://support.google.com/voice#topic=1707989 Not the help I needed as I specified that there was not a readily accessible touch tone phone with a US number. Touch-tone phone, with a U.S. number You'll select a type for each phone you add to Google Voice: Mobile, Work, or Ho...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Nov 21, 2016 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google voice without forwarding number
Replies: 6
Views: 670

Re: Google voice without forwarding number

Good answers...

But if I recall, to setup a Google Voice number you need a forwarding number for the "verification", the two digit number. Now he could use a friend's phone to do the setup but can he then delete the forwarding and only have the GV number??
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Nov 21, 2016 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google voice without forwarding number
Replies: 6
Views: 670

Google voice without forwarding number

A friend is off to Singapore for a years long assignment. He was hoping to port his cell phone number to google voice, that leaves him with no US-based number to receive forwarding. One thought is to buy a $10 T-Mobile card and use that as the forwarding. Are there other approaches? Ideally he would...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Nov 19, 2016 7:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Transferring money from US to Canada every 4 months
Replies: 20
Views: 1453

Re: Transferring money from US to Canada every 4 months

I wire money from time to time to China from my Vanguard account. Not sure about buried fees but there is no charge and they give me the choice of wiring US$ or renmenbi
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Nov 18, 2016 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hardwood Floor - purchasing options
Replies: 25
Views: 2728

Re: Hardwood Floor - purchasing options

I am not sure how far "north of Boston" you are but when we did some floors a few years back we bought our pre-finished flooring here http://exclusivelyvermont.com/ It is all locally harvested, it is pre-finished and is milled very precisely. One of the only disadvantages of pre-finished i...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Nov 16, 2016 3:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: gardening, soil amendment, composting
Replies: 33
Views: 2725

Re: gardening, soil amendment, composting

Deleted, duplicate
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Nov 16, 2016 3:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: gardening, soil amendment, composting
Replies: 33
Views: 2725

Re: gardening, soil amendment, composting

Lots of good suggestions here, there is no one way to go about this and your approach will be guided by: 1) The state of your existing soil 2) What you plan to grow 3) Your climate 4) What resources you can get for free or very cheap. 1) Have you tested your soil? If not, this is an important first ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Nov 16, 2016 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: gardening, soil amendment, composting
Replies: 33
Views: 2725

Re: gardening, soil amendment, composting

Lots of good suggestions here, there is no one way to go about this and your approach will be guided by: 1) The state of your existing soil 2) What you plan to grow 3) Your climate 4) What resources you can get for free or very cheap. 1) Have you tested your soil? If not, this is an important first...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Nov 16, 2016 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: gardening, soil amendment, composting
Replies: 33
Views: 2725

Re: gardening, soil amendment, composting

[quote="TheGreyingDuke"]Lots of good suggestions here, there is no one way to go about this and your approach will be guided by: 1) The state of your existing soil 2) What you plan to grow 3) Your climate 4) What resources you can get for free or very cheap. 1) Have you tested your soil? I...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Nov 16, 2016 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: gardening, soil amendment, composting
Replies: 33
Views: 2725

Re: gardening, soil amendment, composting

Lots of good suggestions here, there is no one way to go about this and your approach will be guided by: 1) The state of your existing soil 2) What you plan to grow 3) Your climate 4) What resources you can get for free or very cheap. 1) Have you tested your soil? If not, this is an important first ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does a car downgrade make sense for me?
Replies: 19
Views: 2010

Re: Does a car downgrade make sense for me?

I am an "in recovery", former pickup owner. It sure does come in handy for hauling stuff, my town offers free compost and wood chips, an essential free component of my gardening. Finally sold the truck some time back. Now I go to the local UHaul, $20 a day plus $.55 a mile and I plan a ful...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Nov 10, 2016 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA prescription drug coverage appeal
Replies: 12
Views: 987

Re: ACA prescription drug coverage appeal

If your appeals do not work out, consider going to our northern neighbor. I have saved huge amounts by buying some expensive drugs there. Even thought hey were covered by my plan, the cost was still 3x higher than what you could buy it for from Canada.
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Nov 10, 2016 7:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "No Referral Needed" Medicare speak
Replies: 32
Views: 1767

Re: "No Referral Needed" Medicare speak

If you have never seen a particular practitioner in a particular specialty, a referral helps in keeping you from making a trivial or incorrect self-referral. How would one know if the pain in a joint is some inflammatory condition or something else. If course, if you have a diagnosed problem and see...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New state residence 1/1/17, 1099s with new address
Replies: 12
Views: 702

Re: New state residence 1/1/17, 1099s with new address

Personally, I made an effort to establish residency on October 1st as nearly 70% of my investment income comes in December. But normally if its dividends, interest, cap gains, etc. it should apportioned to the state of residence by when it was paid or realized if you're in a part year resident situ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Nov 09, 2016 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New state residence 1/1/17, 1099s with new address
Replies: 12
Views: 702

Re: New state residence 1/1/17, 1099s with new address

My recommendation is this. Go to your new state's department of revenue's website and see what they require for residency. Make sure that you meet all of those requirements and do everything possible to appear as a resident of the new state. Make sure that your accounts are addressed in the new sta...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Nov 09, 2016 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New state residence 1/1/17, 1099s with new address
Replies: 12
Views: 702

Re: New state residence 1/1/17, 1099s with new address

cheese_breath wrote:The United States post office delivers your mail, not your state. AFAIK they have no idea what's delivered to you.

But doesn't the entity send a copy to your state tax authority?
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Nov 09, 2016 7:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New state residence 1/1/17, 1099s with new address
Replies: 12
Views: 702

New state residence 1/1/17, 1099s with new address

I am changing my legal residence on 1/1/17 thus all income from 2016 is taxable in former state. Since I will change my address with all the financial entities late December all the 1099s will come to my new address. Will this give the wrong idea to authorities in State #2 that I owe them taxes?? Si...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Nov 05, 2016 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: MacBook Air/ Chromebook
Replies: 37
Views: 3243

Re: MacBook Air/ Chromebook

I am making the transition from a Windows machine (albeit one that dual boots into Linux) to a Chromebook. As has been mentioned, taxes need to be done online with a Chromebook and I have usually found the downloaded version of TurboTax to be a more flexible experience. It is doable but something to...

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