Search found 3888 matches

by dratkinson
Wed Aug 16, 2017 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Postal Service -- "informed delivery"
Replies: 88
Views: 4604

Re: Postal Service -- "informed delivery"

Not wanting to derail topic, but if you have a remote mailbox and just want to avoid unnecessary trips, remote alert systems do exist. See topic: USPS, Remote Mailbox Alert: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=225815
by dratkinson
Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: USPS, Remote Mailbox Alert
Replies: 0
Views: 300

USPS, Remote Mailbox Alert

A current topic reminded me that I'd previously searched for a remote mailbox alert system, so I'd know when the mail arrived. See, Postal Service -- "informed delivery": https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=225757 I decided not to buy one, but remote mailbox alert systems do exist....
by dratkinson
Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which International Fund is Best
Replies: 8
Views: 748

Re: Which International Fund is Best

At Vanguard, both VGTSX (total international stock index) and VFWIX (FTSE all-world ex-us stock index) are recommended as long-term holdings. They use different indexes, and one may include Canada (~6% of world market) not used by the other. (Haven't read prospectuses recently.) Disclosure. I began ...
by dratkinson
Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life insurance policy on toddler
Replies: 19
Views: 1883

Re: Life insurance policy on toddler

I just double checked...The insured is the child. Apparently the plan "guarantees" or can be converted into 180k for educational expenses at the time her turns 18. ... The part about the policy having $180k guaranteed for education expenses sounds fishy to me. ... +1 A return of 15% (HP12C financia...
by dratkinson
Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Novice needing help
Replies: 5
Views: 385

Re: Novice needing help

Do you have any taxable accounts? Another issue would be if you have taxable investments, I wouldn't want to mirror 60/40 in a taxable account due taxes on bond interest. +1 If you will be extending your retirement investing into taxable, then we need to know your federal tax bracket, and state of ...
by dratkinson
Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life insurance policy on toddler
Replies: 19
Views: 1883

Re: Life insurance policy on toddler

Morningstar: It's this ability to tap the cash value of such life insurance policies that makes them viable as a college-savings option, but their appeal lies largely in the fact that they also afford tax and financial-aid advantages. Weasel wording to protect advertising revenues. See: http://www....
by dratkinson
Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life insurance policy on toddler
Replies: 19
Views: 1883

Re: Life insurance policy on toddler

The purpose of life insurance is to replace the income of a dead breadwinner. Assuming the toddler is unemployed, then it doesn't need life insurance. Child's education. Savings bonds can be used for federal tax-free education benefits, are zero cost and insured and, if needed, available for use as ...
by dratkinson
Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Upgrade car suspension or wait few more years
Replies: 17
Views: 1267

Re: Upgrade car suspension or wait few more years

Just went through this with my old vehicle ('90 Montero, >200K-miles). Took it in for another issue and courtesy inspection found worn bushings in steering components. When demoed on lift, small wear in bushings (Pitman and idler arms) translated into significant steering deflections. Long story sho...
by dratkinson
Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $10K help
Replies: 6
Views: 944

Re: $10K help

Given your new information, investing in a taxable account seems reasonable. What to choose? Double duty use. For a CYA option, can extend your EF tiers by investing in bonds in taxable. If in the 25%+ fed tax bracket, use a muni bond fund. Most recommend VWITX (IT national muni; assuming you are a ...
by dratkinson
Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tracking VG Muni Fund-indices intraday?
Replies: 4
Views: 298

Re: Tracking VG Muni Fund-indices intraday?

I don't have a huge need to see daily fluctuations. When there's big news or market events I sometimes just like to see how things move in relation to my equity positions for diversification purposes. Also, I'm buy and hold so I'm not trying to time anything (not that you can anyway with mutual fun...
by dratkinson
Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Emergency Fund - Options
Replies: 3
Views: 501

Re: Emergency Fund - Options

This might help: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Emergency_fund Can also search forum for what other do with their EF. Disclosure. Small EF. In the past I kept my small EF in insured savings, CDs, and savings bonds. I believe an EF should be refillable. Therefore I do not favor the option of conside...
by dratkinson
Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help new to investing.
Replies: 19
Views: 1446

Re: Help new to investing.

^^^ Looks okay to me. Using discrete funds will be more work than using all-in-one funds but it's doable, and you'll save on the ER. Wife's IRA. What's in your wife's tIRA? Didn't see that above (may have missed it). Since it's with Fidelity, she can use the same funds as in her 403b. Unique funds. ...
by dratkinson
Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help new to investing.
Replies: 19
Views: 1446

Re: Help new to investing.

... The backdoor concept link provided confused me a little bit, i need to read more before converting my TiRA. I don't have any employer plan, at work. How can i pay the tax and convert it to ROTh? ... Believe you call Fidelity and tell them you want to rollover your tIRA with them into a rIRA wit...
by dratkinson
Mon Aug 07, 2017 3:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio advice for a newb
Replies: 4
Views: 494

Re: Portfolio advice for a newb

BH Portfolio advice for a newb Suggestions for simplicity and tax efficiency. 401k(s) --VTTHX Backdoor Roth IRA(s) --VTTHX Taxable --VTSMX --VGTSX or VFWIX (or not) --VWITX or VWLTX (I assume you are reaching for yield) Muni bonds. Recall VWAHX contains a ~20% exposure to AMT issues which will reduc...
by dratkinson
Mon Aug 07, 2017 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Heavy Duty Boxes for Long Term Permanent Storage
Replies: 20
Views: 1599

Re: Heavy Duty Boxes for Long Term Permanent Storage

Durable labels: anything (permanent marker on 3x5 card,...) covered over by clear wide Bemis tape.
by dratkinson
Mon Aug 07, 2017 12:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help new to investing.
Replies: 19
Views: 1446

Re: Help new to investing.

Some additional information given your higher tax brackets and CA residency.... "Daily-accrual" muni funds. Daily accrual muni funds (not ETFs) are exempt from IRS 6mo holding period requirement to protect tax-exempt dividends. Meaning they can perform multiple duties: --taxable-account retirement b...
by dratkinson
Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED light bulbs
Replies: 96
Views: 7845

Florescent tube replacements

Multiple ballast-bypass wiring configurations vs. plug-and-play simplicity. Wanting to stop second-guessing myself, went looking to get smarter on florescent tube replacements. (Had the leisure to research more after making the first cut at solving my early-afternoon dark-kitchen problem.) Found th...
by dratkinson
Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED light bulbs
Replies: 96
Views: 7845

Re: LED light bulbs

You found LED tubes that state on the box that they work with T12 ballasts? The inexpensive (around $10) 4' LED tubes that I've seen with decent reviews online have all specified direct-wire (preferred) or T8 ballasts. I found disturbing reports of overheating when the above were used with (I suspe...
by dratkinson
Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help new to investing.
Replies: 19
Views: 1446

Re: Help new to investing.

BH Help new to investing Backdoor Roth IRA. Your existing tIRA (traditional IRA) will cause a small problem with your plan to use the backdoor Roth concept. See: m The suggested fix is to roll any tIRAs into your employer's retirement plan. No tIRA = no backdoor rIRA problem. Without an employer pla...
by dratkinson
Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED light bulbs
Replies: 96
Views: 7845

Re: LED light bulbs

Problem: kitchen 4-tube fixture sometimes does not turn on in the early afternoons. Works okay the rest of the time. Long story short: I think a swap to T12 LED tubes (eventually) fixed the problem. Switched kitchen T12 tubes (T12 = 12/8" = 1.5" diameter 4' tubes) to LED this week. Have be...
by dratkinson
Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Colorado Vehicle Registration fees
Replies: 20
Views: 1549

Re: Colorado Vehicle Registration fees

BH Colorado Vehicle Registration fee. Sidebar. Think it depends upon where you live. Some friends moved a few counties west of Denver and lost most of the fees and no longer need biennial clean air inspections after updating their vehicles' registration/drivers' license information with the new coun...
by dratkinson
Sun Jul 30, 2017 5:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Colorado Vehicle Registration fees
Replies: 20
Views: 1549

Re: Colorado Vehicle Registration fees

Sidebar. Think it depends upon where you live. Some friends moved a few counties west of Denver and lost most of the fees and no longer need biennial clean air inspections after updating their vehicles' registration/drivers' license information with the new county. You could move west of Denver and ...
by dratkinson
Sun Jul 30, 2017 5:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Commuters (that drive), what do you listen to?
Replies: 60
Views: 3049

Re: Commuters (that drive), what do you listen to?

^^^ Was thinking the same thing at the time, and wished I had a dash cam.

Coincidentally this dash cam review updated 26 July 2017: http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-dash-cam/
by dratkinson
Sat Jul 29, 2017 8:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone invest in I Bonds and why?
Replies: 17
Views: 1780

Re: Anyone invest in I Bonds and why?

Yes. I saw them as an extension of my use of VIPSX (inflation protected securities). They did double-duty as a tier of my EFs. And playing the annual "I bonds back with fed tax return" game made doing taxes less onerous. No. In 2014 began looking for improvement opportunities in: higher e...
by dratkinson
Sat Jul 29, 2017 4:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting Warm/Hot Water from Cold Line in Condo
Replies: 27
Views: 2441

Re: Getting Warm/Hot Water from Cold Line in Condo

^^^ Thanks. Hadn't thought it through. OP. If you find a bad shower mixing valve (hot when it shouldn't be), recall from ATOH episode that you don't need to replace whole mixing valve, only a cartridge. Can probably find YouTube videos of this being done. Take bad cartridge to ACE/HD/Lowes and get m...
by dratkinson
Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting Warm/Hot Water from Cold Line in Condo
Replies: 27
Views: 2441

Re: Getting Warm/Hot Water from Cold Line in Condo

BH Getting Warm Hot Water from Cold Line in Condo Are you certain your Condo does not have a water pump designed to provide immediate hot water to your HW faucets? Why? Because such a pump, if it failed and continued to run, would provide the pressure imbalance required to keep hot water in the cold...
by dratkinson
Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lazy Investor Seeks Lazy Grass Watering System
Replies: 18
Views: 1559

Re: Lazy Investor Seeks Lazy Grass Watering System

If dry grass annoys leasing company, then ask leasing company if they will reimburse you (equivalent rent reduction) to install a sprinkler system. Then hire a company to install it. Then use it. Recall previous topic on installing sprinkler systems. There is a method to selecting heads and designin...
by dratkinson
Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should emergency funds be included in AA?
Replies: 45
Views: 2613

Enough.

I've thought about this and have come to believe the answer depends upon whether or not we feel we have "enough". Why? Because the market can easily drop 50% in the ST. With enough we can easily withstand a 50% ST drop in our EF, without enough we can't withstand it. Case 1, Not Enough. Ne...
by dratkinson
Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Way to Sharpen Tools
Replies: 11
Views: 1130

Re: Best Way to Sharpen Tools

Search YouTube for what others use. A cheap bench grinder works well for straight single-edge blades. --Lawn mower blades: old blade sharpened at the end of the cutting season and ready to go for next. --As the first step to repairing a nicked edge on an axe/hatchet. But you'll want to finish with s...
by dratkinson
Sun Jul 23, 2017 7:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Commuters (that drive), what do you listen to?
Replies: 60
Views: 3049

Re: Commuters (that drive), what do you listen to?

The local classical music station (unless they play something post-1900). When I had my longest commute, 1 hour each direction, fortunately it was a reverse commute. The "other direction" probably took almost twice as long. It helped that I could watch that traffic crawl, as I drove along...
by dratkinson
Sun Jul 23, 2017 4:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie with Portfolio help needed
Replies: 14
Views: 1199

My emergency funds.

The short answer. I now keep my first year of living expense liquid... just because. I do this tax-efficiently and don't worry about losing ST return. Everything else is in a 3-fund portfolio earning market return, with VWIUX designated to be the last/largest tier of my formal EFs. The long answer. ...
by dratkinson
Sat Jul 22, 2017 4:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: What Drives Municipal Bond Yields
Replies: 42
Views: 3341

Re: Larry Swedroe: What Drives Municipal Bond Yields

Beyond liquidity and credit risk, it seems like there is also the risk of change in tax policy/rate? Agreed that does worry me... If the municipal bonds interest ever became taxable you'd see a sharp adjustment in the yield to reflect that. Even if the probability of such an event is low, it still ...
by dratkinson
Sat Jul 22, 2017 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driver's seat cushion for tall drivers with long legs?
Replies: 7
Views: 588

Re: Driver's seat cushion for tall drivers with long legs?

Idea. Look into custom seats for drivers. See: m Idea. Maybe a local vehicle upholstery shop can modify your existing seat for your use. Idea. If modifying your existing seat would make car unusable for others, maybe a local vehicle upholstery shop could make a velcro-attached cushion that would mod...
by dratkinson
Fri Jul 21, 2017 6:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is there any reason not to? [4% Checking]
Replies: 36
Views: 3778

Re: Is there any reason not to? [4% Checking]

I like/follow livesoft's additional advice on tax efficiency (adds to "principles of tax-efficient fund placement"): have only Sch B part I income that is <$10, and Sch B part II income that is offset by QDI/LTCG/FTC. This 4% bank interest is Sch B part I income so violates this advice. I ...
by dratkinson
Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: simplicity vs chasing bonuses
Replies: 29
Views: 2410

Re: simplicity vs chasing bonuses

Thought about this a few years back when considering the latest round of teaser rates and opening bonuses. Decided I no longer wanted to do the work and then watch the rates drop (BTDT), nor did I want to give an unearned windfall to uncle sugar and his nephews at state. But still had the itch to re...
by dratkinson
Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scooter for local commute - Honda PCX 150, etc...
Replies: 44
Views: 2273

Re: Scooter for local commute - Honda PCX 150, etc...

Could consider an electric cargo bike, in 2-4 wheel variants for more stability and hauling capacity.
See: http://www.google.com/search?q=electric+cargo+bicycle
by dratkinson
Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recommendation for Good Book on Personal Financial Planning?
Replies: 15
Views: 1952

Re: Recommendation for Good Book on Personal Financial Planning?

The Only Investment Guide You’ll Every Need, Andrew Tobias. I found it most helpful.

How to Make the Most of Your Money, Jane Bryant Quinn. Haven't read it but it's recommended by others.
by dratkinson
Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Carryover losses & short-term versus long-term capital gains
Replies: 5
Views: 465

Re: Carryover losses & short-term versus long-term capital gains

Had to review my offline notes. IRS netting rules for ST and LT capital gains/losses. From grabiner: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=2770994#p2770994 "You can net either way. 1. Net short-term gains and losses. 2. Net long-term gains and losses. 3. Net any remaining short-term ...
by dratkinson
Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 18 year old first credit card recommendations
Replies: 44
Views: 2373

Re: 18 year old first credit card recommendations

My kids have all started with Discover cards as students. After a year or so using it for gas etc they have been able to get new cards with better rewards. +1. I applied for my first CC in my late teens in the late '60s. It was a Discover CC and more than once saved me from being stranded. Recall r...
by dratkinson
Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car braking on downward slopes
Replies: 22
Views: 1402

Re: Car braking on downward slopes

Just returned a dealer's loaner vehicle (2014 Kia Cadenza, 6-sp automatic) after having my '90 Montero repaired. Had to break out Kia owner's manual (OM) to learn how to dim dash lights. While reading OM, learned how to use paddle shifters to control vehicle speed while descending mountain freeway. ...
by dratkinson
Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please Rate my Portfolio
Replies: 7
Views: 893

Re: Please Rate my Portfolio

What is your state of residency? Why? Because your tax brackets suggest you could benefit from the use of municipal (tax-exempt) bond funds. And if you could find an acceptable single-state muni fund, then it would be double tax-exempt (fed+state), and might be triple TE (fed+state+city)---which dep...
by dratkinson
Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help a 21 y/o Vanguard Investor with a Taxable Account
Replies: 55
Views: 3240

Re: Help a 21 y/o Vanguard Investor with a Taxable Account

Second thoughts: your home down payment. I'm a little slow. You're 21 and saving for a home down payment in ~10 years. This means a portion of your home down payment money will probably be in taxable equities. Why? Because after your EF reaches >12mos (= 6mo EF as cash + 6mo home down payment as cas...
by dratkinson
Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie with Portfolio help needed
Replies: 14
Views: 1199

Re: Newbie with Portfolio help needed

Backdoor Roth IRA. Your OP (original post, original poster) does mention this. When your income gets to be too high, if you want to invest in a rIRA (Roth IRA), then investigate the "backdoor Roth IRA" concept. See: m Note: owning any tIRA (traditional IRA) causes problems with a backdoor...
by dratkinson
Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie with Portfolio help needed
Replies: 14
Views: 1199

Re: Newbie with Portfolio help needed

Emergency fund (EF). It is advised to slowly build and keep an EF containing 6-12 months of living expenses. Why? So you don't need to invade your retirement investments to handle a ST financial emergency. Keep this money in a taxable account and tiered in cash or near-cash equivalents: credit card...
by dratkinson
Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Simplify paying bills
Replies: 4
Views: 781

Re: Simplify paying bills

I prefer using creditors' ABP (automatic bill payment) plans. --Minimal involvement on my part (after setup), --money stays in my account longer (time value of money), --more stable budgeting. My only ABP requirement is to debit my checkbook register when I received the mailed statements*. No proble...
by dratkinson
Sat Jul 15, 2017 7:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is $1220/year Auto Insurance for 26y/o cheap?
Replies: 14
Views: 1776

Re: Is $1220/year Auto Insurance for 26y/o cheap?

Shop around. See if you can get lower state minimum coverage + an umbrella policy to get more coverage cheaper. Been a long time, don't remember what I was told.

Back in my lead-foot days, I paid more than you on an air-cooled VW beetle. Glad those 3yrs are behind me.
by dratkinson
Sat Jul 15, 2017 7:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tips and advice from those who had their homes built
Replies: 13
Views: 1237

Re: Tips and advice from those who had their homes built

Run NG lines to places you might need them in the future: back patio for home barbecue (avoids schlepping propane tanks), generator, wood fireplace to convert to NG, kitchen to replace electric range, ... Recall past topic had great support for a multipurpose room between garage and kitchen to serve...
by dratkinson
Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please Rate my Portfolio
Replies: 7
Views: 893

Re: Please Rate my Portfolio

Most here use the term "aggressive" to mean equity-heavy. But those equities are in a market index fund/ETF, not individual stocks. The general rule of thumb is this, if you look into a mirror and see Warren Buffett looking back at you, then you can buy individual companies. If not, then n...
by dratkinson
Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how to destroy hard disk with personal info
Replies: 99
Views: 7536

Re: how to destroy hard disk with personal info

I use a hand-held Magnetic Tape Eraser. Think I bought it from Radio Shack a few decades back. Can't remember why. Used on a HDD, the HDD will vibrate against the MTE. As HDD cases seem to aluminum or plastic, then it must be something ferrous inside that's vibrating. Have never tried to access the ...
by dratkinson
Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alternative to Bose Wave?
Replies: 8
Views: 1030

Re: Alternative to Bose Wave?

I'd avoid the Bose Wave system. Why? I owed four over 10 years and all failed. --Bought first, failed at 30 days. --Replacement, failed at ~10 years. --Bought third, failed at 90 days. --Replacement, arrived DOA. Never again. Will not even consider a vehicle with a Bose system installed. Bose... goo...