Search found 137 matches

by duckcalldan
Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I’m not renewing my Costco membership.
Replies: 80
Views: 7039

I’m not renewing my Costco membership.

Costco membership and the Bogleheads community have quite a lot of Venn diagram overlap. I’ve been a Costco stockholder for almost 20 years and I’m a big fan of their business model, their customer-focused return policy, and the way they treat their employees. Having said that, I’m not going to rene...
by duckcalldan
Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driving a rental car in Western Europe
Replies: 46
Views: 1506

Re: Driving a rental car in Western Europe

I HIGHLY recommend, prior to your trip, that you obtain a credit card that offers PRIMARY rental car insurance rather than secondary. Almost all credit cards give you secondary insurance, payable only after your personal auto policy is exhausted. One card that offers this is Chase Sapphire Preferred...
by duckcalldan
Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:28 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Final, Definitive Thread on Brokerage Transfer Bonuses
Replies: 847
Views: 144271

Re: The Final, Definitive Thread on Brokerage Transfer Bonuses

After not hearing back from the rep at Fidelity I was talking to concerning published bonuses for 2018 I sent him an email with the following link. It's probable that IF he responds he will say that this information is incorrect. I'll post if/when he responds. https://topratedfirms.com/brokers/prom...
by duckcalldan
Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Final, Definitive Thread on Brokerage Transfer Bonuses
Replies: 847
Views: 144271

Re: The Final, Definitive Thread on Brokerage Transfer Bonuses

After not hearing back from the rep at Fidelity I was talking to concerning published bonuses for 2018 I sent him an email with the following link. It's probable that IF he responds he will say that this information is incorrect. I'll post if/when he responds. https://topratedfirms.com/brokers/prom...
by duckcalldan
Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:13 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Roth Conversions without ability to Recharacterize
Replies: 45
Views: 2504

Re: Roth Conversions without ability to Recharacterize

For us, 2018 will be a year to utilize a strategy other than converting to the top of the 15% bracket. Most years we have converted several different different asset categories, keeping the best return. A small working income stream, allowed tweaking via Roth/TIRA contributions prior to filing to b...
by duckcalldan
Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alliant 3/2.5% card - any experience?
Replies: 32
Views: 4189

Re: Alliant 3/2.5% card - any experience?

I finally got the card! It's rather unremarkable and the 16-digit number is printed in small letters on the back rather than embossed on the front. Converting all my online bill pay and shopping baskets to the Alliant, looking forward to this! It's the "USAA 2.5%" card for the rest of us :beer Web ...
by duckcalldan
Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FAFSA with low income but high net worth
Replies: 39
Views: 2480

Re: FAFSA with low income but high net worth

OPs situation is pretty much our situation. We have a HS senior so we are smack in the middle of application season. She’s a high achiever with rigorous studies (over a dozen AP classes so far) and stellar test scores. We retired this year and have another kid in college already, at a state school (...
by duckcalldan
Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: EU Passport For Cheap College and Other Benefits
Replies: 52
Views: 3570

Re: EU Passport For Cheap College and Other Benefits

A good resource for international universities is beyondthestates.com , a consulting firm for parents and students looking for a less expensive, less crazy alternative to the US college experience. They have some very good free info available. I’m trying to convince my HS senior to consider a libera...
by duckcalldan
Sun Dec 24, 2017 2:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VFSUX (Vanguard Investment-Grade ST Bond) EFT equivalent?
Replies: 4
Views: 379

VFSUX (Vanguard Investment-Grade ST Bond) EFT equivalent?

I am split 60/40 Fidelity/Vanguard, and am contemplating a consolidation to 100% Fido next year. My VG portfolio is all Admiral funds that can be converted to EFTs for transferring purposes, except for the one above. So I need an EFT or a Fido/iShares fund. Capital gains are a non-issue with my VFSU...
by duckcalldan
Sun Dec 24, 2017 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: European Cities that don't interest you
Replies: 187
Views: 12076

Re: European Cities that don't interest you

OK, I’ll bite. I’ve been to Europe a dozen times, and have enjoyed each visit thoroughly. Throw a dart at a map of Europe and another at a map of USA. I’ll take the random European city over its random American counterpart any day. That said, I didn’t care much for Pisa. But we did that as a day tri...
by duckcalldan
Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "The Bond Experiment: Return to VBTLX (Vanguard Total Bond Market)"
Replies: 34
Views: 5390

Re: "The Bond Experiment: Return to VBTLX (Vanguard Total Bond Market)"

I am not convinced by J.L.'s arguments. I agree that VFIDX should not be the sole bond holding but neither should VBTLX. I think they complement each other and one can improve the total performance numbers of VBTLX by adding VFIDX to the bond portfolio. The % to add is up the the level of comfort o...
by duckcalldan
Sat Dec 23, 2017 10:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Early retirement pros and cons:
Replies: 58
Views: 6846

Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

I retired in March of this year at age 53. My wife joined me in ER land in May. For us, it’s great. We feel enormously blessed that we are able to transition to our next chapter at such an early age. So many are unable to do so in their early or mid 50s. Others are unwilling to retire early, for man...
by duckcalldan
Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation
Replies: 95
Views: 11988

Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Like many, I am frugal by nature and always look at the price tag. Having said that, I’m much more willing to make purchasing decisions (within reason) without worrying about the price or making a decision solely on price. For example, we went out last week with good friends. I almost ordered the ri...
by duckcalldan
Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Withdrawing cash from online bank without a local bank account
Replies: 18
Views: 1716

Re: Getting large amounts of cash with no local bank

You should probably consider getting a second bank account for occasions like this. Why? I provided solutions for occasions like this without needing a second bank. For me, having a local bank solution and a high interest rate on savings are two reasons. Everyone’s bank situation is different. If A...
by duckcalldan
Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Withdrawing cash from online bank without a local bank account
Replies: 18
Views: 1716

Re: Getting large amounts of cash with no local bank

You should probably consider getting a second bank account for occasions like this. One solution that pairs nicely with a brokerage like Schwab or Fidelity that offers cash management accounts is a high-yield savings account with a credit union that participates in the CU Co-op shared branch system....
by duckcalldan
Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity free Turbotax
Replies: 249
Views: 35719

Re: Fidelity free Turbotax

Just got it as well as a Private Client member. I didn't see it at first, but a bit of clicking and expanding on the home page did the trick. Downloaded Premier for $0. Thanks.
by duckcalldan
Sun Dec 17, 2017 1:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you have bonds in Roths as a retiree?
Replies: 35
Views: 2868

Re: Do you have bonds in Roths as a retiree?

No. I used to until I realized the benefits of equities in a Roth. HOWEVER. As I get ready for my first-ever Roth conversion next week, I will be converting bond funds that are now in my rollover IRA. I’ll be converting a small portion, less than 5%, of my overall IRA. So, on a rolling basis, going ...
by duckcalldan
Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: States with tax-friendly policies for dividends/LTCG
Replies: 13
Views: 1716

Re: States with tax-friendly policies for dividends/LTCG

If you like to do stuff outdoors, consider WA state. No state income tax. You get 4 seasons but it's pretty mild. Awesome outdoors activity with access to the coast and mountains. Mt Rainier NP, North Cascades NP, Olympic NP, Mt Baker. Very close to Vancouver Canada, Squamish and Whistler if living...
by duckcalldan
Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax Prices
Replies: 171
Views: 21061

Re: TurboTax Prices

I’m a Fidelity customer, and as part of their Private Client group due to my assets, I’m assuming I’ll get free TT Premier this year. Last year I had my TT purchase refunded by Fidelity, as I was in the process of a rollover and didn’t have the free offer on the website. Any Fidelity clients out the...
by duckcalldan
Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Total Bond vs. 70/30 Int. Treasury/High Yield Corporate
Replies: 9
Views: 929

Re: Total Bond vs. 70/30 Int. Treasury/High Yield Corporate

I have a similar makeup as jhfenton. Almost all of our bonds are in my rollover IRA. It’s comprised of 2 parts Vanguard Govt Intermediate and 1 part Vanguard Corp Intermediare, both in ETF form. Similar to Total Bond but without high yield or MBS.
by duckcalldan
Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: States with tax-friendly policies for dividends/LTCG
Replies: 13
Views: 1716

States with tax-friendly policies for dividends/LTCG

We will be downsizing soon as we are less than a year away from empty nester status. We live in VA but may very well move out of state. Tax policies of said state are not at the top of our priority list, but it is a consideration. I’m well aware of states without income tax, and of states like TN wi...
by duckcalldan
Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Done gone and did it [Retire]
Replies: 80
Views: 8109

Re: Done gone and did it

Earl, Thank you for the help in the past, and good luck in retirement. I wish you success in your secondary career of moving assets around betwixt brokerages. :beer Beat me to it! Congratulations. After 9 months of retirement, life has never been better. I wish you the same amount of happiness.
by duckcalldan
Sun Dec 10, 2017 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: End of year financial checklist
Replies: 2
Views: 719

End of year financial checklist

I’m sure there are many posts on this topic over the years, but I’m making my own list of financial items to do before the end of 2017. While this list will be different for everyone, here’s what my list looks like:. Already done: HSA contribution since we have an HDHP Contributions to youngest’s 52...
by duckcalldan
Sat Dec 09, 2017 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Save all this money, what do you splurge on?
Replies: 193
Views: 17298

Re: Save all this money, what do you splurge on?

2) My next coffee upgrade is probably home roasting of coffee bean. Ive been considering that also. One other, non-splurge (I.e., inexpensive) coffee things I’ve recently started is Third Wave Water, available on Amazon. Take a gallon of distilled water, add a packet of minerals, and the coffee is ...
by duckcalldan
Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The fallacy of spending money on "experiences" vs hard assets
Replies: 336
Views: 19153

Re: The fallacy of spending money on "experiences" vs hard assets

I took my wife and 2 daughters in March to see Hamilton on Broadway, as my youngest had the soundtrack memorized and got the rest of us into it as a result. We flew on points, I got tickets face value through a credit card concierge ($199 each) and stayed in an inexpensive but quite nice Brooklyn ho...
by duckcalldan
Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The fallacy of spending money on "experiences" vs hard assets
Replies: 336
Views: 19153

Re: The fallacy of spending money on "experiences" vs hard assets

The most illuminating part of this quite interesting thread is the realization that, just like our world, there is hardly a “typical” Boglehead. We tend to view the world through our own quite individual lens and, as such, tend to think most of our BH peers think and believe in a similar manner as w...
by duckcalldan
Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Spending Taxable to Zero during Retirement
Replies: 42
Views: 5338

Re: Spending Taxable to Zero during Retirement

This may be implied, but are you using a donor advised fund for your giving? We are in a similar situation, early 50s and living off our taxable accounts until SS and RMDs. Besides using our taxable assets to pay for Roth conversions, we are donating highly appreciated stock to a Fidelity DAF for ne...
by duckcalldan
Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bill Paying Issues
Replies: 18
Views: 1447

Re: Bill Paying Issues

Or go with Fidelity. Here’s our situation. My wife and I each have our own usernames and passwords. We can each view our joint brokerage account and our joint cash management account. We can each view our own IRAs, and since I’m the financial half of our relationship, she granted me viewing and tran...
by duckcalldan
Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Schwab/Fidelity vs BoA Gold: Checking
Replies: 41
Views: 3531

Re: Schwab/Fidelity vs BoA Gold: Checking

My combo:
Fidelity checking for bill payment & ATM access
Alliant CU savings for high interest rate (all my dividends are deposited here) & cash deposits at many co-op CU ATMs
ACH between the two as needed
Works for me.
by duckcalldan
Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Saturna=the only no-fee HSA investing option
Replies: 4
Views: 1147

Saturna=the only no-fee HSA investing option

As we get closer to the end of year, I'm seeing more and more prompts for HSA recommendations. Now that Lively has entered the market, many are choosing this new option. At $30/year, it's a reasonable choice. Many others suggest Saturna where, as long as you trade only once per year, it's only $14.9...
by duckcalldan
Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Total Corporate Bond ETF (VTC)
Replies: 18
Views: 2763

Re: Vanguard Total Corporate Bond ETF (VTC)

With the exception of enough VFSUX (ST investment grade fund) to live on for about 18 months in case of a stock selloff, all of my bond allocation is in my rollover IRA. It’s comprised of 2/3 VGIT (V* intermediate govt bond) and 1/3 VCIT (same but corporate). This arrangement allows me to tailor the...
by duckcalldan
Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Questions about free tax filing
Replies: 9
Views: 1040

Re: Questions about free tax filing

While my income has been too high to use it, I’ve had good luck with myfreetaxes.com for my daughters’ 1040s. It’s a joint project between HR Block and United Way. It’s the only free tax program I’ve seen that allows for a complicated return, which is why I’ve used it for them.
by duckcalldan
Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Schwab/Fidelity vs BoA Gold: Checking
Replies: 41
Views: 3531

Re: Schwab/Fidelity vs BoA Gold: Checking

2. I recently came across the Checking account of Charles Schwab and the Cash Management Account of Fidelity. I'm impressed by the features: - No minimum balance, no monthly fee. - No ATM fee, worldwide, - Reimburse other institution's surcharge. - No foreign transaction fee on ATM cash withdrawal....
by duckcalldan
Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Initial Vanguard capital gains distribution announcement
Replies: 14
Views: 1872

Re: Initial Vanguard capital gains distribution announcement

Thanks for the clarification. I didn’t know that Vanguard had both active and index health care funds. I wasn’t expecting a CG distribution and I’m glad I won’t be getting one.
by duckcalldan
Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Initial Vanguard capital gains distribution announcement
Replies: 14
Views: 1872

Re: Initial Vanguard capital gains distribution announcement

Interesting that Health Care Adm and Inv have a hefty CG percentage, but none for VHT (the EFT, which i own). I’m curious since i thought that EFT and Admiral were the same class.
by duckcalldan
Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll-How much do you have in your HSA?
Replies: 50
Views: 5264

Re: Poll-How much do you have in your HSA?

$6750. Just opened our first HSA last week with Saturna in my wife's name, since she's in a bronze family HDHP and I'm in a silver plan.
by duckcalldan
Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: aca health care for out of state college student? or out of country travels?
Replies: 2
Views: 335

Re: aca health care for out of state college student? or out of country travels?

When you enroll in ACA, before choosing plans you can split your household into groups. Put your college student in their own group. As long as you entered their college address, you’ll see a list of plans with providers in that city. Your subsidy will be split between the plans. I did this for my c...
by duckcalldan
Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Virginia to New Jersey income tax
Replies: 20
Views: 2410

Re: Virginia to New Jersey income tax

I'm considering a move from which most people consider a medium tax state, Virginia, to what is called a high tax state, New Jersey, where almost all my family is. I realize there are many things such as car registration fees, car taxes, real estate taxes, exemption of federal pensions, etc. that e...
by duckcalldan
Tue Oct 31, 2017 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early retirement alphabet soup: ACA, CSR and CHIP
Replies: 1
Views: 392

Early retirement alphabet soup: ACA, CSR and CHIP

Like many here, I'm getting ready for Nov 1 when 2018 ACA applications go live. I'll be switching from our current carrier due to them (Anthem) leaving Virginia and leaving my county with only one carrier (Optima). We're a family of four. Currently I'm on a silver plan with cost share reductions, an...
by duckcalldan
Sun Oct 29, 2017 6:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What was the main reason you retired?
Replies: 210
Views: 16729

Re: What was the main reason you retired?

1, 4, but especially 9. I am truly excited to discover how my financial blessings can save many lives. I just got back from Rwanda where I helped to drill a water well in a village that didn’t have access to clean water. I want to give my non-essential assets away while I am still young enough (54) ...
by duckcalldan
Mon Jun 05, 2017 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early Retirement Timing – Update
Replies: 9
Views: 1827

Re: Early Retirement Timing – Update

There is no financial reason to ever go into work again. I would retire tomorrow unless you love your job or there is some other non-financial reason to keep working. Insurance is not a non-financial reason to keep working. You can afford to buy your own insurance with no issues. I suspect if you m...
by duckcalldan
Wed May 24, 2017 3:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Transfer to Fidelity for Sign on Bonus?
Replies: 35
Views: 5836

Re: Transfer to Fidelity for Sign on Bonus?

I spoke to Fidelity today and they have eliminated their cash bonus program I thought that was probably the case. That removes a major player. Call it good timing, but I got this email today from Fidelity: Hi Dan, The deposits for our cash bonus offer have been credited to your accounts. Please let...
by duckcalldan
Fri May 12, 2017 8:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Accumulation stage: High yield dividend VYM in Roth IRA?
Replies: 2
Views: 480

Re: Accumulation stage: High yield dividend VYM in Roth IRA?

Welcome to Bogleheads! There's nothing wrong with VYM in your Roth. I bought some for my Roth several years ago before I really understood qualified dividends. Since 100% of VYM's dividends are qualified, you won't pay any income tax on dividends if held in a taxable account up to the top of your 15...
by duckcalldan
Mon May 08, 2017 4:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Profit from country's collapse (ordinary investor)
Replies: 18
Views: 2083

Re: Profit from country's collapse (ordinary investor)

Perhaps you should spend less time figuring out how to profit from a country's collapse, and more time figuring out how to help those in dire need. People are starving. The average Venezuelan has lost 19 pounds in the past year. Hospitals have no medicine and no water. Today I donated to Mustard Tre...
by duckcalldan
Wed May 03, 2017 6:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A Boglehead Guide to Buying Individual Stocks
Replies: 85
Views: 8205

Re: A Boglehead Guide to Buying Individual Stocks

I used to hold about 80% individual stocks as a youngster. Now that I'm a grizzled Boglehead, I'm down to about 12%. Still in the six figures, but these stocks are some companies that I'd be happy owning forever a la Buffett. For example, I bought Visa at their IPO. It's about the perfect company in...
by duckcalldan
Wed May 03, 2017 6:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need some help in picking between Fidelity's international index funds
Replies: 22
Views: 1920

Re: Need some help in picking between Fidelity's international index funds

Yes, at Fidelity, the mutual fund equivalent of IXUS is FTIPX. You don't need to worry about the percentage of qualified dividends in your IRA since you won't be paying taxes annually on the dividend distribution. Personally, I would stick with the mutual fund (just a preference). I own FTIPX at Fi...
by duckcalldan
Wed May 03, 2017 9:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need some help in picking between Fidelity's international index funds
Replies: 22
Views: 1920

Re: Need some help in picking between Fidelity's international index funds

I picked IXUS for my Fidelity international fund. A higher percentage of qualified dividends than VXUS and a similar expense ratio. I'm happy with it.
by duckcalldan
Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bond fund dividend accrual-daily vs monthly
Replies: 5
Views: 893

Re: Bond fund dividend accrual-daily vs monthly

It is probably reflected in the price. As the fund accrues interest payments throughout the month from all of the bonds it holds, its NAV goes up correspondingly. When the fund makes a distribution, the NAV should go down by the amount of the distribution. So whatever you sold it for, the NAV (and ...
by duckcalldan
Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bond fund dividend accrual-daily vs monthly
Replies: 5
Views: 893

Bond fund dividend accrual-daily vs monthly

I recently rolled over my 401K to a Fidelity IRA. The lion's share of my 401K was a BlackRock Bond Fund (BMOAX). The withdrawal and payout to Fidelity was the 16th of the month. I was expecting a pro-rated dividend for the half a month I held this fund, similar to what I experience when I sell a Van...
by duckcalldan
Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cheapest way to order contact lenses?
Replies: 27
Views: 4360

Re: Cheapest way to order contact lenses?

Since prices have come down substantially, I'm no longer getting them from Canada. Last order was from ezcontacts.com. Box of 24 Acuvue Oasys for each eye was $115 total, a lot cheaper than last year. Alternatively, if you're heading to Europe soon you can get them over the counter in any pharmacy w...