Search found 919 matches

by furwut
Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Consumer Reports Magazine & Website
Replies: 89
Views: 3783

Re: What's become of Consumer Reports?

According to a recent article CRs problem is their bread and butter business of product review & comparison is now easily obtained elsewhere and for free (e.g. Amazon, CNET, etc.).
by furwut
Thu Apr 28, 2016 2:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When to begin taking Social Security payments?
Replies: 31
Views: 1516

Re: When to begin taking Social Security payments?

If you don't desperately need the money - and it looks like you don't - then the smart play is to delay. Delaying social security is the best annuity one can buy.
by furwut
Fri Apr 22, 2016 7:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to handle large long term capital gain with respect to ACA Medicaid
Replies: 19
Views: 1257

Re: How to handle large long term capital gain with respect to ACA Medicaid

In my state, MEDICAID has an asset limitation of $1000 individual/ $2000 couple---how have you been able to get around that if you have substantial taxable accounts? I think, as part of ACA, states that expanded Medicaid coverage converted eligibility tests from assets limitations to MAGI. I'm gues...
by furwut
Fri Apr 22, 2016 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to handle large long term capital gain with respect to ACA Medicaid
Replies: 19
Views: 1257

Re: How to handle large long term capital gain with respect to ACA Medicaid

OP,
Medicaid is a state administered program so I think to get a definitive answer you just have to suck it up and ask your state's Medicaid office how to handle the situation.
by furwut
Fri Apr 22, 2016 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pop up ads driving me nuts! Please help
Replies: 33
Views: 1887

Re: Pop up ads driving me nuts! Please help

The block popup checkboxes in most browser's settings have become meaningless. Several things you might look into ... Install an Ad Blocker extension on your iPad ... Always use the private browsing feature of your browser and quit your browser when done to clear out any cookies ... Look into the Op...
by furwut
Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Progressive or Geico?
Replies: 37
Views: 2521

Re: Progressive or Geico?

Progressive or Geico? The quote I received from Progressive was 35% lower than SF and Geico came in 46% below our current SF rates. First off, how can this be … I can think of 2 reasons. First off both Geico and Progressive are direct marketers of insurance. There is no agent who is going to siphon...
by furwut
Wed Apr 13, 2016 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dual Language Elementary School
Replies: 16
Views: 1180

Re: Dual Language Elementary School

Learning a second language may actually be more beneficial to intellectual development rather than hindering it.


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/18/opini ... alism.html
by furwut
Wed Apr 13, 2016 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long to keep records
Replies: 5
Views: 402

Re: How long to keep records

The IRS says 3 to 7 years.
http://www.bankrate.com/finance/money-g ... cords.aspx

I've taken to scanning all my records so there's no storage impediment to keeping them longer.
by furwut
Wed Apr 13, 2016 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reading Devices
Replies: 43
Views: 2190

Re: Reading Devices

It's hard to get both large screen size and less weight in the same package :).

Still OP should check out the new Kindle when it's announced. I think Kindle is pretty much it when it comes to dedicated readers.
by furwut
Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Shipping a car cross country
Replies: 8
Views: 929

Re: Shipping a car cross country

An alternative is getting someone to drive it across for you.
by furwut
Wed Apr 06, 2016 5:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Excess IRA contribution with a loss
Replies: 13
Views: 466

Re: Excess IRA contribution with a loss

If you still uncertain after talking with Vanguard I suggest you send a private message to Alan S. and ask him to comment on this thread. He is very knowledgeable about IRAs.
by furwut
Wed Apr 06, 2016 5:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Excess IRA contribution with a loss
Replies: 13
Views: 466

Re: Excess IRA contribution with a loss

Vanguard will give you a 1099-R next year (2016 tax year). You don't need one for this tax year. 1099-R isn't for reporting losses. Its for reporting distributions which may or may not be taxable. The 1099-R you will get next year will have a code signifying its a non-taxable distribution. You don't...
by furwut
Wed Apr 06, 2016 5:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Excess IRA contribution with a loss
Replies: 13
Views: 466

Re: Excess IRA contribution with a loss

I too made an excess IRA contribution (Roth) in 2015. In Jan 2016 I requested the withdrawal of the excess amount (say $500). Vanguard only withdrew (say $400) as there was a $100 loss on my excess contribution. Not understanding how to report this I got on the phone with a Vanguard retirement plan ...
by furwut
Wed Apr 06, 2016 2:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Excess IRA contribution with a loss
Replies: 13
Views: 466

Re: Excess IRA contribution with a loss

I believe you would only report the $2820 as your IRA contribution for 2015. Next tax year, 2016, Vanguard should issue you a 1099-R with a code signifying withdrawal of excess contribution.
by furwut
Fri Apr 01, 2016 6:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax [Frustration]
Replies: 19
Views: 2298

Re: TurboTax Hell...

i believe most of the tax software is misleadingly marketed as to the final true cost. There is often one price to use the software and another separate cost to e-file the state return (I think the Federal e-file is always included in the purchase price). Some states require that their be no additio...
by furwut
Tue Mar 29, 2016 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: best way to negotiate with cable company?
Replies: 38
Views: 3877

Re: best way to negotiate with cable company?

The only effective means of negotiating is to have a realistic alternative. Sadly most consumers do not. Write your Congressman - you can be sure he/she is getting plenty of exposure to the cable industries side of things.
by furwut
Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving my life into a storage unit
Replies: 42
Views: 3567

Re: Moving my life into a storage unit

If these items are sentimental to you maybe they are sentimental to someone else in your family as well and they can hold onto them for you?
by furwut
Mon Mar 28, 2016 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Renting a car when you don't own a car and therefore have no personal car insurance.
Replies: 8
Views: 1500

Re: Renting a car when you don't own a car and therefore have no personal car insurance.

I agree with the others and recommend looking at a non-owner's insurance policy. Many car sharing memberships only come with the state mandated minimum insurance. Sometimes its hard to even find out. Once I had to send an email and wait days for a response to determine what insurance was included. L...
by furwut
Sun Mar 27, 2016 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto Insurance-Notice of Non Renewal
Replies: 37
Views: 2653

Re: Auto Insurance-Notice of Non Renewal

1. You can try other insurers but many will not likely want to insure your son at this point either. 2. You can get a policy that just covers yourself and your wife and lists your son as an excluded driver. 3. Your son can try to find insurance on his own but may have to go into the state's assigned...
by furwut
Tue Mar 22, 2016 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: withholding allowances for pension
Replies: 10
Views: 1072

Re: withholding allowances for pension

Read up on the IRS regs for tax withholding. There is more to it - especially if your income varies and/or is unpredictable.

https://www.irs.gov/publications/p17/ch ... k100032329
by furwut
Tue Mar 22, 2016 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: withholding allowances for pension
Replies: 10
Views: 1072

Re: withholding allowances for pension

When I was working getting the number of exemptions right was a matter of trial and error. I recall that at one time my federal exemptions were as high as 7 and I was single! Rather than muck around with that you could use the safe harbor rules by paying X percent of your last years taxes. I think F...
by furwut
Mon Mar 21, 2016 5:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any negative to doing a backdoor Roth each month, instead of once a year?
Replies: 11
Views: 1256

Re: Any negative to doing a backdoor Roth each month, instead of once a year?

I would think that repeatedly contributing to an IRA and converting soon after would be begging the IRS, should your return ever be examined, to apply the step doctrine. Michael Kitces: Perhaps the greatest caveat to the backdoor Roth contribution strategy, though, is the so-called “step transaction...
by furwut
Mon Mar 07, 2016 10:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Possible Issue with CapitalOne360 Banking
Replies: 21
Views: 2168

Re: Possible Issue with CapitalOne360 Banking

Well that sounds interesting, furwut. It would imply that CapitalOne360 is (or needs to) work with "these companies" to understand the issue and tweak their message formats. Well in your case at least Apple. Who are "these companies"? I would like to poke and probe the internet ...
by furwut
Mon Mar 07, 2016 10:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Possible Issue with CapitalOne360 Banking
Replies: 21
Views: 2168

Re: Possible Issue with CapitalOne360 Banking

See Wikipedia: Email filtering Emphasis is mine. Mail filters can be installed by the user, either as separate programs (see links below), or as part of their email program (email client). In email programs, users can make personal, "manual" filters that then automatically filter mail acco...
by furwut
Mon Mar 07, 2016 10:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Possible Issue with CapitalOne360 Banking
Replies: 21
Views: 2168

Re: Possible Issue with CapitalOne360 Banking

Looks like you already have your answer. Apple's (not yours) spam filter is incorrectly identifying some mail from Capital One. This mail never reaches your account. Really? Furwut -- Are you sure this is how Apple handles spam e-mail? Or is this just an assumption. Yup. Apple and every other email...
by furwut
Mon Mar 07, 2016 8:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Possible Issue with CapitalOne360 Banking
Replies: 21
Views: 2168

Re: Possible Issue with CapitalOne360 Banking

When I called about this, the customer service person mentioned they have seen issues with people using Apple e-mail accounts (which is what I use). Looks like you already have your answer. Apple's (not yours) spam filter is incorrectly identifying some mail from Capital One. This mail never reache...
by furwut
Sat Mar 05, 2016 11:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Possible Issue with CapitalOne360 Banking
Replies: 21
Views: 2168

Re: Possible Issue with CapitalOne360 Banking

Since the tenant forwarded you the email does it have a confirmation code? I imagine with that code you could call Capital One and have them address the issue.
by furwut
Sat Mar 05, 2016 8:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Possible Issue with CapitalOne360 Banking
Replies: 21
Views: 2168

Re: Possible Issue with CapitalOne360 Banking

Since you've been happy otherwise I wouldn't jettison them over what could be just a couple of isolated instances. But it would be smart to increase your vigilance for awhile. I recall seeing that something like 98% of all email is spam. Hacker mail purporting to be from banks is such a common ploy ...
by furwut
Fri Feb 26, 2016 10:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I Bonds for Emergency Fund?
Replies: 22
Views: 1594

Re: I Bonds for Emergency Fund?

Noobinvestor15 wrote:

I assume it's only a few days if the bonds are electronic?


I recently redeemed my I bonds from Treasury Direct. As I recall it was less than a week.
Though its important that you have an active bank account registered with your account. Setting up a new bank account will take longer.
by furwut
Tue Feb 23, 2016 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can EMT's and emergency rooms really read USB pendants?
Replies: 58
Views: 4205

Re: Can EMT's and emergency rooms really read USB pendants?

First I've heard of this. I think sticking any USB of unknown provenance into a computer is a good way to get a virus :twisted: . EDIT Wikipedia has this to say: A type of medic identification alert is the USB medical alert tag, essentially a USB flash drive with capacity to store a great deal of em...
by furwut
Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying Home to Downsize
Replies: 10
Views: 1374

Re: Buying Home to Downsize

The conservative approach would be to avoid owning two homes simultaneously. Though it looks like you have plenty of funds to carry both for awhile. Have you considered buying your new home with a contingency or simply selling your existing home first and temporarily renting?
by furwut
Sun Feb 21, 2016 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sickened by Dole Salad Mix
Replies: 78
Views: 5450

Re: Sickened by Dole Salad Mix

livesoft wrote:
Leeraar wrote:It just seems nuts to me that there is no real tracking of public health safety issues like this.

Sounds like a lucrative opportunity to start a web site where all this can be tracked and people can post their stories.


CDC already provides one.
http://www.cdc.gov/listeria/outbreaks/
by furwut
Sun Feb 21, 2016 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sickened by Dole Salad Mix
Replies: 78
Views: 5450

Re: Sickened by Dole Salad Mix

I don't think any company is going to admit culpability. You are expecting too much. It sounds like the food safety system did work. People got sick and were hospitalized. CDC investigation showed that the Dole salad blend may be at fault and got the company to issue a withdraw. Food stores removed ...
by furwut
Fri Feb 19, 2016 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estimating AGI for Healthcare.GOV application
Replies: 26
Views: 1742

Re: Estimating AGI for Healthcare.GOV application

Why would they bill insurance for 1k if they knew that the Fortune-100 Corporate health plan allowed only $100 in payment ? Because everything thing is negotiated and when you negotiate you start high. Quoted prices are fictitious. They only person who might be expected to pay $1000 would be the un...
by furwut
Fri Feb 19, 2016 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estimating AGI for Healthcare.GOV application
Replies: 26
Views: 1742

Re: Estimating AGI for Healthcare.GOV application

Covered services performed in network will be billed at the negotiated rate no matter who pays - you or the insurance company,
by furwut
Thu Feb 18, 2016 7:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA investing help
Replies: 8
Views: 1046

Re: HSA investing help

Thanks, I updated the original post with all the investment options. Correct about the HSA being company sponsored. I get an employer match so I'm stuck with them. I don't think you are stuck with your employer chosen provider. I believe you are free to rollover or transfer the monies to another pr...
by furwut
Thu Feb 18, 2016 6:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Leave Thermostat Alone or Adjust It?
Replies: 81
Views: 5166

Re: Leave Thermostat Alone or Adjust It?

A rule of thumb I'm recalling was to turn heat down 5 - 10 degrees at night or when your are not there. Beyond 10 degrees it may cost you more energy than you save to reheat the house back up. I leave mine set at 63. During the day the sun warms my condo up quite nicely. 63 early in the morning isn'...
by furwut
Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Healthcare insurance on taxes
Replies: 10
Views: 1000

Re: Healthcare insurance on taxes

Form 1095-A is for persons who have bought heath insurance from the public exchange. If you obtained heath insurance elsewhere then you should receive either Form 1095-B or Form 1095-C. Form 1095-B & 1095-C are informational only and are not filed with your taxes. Though in case of IRS questioni...
by furwut
Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA's and high deductible plans...
Replies: 5
Views: 682

Re: HSA's and high deductible plans...

The following information was included on a website called ObamaCare Facts: Thanks. I've found information on that site unreliable . For details on ObamaCare I prefer the Kaiser Permanente Foundation supplemented by, as recommended above, the IRS. Plans that are HSA eligible should be advertising t...
by furwut
Sat Feb 13, 2016 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is the high cost of living in Northern VA/DC worth it?
Replies: 49
Views: 3279

Re: Is the high cost of living in Northern VA/DC worth it?

btks wrote:Of course, that is all subject to change... still, you're right, DC is not ranked that well.


Also keep in mind that many of the salaries in DC are inflated because of security clearance requirements. If you don't have that clearance then those jobs are off limits to you.
by furwut
Sat Feb 13, 2016 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is the high cost of living in Northern VA/DC worth it?
Replies: 49
Views: 3279

Re: Is the high cost of living in Northern VA/DC worth it?

I've been looking at houses in/around Fairfax and they're outrageous. Then, I looked at condos/apartments, which are actually affordable! Would it be smart to buy an apartment/condo there with a 20% downpayment from my savings, and then rent out one of the bedrooms? Or, would it be more advisable f...
by furwut
Sat Feb 13, 2016 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is the high cost of living in Northern VA/DC worth it?
Replies: 49
Views: 3279

Re: Is the high cost of living in Northern VA/DC worth it?

I would reconsider making a home purchase a goal just out of college. Too many opportunities at this stage in your life can arise and you want to be free to pursue them. I lived with roommates until I was about 35. Didn't buy a home until I was 43. But I was able to retire at 51!. DC area is expensi...
by furwut
Fri Feb 12, 2016 3:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rebalancing bands, what is your CURRENT out-of-balance drift?
Replies: 47
Views: 2852

Re: Rebalancing bands, what is your CURRENT out-of-balance drift?

60/40 AA. Equities are currently at 56.8%. I use a 5% band so I haven't rebalanced. I am retired and will shortly withdraw some from bonds for this years spending needs.
by furwut
Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your opinion on the Federal goverment retirement plan?
Replies: 57
Views: 4636

Re: What is your opinion on the Federal goverment retirement plan?

I didn't see it mentioned but are FERS pensions indexed for inflation? A nice benefit, or so it seems to me, is that my federal friends are always getting regular step increases and inflation adjustment to their pay. In the private sector many of us were just happy to keep our jobs and so got no inc...
by furwut
Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Washer - Frontload or HE Top Load
Replies: 48
Views: 4383

Re: New Washer - Frontload or HE Top Load

I have a front loader. They use less water and, since there is no agitator, I think they are easier on clothes. To prevent mold and mildew I make certain to thoroughly wipe off excess water from the gasket after each use. I also leave the door open. I've had my washer for 8 years and haven't had tha...
by furwut
Sun Feb 07, 2016 3:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: upgrade OS on older MAC?
Replies: 33
Views: 1716

Re: upgrade OS on older MAC?

I have a late 2007 MacBook Pro with 4 GB RAM. Until last month I was on Mountain Lion. Having just updated to El Capitan I find my computer more responsive. So I believe it when Apple says their latest OS is highly tuned for performance.
by furwut
Mon Feb 01, 2016 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mint...working less, and less, and less
Replies: 42
Views: 7104

Re: Mint...working less, and less, and less

I have been using Mint.com for several years now...Initial I loved this program as it was a perfect way to organize all my accounts. However within the last 3 months or so, about 1 or 2 accounts per day "requires a fix" to log in appropriately. Has anyone else had this problem recently? A...

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