Search found 961 matches

by furwut
Thu Jul 28, 2016 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Comcast - lease modem/router or buy?
Replies: 27
Views: 1487

Re: Comcast - lease modem/router or buy?

Definitely buy but one downside is that if you ever have a problem with your line Comcast technical support will insist the issue is your modem until *you* prove otherwise. That could mean buying a second, not needed, modem or having a technicician make a home visit (at your time and expense). My si...
by furwut
Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Storing a road bike in a plastic shed?
Replies: 17
Views: 1056

Re: Storing a road bike in a plastic shed?

Any bike kept indoors, where the air is conditioned, will fare best.
by furwut
Sun Jul 24, 2016 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Apple Compuer/iPad Lease
Replies: 1
Views: 244

Re: Apple Compuer/iPad Lease

Many of the independent IT consultants I know buy their Apple gear outright. I don't know the particulars but between the business deduction and the high resale value it wouldn't surprise me if their net cost wasn't close to zero.
by furwut
Thu Jul 21, 2016 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Router SSID Broadcast in Crowded Wifi Environment
Replies: 18
Views: 1785

Re: Router SSID Broadcast in Crowded Wifi Environment

You may find this article helpful: How to boost your Wi-Fi signal without any tricks | Macworld But here’s the thing you probably didn’t know. The 5GHz band has different power restrictions based on which channel is used. The lower-numbered channels on Apple hardware (36, 40, 44, and 48) can use jus...
by furwut
Thu Jul 21, 2016 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Negotiating car insurance premium with Geico
Replies: 16
Views: 1146

Re: Negotiating car insurance premium with Geico

Automobile insurance rates are set by applying various rating factors not by individual negotiation. One should discuss if all possible discounts have been applied and coverage levels have been set appropriately. One should re-quote with other companies yearly or at least every 2 years. Automobile i...
by furwut
Thu Jul 21, 2016 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Adopt my Girlfriend???
Replies: 38
Views: 6520

Re: Adopt my Girlfriend???

Remember, we are talking about Maryland, the only state to ever tax the amount of rain that falls on your property! FYI more on the Maryland "Rain" Tax According to Wikipedia : A stormwater management fee was established via House Bill 987 (April 2012) and signed into law by then-governor...
by furwut
Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Aggresively paying student loans vs saving for retirment
Replies: 34
Views: 1999

Re: Aggresively paying student loans vs saving for retirment

Not trying to advocate one or the other but one more reason why it might be good to dispense with student debt quickly are the terms and conditions that apply if you should default. I've read stories of wages being garnished and high penalties being applied. So while 6% isn't a high interest rate it...
by furwut
Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Aggresively paying student loans vs saving for retirment
Replies: 34
Views: 1999

Re: Aggresively paying student loans vs saving for retirment

Definitely a common question - Paying off debt vs Saving. There's probably a wiki here on the forum to help guide your decision. EDIT: Paying down loans versus investing I would say the two extremes of this would be having high interest debt (e.g., credit card) versus a favorable tax deductible mort...
by furwut
Thu Jul 07, 2016 8:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Convertion Question
Replies: 8
Views: 431

Re: Roth Convertion Question

Your contributions into a retirement plan are limited. The amount you choose to convert between an IRA and a Roth are not.
by furwut
Sun Jul 03, 2016 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Streaming Video
Replies: 31
Views: 1906

Re: Streaming Video

What is the download speed from your internet provider? You need at least 10 Mbps (megabits per second) to get a good picture. More if you have multiple computers actively using the internet while your are streaming. I feel the embedded streaming capabilities put into TVs and DVD players are junk. G...
by furwut
Sun Jun 26, 2016 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of living vs salary
Replies: 27
Views: 2432

Re: Cost of living vs salary

but isn't it possible to live in rural or suburban areas relative to a HCOL area, and greatly decrease your living expenses? Or do you typically have to live so far away from the HCOL city that it just isn't practical? Yes and Quite often. There's telecommuting but the more feasible this is than th...
by furwut
Fri Jun 24, 2016 12:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks in freefall
Replies: 3087
Views: 684062

Re: U.S. stocks in freefall

I was halfway serious about buying some stock today but when I logged onto Vanguard to make the exchange in my 401k account I get a message stating that they can not complete the transaction.
by furwut
Thu Jun 23, 2016 8:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Does a Password Manager Impact Day to Day (IOS and Mac)
Replies: 48
Views: 2893

Re: How Does a Password Manager Impact Day to Day (IOS and Mac)

I've used 1Password for several years and think its one of the best pieces of software that I have. I've never used Lastpass but hear it is well regarded. Buying 1Password for each platform is pricy. I think Lastpass is a subscription model? Using Apple's keychain is not a bad approach for just logi...
by furwut
Wed Jun 22, 2016 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax time ramifications for Casino winnings
Replies: 11
Views: 774

Re: Tax time ramifications for Casino winnings

Yes, you may be able to deduct your gambling losses. Gambling Losses You may deduct gambling losses only if you itemize deductions. However, the amount of losses you deduct may not be more than the amount of gambling income reported on your return. Claim your gambling losses on Form 1040, Schedule A...
by furwut
Wed Jun 22, 2016 10:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sell Condo or Become Landlord in Chicago
Replies: 14
Views: 1289

Re: Sell Condo or Become Landlord in Chicago

I would sell and invest. Nobody ever got a 2am call from a mutual fund about an overflowing toilet.
by furwut
Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401K Rollover - into existing tIRA or new (separate) tIRA
Replies: 6
Views: 536

Re: 401K Rollover - into existing tIRA or new (separate) tIRA

Rollover ira only enables you to roll back to another 401k at a new employer, which does not sound like your goal. Is this still true/common? I don't think the IRS cares. At one time 401k plans, if they permitted roll in contributions at all, may have limited it to only funds that had previously be...
by furwut
Wed Jun 22, 2016 7:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roll over expensive 401k and lose Backdoor Roth?
Replies: 14
Views: 725

Re: Roll over expensive 401k and lose Backdoor Roth?

^From the perspective of the IRS one only has a single IRA account. So taxes due on any conversion to a Roth is done pro-rata from amongst all one's custodian IRA accounts. I figured the traditional 401k if left alone will cost me about $3500.00 a year in fees. So rolling over the 401k to an IRA imp...
by furwut
Tue Jun 21, 2016 1:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard mutual fund requirement
Replies: 32
Views: 2365

Re: Vanguard mutual fund requirement

Vanguard will not.
by furwut
Tue Jun 21, 2016 1:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirement savings withdrawals
Replies: 20
Views: 2371

Re: Retirement savings withdrawals

Ultimately you will have to go to your HR department to get the understanding you are seeking on your 401k payment options. Your plan sounds more restrictive than most. Though my plan doesn't permit any withdrawal short of 100% rollover before age 65. Then at 65 I have to rollover regardless.
by furwut
Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Older MacBook: what could go wrong?
Replies: 12
Views: 1350

Re: Older MacBook: what could go wrong?

So, my primary concern is this: I will be out of the country for much of the autumn in a very remote area. I will need my laptop, and replacing it would be difficult if not impossible were it to give up on me. Assume I replace the charger and the battery. It already has a solid-state hard drive and...
by furwut
Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rear-ended by txt-er w/ minor damage. File Claim?
Replies: 49
Views: 2815

Re: Rear-ended by txt-er w/ minor damage. File Claim?

When I was rear ended the final repair bill was almost twice the original estimate because of hidden damage that was found when they did the work. The repairs took longer than expected so their insurance also payed for a rental car while the car was in the shop. Make the claim against the other dri...
by furwut
Tue Jun 21, 2016 11:48 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Revealing Usernames
Replies: 68
Views: 7386

Re: Revealing Usernames

Just want to up vote retiredjg's suggestion - though I realize this is a benevolent dictatorship and not a democracy.
by furwut
Tue Jun 21, 2016 11:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirement savings withdrawals
Replies: 20
Views: 2371

Re: Retirement savings withdrawals

In planning my strategy for meeting expenses until SS FRA (five years from now), I'm trying to plan out how much I'll need to draw from those savings at various times. I'll need to draw more or less depending on circumstances at various stages of the process. My goal is to get DW and myself to FRA,...
by furwut
Tue Jun 21, 2016 11:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirement savings withdrawals
Replies: 20
Views: 2371

Re: Retirement savings withdrawals

In looking at the 401k plan documents on Fidelity, I see that I basically will be given two options for distribution: (1) a lump sum, or (2) periodic payments over a period not to exceed 15 years . While I obviously could take the lump sum and roll it over into a traditional IRA, I certainly am not...
by furwut
Tue Jun 07, 2016 4:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How much Capital Gains to realize?
Replies: 7
Views: 427

Re: How much Capital Gains to realize?

Here are Michael Kitches thoughts: End Of Year Roth Conversions And Capital Gains Harvesting – Paying Taxes To Save Taxes I don't think he addresses whether one or the other is categorically better other than to say conversions are more flexible and can be undone if necessary. I think the reality is...
by furwut
Tue Jun 07, 2016 4:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How much Capital Gains to realize?
Replies: 7
Views: 427

Re: How much Capital Gains to realize?

Take another bike tour. If you aren't seeking a tax credit for Obamacare then I think most here will recommend taking advantage of the favorable tax bracket to realize the capital gains. Depending on tax deferred assets and annuity income projections at age 70 some even realize gains up thru the top...
by furwut
Tue Jun 07, 2016 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal Umbrella Insurance
Replies: 8
Views: 773

Re: Personal Umbrella Insurance

I don't have umbrella insurance. But I also don't have a car nor do I drive. So my potential exposure is lower. I do have $500,000 liability coverage thru my property insurance.
by furwut
Tue May 31, 2016 9:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Percent to save goal
Replies: 75
Views: 7559

Re: Percent to save goal

Wade Pfau has written about safe savings rate.

I think if you are saving 15 - 25% gross you are doing really well.
I don't count employer contributions.
If you desire an extreme early retirement save even more.
by furwut
Thu May 19, 2016 7:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car insurance - increased liability 500k
Replies: 16
Views: 1609

Re: Car insurance - increased liability 500k

Insurance is there to protect yourself against catastrophic loss even if unlikely. If you are held liable for a severe injury or death a judgment against you could easily exceed $300k.

If one has real assets, outside retirement plans, then $1M coverage is not too much.
by furwut
Mon May 16, 2016 1:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How valuable is my defined benefit pension?
Replies: 8
Views: 1607

Re: How valuable is my defined benefit pension?

One approach is to price out a single premium annuity that would pay out the same.
by furwut
Mon May 16, 2016 8:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When is the last time Vanguard altered target date allocations?
Replies: 8
Views: 1179

Re: When is the last time Vanguard altered target date allocations?

Not too long ago they added international bonds. And going a bit further back international equity was just 20% I believe.
by furwut
Sun May 15, 2016 6:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renter's, Umbrella, or Self-Insured?
Replies: 7
Views: 616

Re: Renter's, Umbrella, or Self-Insured?

Accidents happen. A small kitchen fire or water overflow can cause tens of thousands of dollars to the building. Damage which the landlord will certainly hold you accountable for. Years ago I lived in an garden style apartment and the neighbor across the hallway accidentally snapped the head off a s...
by furwut
Sun May 15, 2016 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renter's, Umbrella, or Self-Insured?
Replies: 7
Views: 616

Re: Renter's, Umbrella, or Self-Insured?

As far as I know Umbrella is not first dollar liability insurance. You will need underlying policy(ies) up to certain limits - typically $300k or $500k. You should have renter's insurance. Check to see if your lease requires it. Since you don't own a vehicle you do not absolutely need auto insurance...
by furwut
Sun May 15, 2016 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Unlocking Phone after Paying ETF [Early Termination Fee]
Replies: 7
Views: 766

Re: Unlocking Phone after Paying ETF

Yes. It's now the law that once you've fulfilled the contract the carrier has to unlock the phone at your request. https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/cell-phone-unlocking-faqs EDIT. Law may not be correct. I think it's an agreement that has been made between all the major carriers (any many region...
by furwut
Fri May 13, 2016 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell Plans
Replies: 22
Views: 2032

Re: Cell Plans

Using the full 1.5GB of data every month doesn't seem right unless one is streaming over cellular. You have an iPhone if I recall correctly - in settings there is a place where you can check to see how much data each app is using. Facebook is notorious as a data hog. But I think you can find a bette...
by furwut
Fri May 13, 2016 10:58 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Can Anything Stop Vanguard?"
Replies: 50
Views: 7715

Re: "CAN ANYTHING STOP VANGUARD?"

Can Anything Stop Vanguard? What if we "nationalized" retirement saving and gave everybody access to a government run plan like the TSP? I, for one, have always felt its a mistake to have one's access to favored savings plans - or medical insurance for that matter - controlled by the whims...
by furwut
Thu May 12, 2016 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Downsize to One Auto in Retirement ?
Replies: 43
Views: 3430

Re: Downsize to One Auto in Retirement ?

Prior to retirement I downsized from 1 car to none. I don't miss paying insurance or those repair bills.
by furwut
Tue May 10, 2016 9:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 30 minute commute?
Replies: 80
Views: 7231

Re: 30 minute commute?

Where I live 30 - 45 min commutes are normal. Many people have "extreme commutes" that are 90 min plus. If there is a traffic accident or bad weather it can take people 4 hours or more. Sleeping in the office or by the side of the road happens a couple of times a year. 30 minutes is doable...
by furwut
Sun May 08, 2016 11:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: OK to let Nanny drive car?
Replies: 24
Views: 3161

Re: OK to let Nanny drive car?

Well the obvious thing is for the OP to check with their insurer. They don't bite :wink: .
by furwut
Sun May 08, 2016 6:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keep high amounts of cash for lower ACA premiums?
Replies: 37
Views: 4380

Re: Keep high amounts of cash for lower ACA premiums?

This has actually become my new worry after reading more about how the ACA works. My plan is to mitigate it with part time work so I have actual income to fill in the gap but my hope is that if I sell funds in the beginning of the following year, I would know how much capital gains were generated. ...
by furwut
Sun May 08, 2016 6:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: OK to let Nanny drive car?
Replies: 24
Views: 3161

Re: OK to let Nanny drive car?

Its your car so its your insurance that is primary no matter who is driving. Check your policy but it usually includes permissive use by drivers who are not listed on your policy (e.g,. your nanny). But since your nanny will be regularly using the vehicle it would be better, as said up thread, to ha...
by furwut
Thu May 05, 2016 11:01 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Revealing Usernames
Replies: 68
Views: 7386

Re: Revealing Usernames

I essentially use my real name. I assume that I am completely identifiable and that everything I say can be traced back to me. This is largely true. Unless one goes to extraordinary lengths to prevent cookies and uses a VPN to mask they true IP address and so on the data aggregators are able to com...
by furwut
Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Consumer Reports Magazine & Website
Replies: 99
Views: 6126

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: 2068

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: 1574

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: 1574

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: 2585

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: 3133

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: 1382

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: 501

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.

Go to advanced search