Search found 1135 matches

by gd
Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Location at the 15% tax bracket?
Replies: 15
Views: 1631

Re: Asset Location at the 15% tax bracket?

I mean that one day your investments will be making you so much money that you will not be in the 15% bracket anymoe. :) This is happening to me; I'm realizing I better start spending money before I die and it will push me into 25%, particularly as high-percentage retirement contributions disappear...
by gd
Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: online personal finance tracking with manual accounts
Replies: 1
Views: 259

online personal finance tracking with manual accounts

Does anyone know of an online personal finance tracking product that allows for setting up and tracking manual accounts in addition to downloaded from institutions? There've been several threads on Quicken et.al. lately, but I'm still trying to solve a specific goal-- I need to track an investment a...
by gd
Thu Jan 05, 2017 6:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sonicare ToothBrush
Replies: 35
Views: 3342

Re: Sonicare ToothBrush

They appear to have NiCad batteries, problems with recharging are probably just worn out batteries. I've got one I'd guess is over 10 years old, that must be recharged after pretty much every use and if unplugged for a few days. I'm not normally a fan of amazon.com over buying local, but the older s...
by gd
Thu Jan 05, 2017 6:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MA no longer offers state-run tax e-filing
Replies: 6
Views: 555

MA no longer offers state-run tax e-filing

A note for MA state filers who appreciate their excellent system allowing direct entry and efiling of your state taxes through the state web site-- it's gone. They've switched to a new "improved" online revenue system, and no longer do that. They have agreements with commercial providers t...
by gd
Mon Jan 02, 2017 6:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please suggest websites/software for tracking investments, net worth, budget
Replies: 16
Views: 1700

Re: Please suggest websites/software for tracking investments, net worth, budget

I've used Quicken for decades. I update maybe every 10 years, as I prefer to enter everything by hand to stay closer to my activities, and am always unimpressed at their 10 years of progress. It's certainly got budgeting tools, but I've never used them seriously. I recently had need to share trackin...
by gd
Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Health care cap gains
Replies: 7
Views: 638

Re: Health care cap gains

Well... a consequence of fund management. That fund has had painful CG distributions for many years. I finally gave up on it, switching to the index ETF and another sector after concluding 1) the glow of the last 2 decades seemed to be off, and 2) the differences between active/index & US/intl w...
by gd
Tue Dec 27, 2016 8:09 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Remember what it was like before the recession?
Replies: 81
Views: 8116

Re: Remember what it was like before the recession?

I perceived a specific bubble in high-tech and housing. Other things were being affected, but the pattern of irrational expansion in those areas, with irrational boosters, anxious followers and a few nay-sayers was clear. The two situations were quite different in their basis and components, but the...
by gd
Wed Dec 21, 2016 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it rude to dispose of unwanted gifts?
Replies: 60
Views: 5127

Re: Is it rude to dispose of unwanted gifts?

All the stuff above is certainly true. And as you struggle to work out this problem, consider- is it rude for her to follow her own social rules or work out psychological issues, knowingly or not, by burdening someone else with unwanted stuff that impairs their life and causes them stress and unhapp...
by gd
Sat Dec 17, 2016 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead Beer
Replies: 729
Views: 123933

Re: Boglehead Beer

Recently was amazed to discover an area big-box liquour store sold Koestritzer (a.k.a. Kostritzer with umlaut over the o), german black beer. An uncommon style even there, mild and smooth. The brand has expanded in the last 5 years, I think, becoming more common in Bavaria and apparently now here. A...
by gd
Sat Dec 17, 2016 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donation question
Replies: 22
Views: 2213

Re: Donation question

"Better someone in need..." There is no shortage of scam charities, and plenty of good criticisms of big-name ones. That aside, you can max out your charitable deductions under some circumstances; I almost did it this year but caught it by running scenarios in tax prep software. Get next y...
by gd
Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My "sleep well at night" number seems to be changing
Replies: 49
Views: 7988

Re: My "sleep well at night" number seems to be changing

Reacting to the market or other current events is sliding to market timing. Using some real-life stress testing to realize your AA is wrong for you is correcting a mistake, provided you have the dispassionate judgement to analyze it properly. Realizing your AA changes as your life circumstances chan...
by gd
Thu Dec 15, 2016 7:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax software for U.S. expat in Japan?
Replies: 3
Views: 403

Re: Tax software for U.S. expat in Japan?

I've posted this many times, but the forum has grown to the point where searches are often unproductive. As of maybe 5 years ago, I found Turbotax deluxe download noticeably better than Taxact for my 1116 issues, allowing manual forcing of the form and entry of values, and (eventually) efiling after...
by gd
Fri Dec 09, 2016 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I go for the 2K+ flying squirrel solution?
Replies: 36
Views: 2885

Re: Should I go for the 2K+ flying squirrel solution?

In addition to possibly being illegal, relocating won't do much good for any wild animal, particularly small common ones. Remove one, live or dead, another will fill its territory promptly. You need to remove the nesting opportunity where you don't want them (in your house) and remove food sources t...
by gd
Fri Dec 09, 2016 7:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Treasury Direct Conundrum
Replies: 19
Views: 1585

Re: Treasury Direct Conundrum

I'm not clear-- do you have a conventional personal banking account at a bank near you, and they've refused to do it? My 4-branch local bank gives me one without a fuss, although the last time their insurance had just established a maximum amount, so at the branch manager's suggestion we simply spli...
by gd
Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I go for the 2K+ flying squirrel solution?
Replies: 36
Views: 2885

Re: Should I go for the 2K+ flying squirrel solution?

I have a lot of squirrels around me, including flying squirrels, and have set up numerous nest boxes for them to attract them to my property. I have never, ever had a squirrel in our house (uninvited), and they're all over our roof every day. If you do, it is because you have holes or notable cracks...
by gd
Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Owning a Chromebook
Replies: 77
Views: 8931

Re: Owning a Chromebook

Closing comment on my Chromebook experience buying it for tech-adverse W10 refugee. Printing is definitely not ready for primetime. I was using HP Envy 5530 printer, same experience on two networks. Google Cloud Print can be confusing to set up, not for naive users. Once working, its performance was...
by gd
Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Euro slides as Italy Votes No
Replies: 18
Views: 3107

Re: Euro slides as Italy Votes No

Thought experiment: get the exchange rates over the last 20 years, try adjusting your portfolio by the variation, see how it feels. There is almost nothing about currency that is investment, it is all trading and speculation. Stick to domestic day trading, at least there you don't wake up in the mor...
by gd
Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirees and risk-taking
Replies: 11
Views: 1338

Re: Retirees and risk-taking

If you feel really uncomfortable about the decision, isn't there something wrong? You can argue you're just following your plan, but if that makes you upset, isn't that an indication your plan isn't passing the "can't sleep at night" test? Which takes you back to the points above, your pla...
by gd
Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smartphone for a low techie
Replies: 18
Views: 1573

Re: Smartphone for a low techie

I got and support android phones for 2 low-tech people; I picked android for specific practical reasons that are irrelevant here. Each version of Android seems a bit easier, to the point I don't see a lot of difference with my iPad other than what I attribute to the difficulty in tiny screens as pos...
by gd
Sun Dec 04, 2016 9:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smartphone for a low techie
Replies: 18
Views: 1573

Re: Smartphone for a low techie

Re: size, I've helped one tech-adverse relative move from a flip phone to an early Moto G 4.5" screen and just got a 5.2" Nexus 5X for another, with a Moto G4 Play being a close second choice. The bigger screen is noticeably easier to use, although I wouldn't go bigger than that 5.2 unless...
by gd
Sat Dec 03, 2016 8:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Walk me through donating appreciated shares (tax question)
Replies: 19
Views: 865

Re: Walk me through donating appreciated shares (tax question)

Regarding the process, there is a thread from earlier this year that I either started or posted to. As I think others have said, the process to donate mutual funds is different from common stock. Charities don't seem to always know this, in my case a well established community foundation was pretty ...
by gd
Fri Dec 02, 2016 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: CBP (INS) Global Entry program worth it?
Replies: 38
Views: 1964

CBP (INS) Global Entry program worth it?

I take international flights several times a year, always at rush hour with massive lines through immigration. It's not unbearable (typical 45 min), but just enough to miss some local transportation connections at the end of a very long day. It finally occurred to me that it might be worth it to spe...
by gd
Tue Nov 29, 2016 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Lightweight Binoculars under $200
Replies: 15
Views: 951

Re: Best Lightweight Binoculars under $200

I agree that narrow eye spacing and wearing eyeglasses while viewing will make some models almost unusable. Don't buy without research and ideally trying if that might apply to you. Another example where paying more in a local specialty shop is appropriate for ethical and practical reasons.
by gd
Thu Nov 24, 2016 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Owning a Chromebook
Replies: 77
Views: 8931

Re: Owning a Chromebook

2 weeks ago bought an Acer 15.6" Chromebook, biggest screen I could find, $250, for computer-adverse relative whose aging laptop is gagging on W10. He not only just does web browsing, but doesn't even really understand what that means-- the perfect browser-centric, cloud-dwelling user. I played...
by gd
Thu Nov 24, 2016 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: recommendations on frugal living forums?
Replies: 18
Views: 4070

Re: recommendations on frugal living forums?

You can try "simple living" as well, although it is a misnomer-- frugality is rarely simple. There was one forum in particular 10-15 years ago that was based on the "Your Money or Your Life" book and was quite good, but (in my opinion) it got overrun by credit-card-debt types who...
by gd
Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: US Expat Tax filing
Replies: 13
Views: 882

Re: US Expat Tax filing

As of maybe 4 years ago, Turbotax (download) was better with 1116 than Taxact. They may have caught up by now, I don't bother to check. Filing lots of foreign is a specialty situation, and Turbotax download is reliably better with such stuff than Taxact (or Turbotax online), which is going for the l...
by gd
Mon Nov 07, 2016 7:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: google phone project fi
Replies: 37
Views: 4097

Re: google phone project fi

I use Republic Wireless, which uses Sprint and has onerous data roaming policies if available at all. On a trip to rural PA, had essentially no internet access. Turns out Sprint is known for underdeveloped rural coverage, relying on roaming off others. T-Mobile is worse than Sprint for me, I can't e...
by gd
Sat Nov 05, 2016 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Computing Device - Laptop or Table - for an Elderly Person
Replies: 35
Views: 2297

Re: Computing Device - Laptop or Table - for an Elderly Person

This thread makes me realize that a chromebook might be the perfect solution for an aging relative with an also-aging laptop full of adware and a belligerent Windows 10. He will be very resistant to changes in his internet experience, about everything else is irrelevant (except maybe his antiquated ...
by gd
Thu Oct 27, 2016 7:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mr. Money Mustache donates $100k to charity, writes about effective altruism
Replies: 100
Views: 10541

Re: Mr. Money Mustache donates $100k to charity, writes about effective altruism

Just to put things in perspective if you plan do do something similar - Mr Money Mustasche makes over $400k per year from advertisements on his websites alone. It's in a New Yorker article from earlier this year. Obviously he doesn't spend the vast majority of it given his thriftiness, but it does ...
by gd
Sat Oct 22, 2016 7:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheapskate for not flying business class?
Replies: 81
Views: 6378

Re: Cheapskate for not flying business class?

Another secret is that your seat gets to the same destination as theirs about 5 seconds later. My seat does, but on the flight I take several times a year, I walk out the aircraft door 15-20 minutes later than them. And because several other flights come in at the same time, I then make it through ...
by gd
Mon Oct 10, 2016 7:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Percent back from landscaping investment
Replies: 19
Views: 2360

Re: Percent back from landscaping investment

(deleted). You're asking about resulting return on investment you've already decided to make, I was commenting on the decision to make the investment.
by gd
Fri Oct 07, 2016 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trust-- disagree with CPA's Simple/Complex determination
Replies: 22
Views: 1727

Re: Trust-- disagree with CPA's Simple/Complex determination

OP here. To me, it's the wishy-washy "may qualify" that causes the problems-- I presume, but am not certain, they actually mean "must have at least these characteristics to qualify". Side issue, above I talked about trust income as interest, dividends and capital gains. Reading t...
by gd
Thu Oct 06, 2016 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trust-- disagree with CPA's Simple/Complex determination
Replies: 22
Views: 1727

Re: Trust-- disagree with CPA's Simple/Complex determination

OP here. It may take a while to read through these replies carefully, thanks! Nice to know, sort of, that it's not just my reading comprehension skills in question here. I believe the charitable contribution was from the trust directly, on a trust check, not the beneficiary's funds. It was a one- or...
by gd
Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trust-- disagree with CPA's Simple/Complex determination
Replies: 22
Views: 1727

Trust-- disagree with CPA's Simple/Complex determination

I'm getting pulled into involvement with a trust set up decades ago for the sole benefit of a handicapped person, and am investigating some confusing points. The trust document gives trustees complete discretion over income and principal. The current trustee every year gives beneficiary an amount eq...
by gd
Wed Oct 05, 2016 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice Wanted: Setting up a charitable fund
Replies: 9
Views: 753

Re: Advice Wanted: Setting up a charitable fund

Internet search for "Community foundation" + your region/state/area/county. This is what they do.
by gd
Wed Oct 05, 2016 5:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: temporarily cashing out ?
Replies: 55
Views: 5008

Re: temporarily cashing out ?

Make sure your gut is not mixing politics and finances. It's the season for that. It generally doesn't work well.
by gd
Thu Sep 22, 2016 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Companion Dogs for an older person
Replies: 42
Views: 3311

Re: Companion Dogs for an older person

Do not get a dog for any elderly person unless you have a specific plan for what will happen to the dog when the person 1) cannot care for daily needs such as walking or veterinary care 2) needs to go into an assisted living situation, none of which will accept dogs, 3) dies. Do not underestimate th...
by gd
Tue Sep 20, 2016 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on snowblower
Replies: 62
Views: 3328

Re: Advice on snowblower

Thanks gd. Living in the country as I do, I am limited to really just a Sears,Home Depot and Lowes about 15 minutes away. No other power stores near me. HD and Lowes both sell them around 6-800ish. Not really sure on quality from these large box stores? Huh. My experience is that those sorts of sto...
by gd
Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on snowblower
Replies: 62
Views: 3328

Re: Advice on snowblower

I would- and did- go to a small power equipment store near me. They gave me a reasonable assessment of my needs, probably upsold me slightly from what I had expected-- which I have since been very happy about-- and have been available for minor issues since. You won't get that with craigslist or big...
by gd
Sat Sep 17, 2016 7:04 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Travel to Europe, buy new cars, expensive iPads and Louis Vuittons
Replies: 5
Views: 1283

Re: Travel to Europe, buy new cars, expensive iPads and Louis Vuittons

I see no problem with it, as long as you sell the house first to lock in the gains and put them aside as surplus to your core financial needs.
by gd
Thu Sep 15, 2016 7:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much is your cell phone bill?
Replies: 236
Views: 19368

Re: How much is your cell phone bill?

I've got two lines on Republic Wireless, and while otherwise satisfied (and pay less than most above), on a recent trip to a rural area where it was really important that I get access to modest internet, got skunked-- RW uses Sprint, which heavily poaches Verizon in rural areas, and RW has outrageou...
by gd
Mon Sep 12, 2016 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Emergency SmartPhone for a 90+ year old
Replies: 41
Views: 2661

Re: Emergency SmartPhone for a 90+ year old

One other thing, if you do get a phone then once it is setup wait a week before you give it to her. This will allow you to see how many junk calls you get. If someone else had that phone number recently you may get lots of junk calls. If that is the case then you can just call the provider and ask ...
by gd
Tue Sep 06, 2016 8:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Convincing spouse to sell losing investment
Replies: 52
Views: 3337

Re: Convincing spouse to sell losing investment

Change a part of it, either one stock or, probably easier, a part of one or more stocks-- 25%, 50%. Don't present it as the first step, just as a token act, an experiment. It'll happen, world won't end, discomfort recedes after a few days, next move is easier-- or not, in which case you've got only ...
by gd
Mon Sep 05, 2016 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip to Germany
Replies: 22
Views: 2129

Re: Trip to Germany

If you want some rural flavor, internet search viehscheid.
by gd
Mon Sep 05, 2016 7:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip to Germany
Replies: 22
Views: 2129

Re: Trip to Germany

You're more likely to misplace your valuables than have them stolen in Germany. Oktoberfest might be an exception, and the bustling pedestrian zone of central Munich has the same "don't be dumb" rules of any big city crowd. Outside of those? As close to zero as anywhere. Contingencies and ...
by gd
Sat Sep 03, 2016 8:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frustrated Losing Weight!
Replies: 131
Views: 7617

Re: Frustrated Losing Weight!

Like financial frugality, I've found it's a lifestyle issue. No junk food in house, minimize processed food (that's *most* of what grocery stores sell!) limited portions on the table, avoid eating in restaurants, never fast food, take brown-bag food whenever possible, stop eating when not hungry vs....
by gd
Sat Sep 03, 2016 6:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Magazines on an IPad?
Replies: 5
Views: 686

Re: Magazines on an IPad?

I currently have Scientific American obtained via an unneeded frequent flyers account on an iPad. Sometimes I even remember it and read an issue or two. The app is quirky, the publication a shadow of my childhood memories of it, but it's ok. Wouldn't consider it on a monochrome or smaller screen.
by gd
Sat Sep 03, 2016 5:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate planning options for tricky family situation
Replies: 28
Views: 3339

Re: Estate planning options for tricky family situation

I had looked at US Trust and their fees were staggering, particularly for smaller trusts. I think bsteiner has said places like that become competitive for much larger assets, but for something the size of the OP's situation I came away thinking it would have been much more than 1%, maybe over 2%. ...
by gd
Fri Sep 02, 2016 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: EBay price - how is this possible?
Replies: 31
Views: 4286

Re: EBay price - how is this possible?

Don't know about eBay, but order from amazon and you'll get chinese-character email spam for the next year. Lots. No clue how they monetize sending chinese spam to US-based email domains. Even more baffling to me, I've bought bulk packages of touch screen stylii. First thing I test them and throw ou...
by gd
Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can company convert to auto renewal without your permission?
Replies: 13
Views: 1130

Re: Can company convert to auto renewal without your permission?

I also use shopsafe, but you're talking about debiting and checks, so this is presumably a bank's checking account. I was thinking "hell no", until noticing you've got a service contract. Not so clear-- what's the difference between sending you an invoice and debiting your account, once th...

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