Search found 1153 matches

by gd
Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: mom wants smart phone, are there classes on how to use?
Replies: 27
Views: 1191

Re: mom wants smart phone, are there classes on how to use?

It takes skill and experience to teach in this circumstance, few teenagers have it. And as you know, she needs ongoing support, not 15 minutes. I'd second local classes or support groups, not very optimistically. Search out elder services, if they exist she should be tapped into them for other stuff...
by gd
Sun Feb 19, 2017 6:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The russians are hacking me
Replies: 35
Views: 4967

Re: The russians are hacking me

... Lay people and professionals were surveyed about their cyber hygiene. For the public the top three principles were: ... 2. Do not click on embedded links. ... What the public considers important and sufficient, professionals do routinely and focus on additional layers of defense. ... Bleeping C...
by gd
Sun Feb 19, 2017 6:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it worth filing an amended tax return?
Replies: 18
Views: 1168

Re: Is it worth filing an amended tax return?

They won't care. I'd also wait a few months until your current return is settled, then fill out the 1040X for $18, peace of mind, and the knowledge & experience of how it works. If you hate this stuff enough to find that idea horrible, write off the $18. I've done a lot of amended returns, a few...
by gd
Sun Feb 19, 2017 6:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Flagship? [T. Rowe Price retirement funds]
Replies: 20
Views: 2171

Re: Flagship?

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/flagship flagship (plural flagships) In a maritime fleet, the ship occupied by the fleet's commander (usually an admiral); it denotes this by flying his flag. The most important one out of a related group. The retail company's store in London is their flagship. Usage n...
by gd
Sun Feb 19, 2017 7:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Questions to ask Parents.
Replies: 5
Views: 671

Re: Questions to ask Parents.

The only thing I ask my mom, somewhat jokingly, is what she wants me to do with her dog. Not a joke at all. I've known two old ladies whose dogs utterly disrupted their lives-- and those of their supporters-- in their old age. Elder housing and assisted living don't take dogs; things can go downhil...
by gd
Sun Feb 19, 2017 7:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: If you were going to drop down to 15% bracket for one year...
Replies: 7
Views: 919

Re: If you were going to drop down to 15% bracket for one year...

I harvest capital gains every year in this way-- which means nothing to you, just that it can be done. Get yourself a tax prep program and run the numbers as precisely as you can. I don't know if online versions will work well for that. I use download TurboTax, enter data in the interview, then stud...
by gd
Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax gain harvesting
Replies: 21
Views: 1572

Re: Tax gain harvesting

If something specifically beneficial happens I'll react to it. In 30 years I've never been able to usefully predict such trends, and do not believe anyone else does other than by luck, followed by selective boasting about it. The factors involved are too complex, and individuals have too specific a ...
by gd
Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen cabinets
Replies: 58
Views: 3949

Re: Kitchen cabinets

When I first bought a house I started to think about remodeling tasks in view of resale value. Life got simpler when I decided that if the next person to own my house wants a say in it, they're going to have to cough up some money first.
by gd
Tue Feb 14, 2017 7:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Planning for Retirement: Why do it the recommended way?
Replies: 26
Views: 2508

Re: Planning for Retirement: Why do it the recommended way?

I consider Roth accounts valuable for diversifying our tax liabilities in old age. My current circumstances were unforeseeable 30 years ago, and not what I was advised to plan for.
by gd
Fri Feb 10, 2017 7:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Saved too much? What do you splurge on?
Replies: 90
Views: 8671

Re: Saved too much? What do you splurge on?

Appropriate, careful, anonymous (or at least not publicized) no-strings donations to local or regional good causes, then step back and enjoy watching things get better.
by gd
Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bookkeeping software for clubs & organizations
Replies: 6
Views: 443

Bookkeeping software for clubs & organizations

Curious about what software, local or cloud, might be used by treasurers of clubs and organizations that need to deal with lots of petty cash, a checking account, perhaps an investment account, and membership tracking. Quicken would work for the bookkeeping, but we all seem pessimistic about its fut...
by gd
Sun Feb 05, 2017 6:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken's future direction - a cause for concern
Replies: 165
Views: 12414

Re: Quicken's future direction - a cause for concern

Can you not use Quicken for perpetuity if you enter the data manually? No one knows, that's the problem. RIght now, yes, once you register on installation. A few years from now, unclear. They could easily refuse to let you reinstall a current paid copy on a new computer, since it must register init...
by gd
Sun Feb 05, 2017 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken's future direction - a cause for concern
Replies: 165
Views: 12414

Re: Quicken's future direction - a cause for concern

For unrelated reasons, I experimented with Mint and PersonalCapital recently. My impression was that both were intended simply as consolidators, and did not allow (or with clumsy workarounds) unlinked accounts with manual entry, e.g. cash accounts or accounts for institutions that did not have worki...
by gd
Sat Feb 04, 2017 8:24 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Am I being given needlessly complicated advice?
Replies: 31
Views: 2920

Re: Am I being given needlessly complicated advice?

Giving you a very simple solution reduces the importance of their expertise. Not saying it's malicious-- or even wrong-- just an aspect of human nature.
by gd
Fri Feb 03, 2017 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are there really "Tax Brackets" and does it really matter if I get bumped up into the next one?
Replies: 87
Views: 7447

Re: Are there really "Tax Brackets" and does it really matter if I get bumped up into the next one?

But, as per the law of diminishing returns, the utility of the next dollar is also lower so you already have less incentive to make the next nominal dollar than you do the previous one. Funny, I've heard or read this hundreds of times, but cannot think of a time when I've experienced someone having...
by gd
Fri Jan 27, 2017 8:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: IP webcam for public internet
Replies: 3
Views: 478

IP webcam for public internet

I'm trying to set up a webcam outside for the entertainment of a housebound relative. I've been through a few attempts, and failed to find a good solution. I need: 1) have power, but no way to run other cables inside. Indoor camera in homemade enclosure ok. WiFi available. 2) prefer not to have PC r...
by gd
Fri Jan 27, 2017 7:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 75 gallon hot water heaters
Replies: 40
Views: 2407

Re: 75 gallon hot water heaters

If showers are your issue, low-flow shower heads are an obvious help as others point out. To my surprise, I found local stores, including big-boxes, useless. Beware the marketing, don't buy anything that doesn't state the flow per minute. I ended up with Niagara brand via amazon, 1.6 gpm. It is exce...
by gd
Thu Jan 26, 2017 7:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 Fund (VTIVX) Question
Replies: 16
Views: 1653

Re: Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 Fund (VTIVX) Question

Does this fund automatically readjust to bonds as the years go by or do i need to do it manually each year? Thank you again for the quick replies. No investment is safe if your means of information is an anonymous internet forum slanted towards the product, responding to questions that have a clear...
by gd
Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Location at the 15% tax bracket?
Replies: 17
Views: 2195

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: 306

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: 3436

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: 625

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: 1821

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: 683

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: 8292

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: 5298

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: 125291

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: 2266

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: 8082

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: 434

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: 2992

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: 1622

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: 2992

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: 9371

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: 3180

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: 1386

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: 1643

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: 1643

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: 898

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: 2044

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: 1002

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: 9371

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: 4132

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: 935

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: 4221

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: 2439

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: 10760

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: 6491

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: 2380

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: 1770

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...

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