Search found 1170 matches

by gd
Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best place to get eyeglasses / no vision insurance
Replies: 43
Views: 2779

Re: Best place to get eyeglasses / no vision insurance

The expensive, careful, experienced optician teamed with my optometrist of 25-30 years in the same office. I tried Lenscrafters a few times during about a 10 year period, and had several bad experiences ranging from mis-grinding the lenses, to egregiously bad advice about lens material in response t...
by gd
Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Am I Addicted [to contribute to my taxable account]
Replies: 57
Views: 6026

Re: Am I Addicted

Rephrase the post using compulsive or neurotic (in the common usage) and see how it feels.
by gd
Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: gratuitous homeownership items
Replies: 211
Views: 15458

Re: gratuitous homeownership items

I heard/read that a pool uses less water than grass covering the same surface area. If your pool is using excessive water, is it possible you might have a small leak? Got a good laugh out of this, since I've never watered my lawn in 11 years. Then realized that if you live in FL where a HOA require...
by gd
Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FTC TaxACT error: Form 1116 not required to file
Replies: 26
Views: 5403

Re: FTC TaxACT error: Form 1116 not required to file

Suggest you start with a new post. People are going to waste time reading a bunch of posts that are 7 years old. Whatever TaxACT is doing this year, it likely isn't the same as it was doing 7 years ago.
by gd
Tue Mar 14, 2017 7:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pipe leak damaged house
Replies: 18
Views: 1653

Re: Pipe leak damaged house

Browse for water detectors; if you want more than noise La Crosse Technology has various internet-capable sensors that will email you alarms, might be other companies as well.
by gd
Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: help with my printer problem
Replies: 30
Views: 1737

Re: help with my printer problem

Note that the choices for models with simple controls (i.e., non-fax) and flatbed scanners are pretty sparse for low-end laser devices. I use the scanner as much as the printer (and no space for 2 boxes), and my co-users are baffled by overly-complicated controls.
by gd
Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Possibly Financially Independent and Feeling Miserable
Replies: 153
Views: 15269

Re: Possibly Financially Independent and Feeling Miserable

I haven't read all 152 prior posts, but I agree with at least a few who point out you do have a hobby, it's counting and worrying about your money. Personally, I work on the general problem of loosening the purse strings by mentally partitioning out a big but percentage-wise inconsequential amount o...
by gd
Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace gas water heater with electric?
Replies: 40
Views: 2745

Re: Replace gas water heater with electric?

OP here. Plastic vents are hard to place because of odd stonework extending from chimney on closest wall, porch, windows within the 4' spacing, deck, and large old forced-air heating vents in basement that would result in some options placing basement-crossing vent pipes too low for free movement in...
by gd
Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Investor Portfolio Help...when to ditch the advisor?
Replies: 11
Views: 953

Re: New Investor Portfolio Help...when to ditch the advisor?

If you use his "special" funds, are you locked into him somehow? That's probably when the rates will rise :D . If he "has a very similar philosophy as on this forum", he should be receptive to a permanent fixed yearly fee, or at least adjusted down with total amount under managem...
by gd
Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Organic Alternatives for Lawn and Garden Care
Replies: 35
Views: 1926

Re: Organic Alternatives for Lawn and Garden Care

Mudpuppy wrote:
livesoft wrote:What about a Benz-o-matic blow torch?

While effective, I think that would be a bit extreme :D

Flame weeders are pretty routine for patio gaps, apparently even for crops. Might not be quite precise enough for open lawn care, perhaps a high-power laser.
by gd
Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do Boglehead DIY or Pay a Professional?
Replies: 95
Views: 6855

Re: Do Boglehead DIY or Pay a Professional?

I've never found anyone who cares as much about my stuff as I do. They may have more skills and knowledge, and better tools, but if that's not a limitation I always do it better. Painting my house, mowing my lawn, doing my taxes, minor (and sometimes not-so-minor) carpentry, changing my oil, at this...
by gd
Sat Mar 04, 2017 8:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Organic Alternatives for Lawn and Garden Care
Replies: 35
Views: 1926

Re: Organic Alternatives for Lawn and Garden Care

Monoculture show lawns are thoroughly unnatural phenomena. You can no more achieve it "organically" than you can keep someone who needs a hospital's intensive care unit alive by homeopathy and herbal medicine. You can get part of the way there by sheer hard work-- crabgrass is sort of fun ...
by gd
Sat Mar 04, 2017 8:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace gas water heater with electric?
Replies: 40
Views: 2745

Re: Replace gas water heater with electric?

I have a question about the heat pump style electric water heaters that perhaps someone can answer. As I understand, they harvest the heat from within the house and my question is where does this heat come from? In winter, this heat needs to be replaced by the heating system (unless it is in an unh...
by gd
Sat Mar 04, 2017 7:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace gas water heater with electric?
Replies: 40
Views: 2745

Re: Replace gas water heater with electric?

You're a hardy soul if you don't care whether you have hot water or not for days. For myself, I prefer gas appliances because they work in power outages. Oh, we cared. But with the town-mandatory sewage pump, we had approx 40 gal of sewage capacity for an unknown period, and saved it for toilet flu...
by gd
Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace gas water heater with electric?
Replies: 40
Views: 2745

Re: Replace gas water heater with electric?

OPer here. Nothing like a good plumbing problem... :D Think I addressed most points, but to clarify or reiterate: 1. Electric service is issue, but one of the more easily estimated and solved. 2. Want to relocate heater away from chimney because flue (shared with furnace) is poorly positioned and wo...
by gd
Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace gas water heater with electric?
Replies: 40
Views: 2745

Replace gas water heater with electric?

I'm trying to replace a conventional chimney vent natural gas water heater. For various reasons, I want to switch to just about anything else to get away from the chimney. But plastic venting is difficult to place in my house, and although I had first not even considered electric due to its reputati...
by gd
Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Lousy Customer Service
Replies: 84
Views: 5788

Re: Vanguard: THE WORST BROKERAGE. Stay away

Offhand, I'd attribute it to 3 things: 1. Vanguard's client base is growing substantially, so the absolute number of dissatisfied customers will increase substantially. In other words, a numerical illusion. 2. Use of internet for random complaints grows, so the absolute percentage of problems visibl...
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: 40
Views: 2319

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: 36
Views: 5516

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: 1268

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: 2234

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: 706

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: 982

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: 1672

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: 73
Views: 5628

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: 2630

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: 8885

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: 480

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: 249
Views: 19882

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: 249
Views: 19882

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: 3013

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: 7662

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: 499

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: 2566

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: 1715

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: 2267

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: 325

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: 3471

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: 650

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: 1862

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: 716

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: 8374

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: 5432

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: 125960

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: 2324

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: 8116

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: 462

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: 3037

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: 1667

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: 3037

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...

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