Search found 922 matches

by gd
Sat Feb 13, 2016 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Charities for Bogleheads?
Replies: 40
Views: 2111

Re: Charities for Bogleheads?

I'm not reading anything that would have avoided the original scenario-- unless you are actually behind the scenes in the charity management, you simply aren't going to know about intentionally concealed avarice. I simply accept that some amount of my contributions will not fit my intentions-- I fig...
by gd
Tue Feb 09, 2016 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Planning European-Southern Germany Road Trip Travel-Hacks Wanted
Replies: 17
Views: 1092

Re: Planning European-Southern Germany Road Trip Travel-Hacks Wanted

I just researched a biking trip from Lake Constance to Salzberg....like a 9 day bike trip through northern Bavaria. My wife didn't want to go, so it was going to be a solo, mid-life soul searching vacation....but ended up not setting it up because of the ISIS threat. You should reconsider, and not ...
by gd
Sun Feb 07, 2016 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Raw Honey?
Replies: 34
Views: 2558

Re: Raw Honey?

If you have any sort of farmer's markets, farm stands, orchards, or health food stores near you, they will almost certainly have raw honey supplied by local beekeepers. It doesn't take more than a few hives to have way more honey than one family can consume. Their honey will probably be straight fro...
by gd
Sun Feb 07, 2016 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Coming Boglehead Zombie Apocalypse (LED bulbs)
Replies: 94
Views: 7133

Re: The Coming Boglehead Zombie Apocalypse (LED bulbs)

Had the same problem. Bought a bunch of cheap energy saving bulbs at Home Depot and everything looks horrible. But the worst part of it is the lights take about 5 minutes to really turn on. When you hit the switch it's almost like nothing has happened. They verrrry slowly become brighter. Thought a...
by gd
Fri Feb 05, 2016 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Uber driving for extra income in retirement.
Replies: 31
Views: 3156

Re: Uber driving for extra income in retirement.

(snip) Ok fine, liability. What percent of accidents have liability claims exceeding 1 million dollars. You say you don't have the data, but the people who do are insurance companies. Umbrella policies are roughly $200 for every one million in liability. That should give you an idea. Commercial act...
by gd
Fri Feb 05, 2016 8:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Uber driving for extra income in retirement.
Replies: 31
Views: 3156

Re: Uber driving for extra income in retirement.

Sounds like a lot of liability for not much return. $1 million isn't a lot of coverage in an accident with multiple claims. How many accidents do you know of that have caused more than one million in damage? Give me a percent. Liability, not damage. You kill a hedge fund manager, and his/her spouse...
by gd
Fri Jan 29, 2016 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to stop junk mail for a deceased person
Replies: 39
Views: 2428

Re: How to stop junk mail for a deceased person

You can't. A relative received credit card offers from American Express to a mystery name at their address for well over a decade. He repeatedly contacted them in various ways to stop it, and never could. He cancelled his own American Express account in response. His opinion was that the requests we...
by gd
Fri Jan 29, 2016 8:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxACT and TurboTax difference in NIIT (Form 8960)
Replies: 14
Views: 967

Re: TaxACT and TurboTax difference in NIIT (Form 8960)

This has been my experience between the two for the last 10-15 years on unrelated tax circumstances. TaxACT is cheaper and adequate for a routine situation, and TurboTax is better if you have a non-standard tax situation and are not knowledgeable or willing to inspect the details of the return. Pay ...
by gd
Tue Jan 26, 2016 8:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: File taxes via mail or electronically
Replies: 75
Views: 4077

Re: File taxes via mail or electronically

Trapper wrote:...Why should I make it easier for them? ...
What are your thoughts?

You reap what you sow.
by gd
Mon Jan 25, 2016 8:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Brick and Mortar Bank in Massachusetts?
Replies: 31
Views: 1385

Re: Brick and Mortar Bank in Massachusetts?

Don't know about their terminology, but Vanguard has required "medallion signature guarantees" from me several times when changing account registrations between spouses. Browse their forms if you're highly motivated. Or just go into a bank branch and ask a manager, it'll give you a sense o...
by gd
Mon Jan 25, 2016 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax boo-boo (Have not previously depreciated rental property)
Replies: 18
Views: 1353

Re: Tax boo-boo (Have not previously depreciated rental property)

I made a similar mistake in more obscure circumstances. I filed 3115; the internet is populated with CPA forums discussing it in anguish. If you DIY, 1) plan lots of time, maybe take a week vacation to do it, maybe some sedatives, 2) first go through the instructions and form and cross out the areas...
by gd
Mon Jan 25, 2016 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you pay for exercise?
Replies: 215
Views: 11277

Re: Do you pay for exercise?

I purchase my own equipment. Outlay: walk-behind lawn mower. Snow thrower and shovel. Leaf rake. Stationary bicycle when first 3 not usable. I sometimes consider offering my equipment to walkers and runners passing by my house, but am always too selfish. Internet-searched "online spinning class...
by gd
Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Odd Ball Vanguard Mail Message
Replies: 14
Views: 2289

Re: Odd Ball Vanguard Mail Message

Got same, all I recall is maybe 1-2 weeks after smoothly changing password, and several interbank transfers between already-linked accounts. It's a pretty basic point that sending out unclear or incorrect security messages and warnings does not make situations safer, it makes people ignore them. Som...
by gd
Sun Jan 24, 2016 8:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Overwhelmed on what to do/invest - Dual citizen (US & EU)
Replies: 11
Views: 856

Re: Overwhelmed on what to do/invest - Dual citizen (US & EU)

If it's Germany, that US fee will probably pretty quickly be less than what you'll pay in tax prep fees or time/money spent doing it yourself with purchased software (hint-- use TurboTax, you need the best you can get). I'm not sure what you mean with "US fee will probably pretty quickly be le...
by gd
Sun Jan 24, 2016 7:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Overwhelmed on what to do/invest - Dual citizen (US & EU)
Replies: 11
Views: 856

Re: Overwhelmed on what to do/invest - Dual citizen (US & EU)

It's not clear to me whether you want to invest in Germany or the USA. If the USA, it's not clear to me why. If you are entirely oriented to Germany, your US investments then become primarily a currency speculation. You don't want to go there. If it's Germany, that US fee will probably pretty quickl...
by gd
Fri Jan 22, 2016 7:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Brick and Mortar Bank in Massachusetts?
Replies: 31
Views: 1385

Re: Brick and Mortar Bank in Massachusetts?

I use a four-branch local bank in MA (nowhere near Needham). It is superior in all respects to the Baybank/Fleet/BankBoston/BoA account I had for 20 years, getting worse with every size increase. I can walk in and get a notary with several witnesses, or a medallion signature guarantee. Shop local. A...
by gd
Wed Jan 20, 2016 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What online Email do you use
Replies: 59
Views: 4882

Re: What online Email do you use

Google's mantra is "Don't Be Evil". Still? And they do it with a straight face? Invasive monitoring aside, I cringe when I must steer computer-adverse relatives to anything google. Their UIs are designed for people who use them constantly. When a non-fanboy tries to use them without havin...
by gd
Wed Jan 20, 2016 8:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Edward Jones or Vanguard?
Replies: 53
Views: 4610

Re: Edward Jones or Vanguard?

I have absolutely no experience with or knowledge of them, but perhaps a local financial advisor would be a solution, someone who works on flat fee or % of portfolio rather than commission. Obviously she/you would need to do some research first on reputability and steps to avoid Madoff-style frauds....
by gd
Sat Jan 16, 2016 8:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long can I let my car "sit" on vacation?
Replies: 47
Views: 3979

Re: How long can I let my car "sit" on vacation?

For long engine life, engine and exhaust systems need to heat up enough to drive off moisture and (I think) other combustion byproducts that corrode the insides. I make a point of making sure the last use before long storage is enough to get it to normal operating temperatures. The disappearance of ...
by gd
Sat Jan 16, 2016 7:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long can I let my car "sit" on vacation?
Replies: 47
Views: 3979

Re: How long can I let my car "sit" on vacation?

I have a car in an unheated garage in a 4-season region that is lightly driven for 2 weeks twice a year at most. I disconnect the battery; the original battery needed to be recharged each time, but a new battery starts right up for the last 4 years or so. We've been doing this for well over 10 years...
by gd
Wed Jan 13, 2016 7:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Saving for the future vs you only live once
Replies: 72
Views: 7950

Re: Saving for the future vs you only live once

betterfinances wrote:I'm wondering at what point in a person's life does a SFTF philosophy start to reap rewards, i.e., the SFTF philosophy pays off and the SFTF philosophy starts living a larger lifestyle than the SFTF philosophy?

age 55 to 60
by gd
Sat Dec 26, 2015 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax 2015 giving incorrect energy credits?
Replies: 5
Views: 390

Re: TurboTax 2015 giving incorrect energy credits?

I've been using tax prep software for maybe 20 years, and understand it is not final. This doesn't appear to be a case of uncertainty, it is simply wrong-- as far as I can see, these items have been known to be off the table for 2015 credit since before 2014 (which was an extension year, I think). I...
by gd
Sat Dec 26, 2015 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax 2015 giving incorrect energy credits?
Replies: 5
Views: 390

TurboTax 2015 giving incorrect energy credits?

My TurboTax 2015 is allowing me "Residential Energy Credits" for replacement doors and windows. Great, except Energystar.gov says that expired at the end of 2014: http://www.energystar.gov/about/federal_tax_credits. IRS forms and publication 5695 are still showing 2014, thus useless. Anyon...
by gd
Tue Dec 22, 2015 8:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Foundation management services
Replies: 2
Views: 312

Re: Foundation management services

Internet search "community foundation". You can designate specific recipients or a general area of interest and their staff will manage distributions, including soliciting and selecting proposals, after you're dead. I have no ongoing experience with them; ask me again about 10 years after ...
by gd
Thu Dec 17, 2015 6:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude
Replies: 67
Views: 7306

Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

It's a consumption festival. Some non-trivial portion of Christmas gift giving is an excuse by recreational shoppers to do so not just without guilt, but with self-righteousness. Shut them down and prepare for their wrath. I put up with it for 50 years, now I don't care if I appear rude.
by gd
Wed Dec 16, 2015 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard TurboTax - Not Available 2015?
Replies: 320
Views: 31009

Re: Vanguard TurboTax - Not Available 2015?

Coffee mugs, have as far as I know, have never been a perk for Flagship clients. ... Not what I meant. As I recall the statement announcing the change was phrased to present offering discounted TT as a feature or benefit that was not core to the company's activities, therefore they were going to fo...
by gd
Wed Dec 16, 2015 7:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WSJ - Cancel and Invest Subscription Fee in S&P500 or Read Daily - Which is a Better Investment?
Replies: 43
Views: 3098

Re: WSJ - Cancel and Invest Subscription Fee in S&P500 or Read Daily - Which is a Better Investment?

There was a ad many years ago showing a company CEO speaking to recruiter looking to hire new management level personnel and the tag line said "Send me someone who reads". Didn't say someone who invests in the S&P 500. An ad for... newsprint? How many successful investment decisions c...
by gd
Tue Dec 15, 2015 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard TurboTax - Not Available 2015?
Replies: 320
Views: 31009

Re: Vanguard TurboTax - Not Available 2015?

So everyone now admits that the singular advantage to Flagship was a $30 value! Even a coffee mug is about $7. Now? no, I think that's always been near the top of the list for Flagship customers. :D . Curious, however, that they're cancelling tax software bundling because it isn't within the core f...
by gd
Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Age 75, change fund ownership from individual to joint?
Replies: 19
Views: 1502

Re: Age 75, change fund ownership from individual to joint?

Beneficiaries: I have to admit I didn’t know one could name a beneficiary in a non-retirement account. Or if I knew, long forgotten. Our wills make clear what should be done with such accounts, so beneficiaries don’t seem needed? A beneficiary designation would take precedence over provisions in a ...
by gd
Fri Dec 11, 2015 7:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to learn a second language
Replies: 103
Views: 8048

Re: How to learn a second language

Just curious if anyone has ever attended http://www.alliancefr.org/en anywhere in the world. I took some 2-month courses at the Goethe Institute in Germany, which sounds like the German equivalent. It was a great experience, people from all over the world, and instructors who were skilled at teachi...
by gd
Fri Dec 11, 2015 7:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice for Encouraging Parents to Declutter Home?
Replies: 38
Views: 2559

Re: Advice for Encouraging Parents to Declutter Home?

Offer to take stuff yourself, avoiding getting into what you will do with it. Like many of us, they don't want to throw away a life's memories/detritus. But if *you* take it, it's not being thrown away-- maybe you'll save, value, and cherish it forever! Or maybe you'll throw it in the trash when saf...
by gd
Thu Dec 10, 2015 7:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about estate/will issues
Replies: 17
Views: 1610

Re: Question about estate/will issues

I would also ask him to provide a list if assets (even just account numbers, if he doesn't want to disclose dollar amounts). A plausible scenario is that his girlfriend predeceases him and he is in poor physical/mental condition, and someone else needs to take charge of his finances/estate. Do you ...
by gd
Thu Dec 10, 2015 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TurboTax Deluxe: download or disc?
Replies: 12
Views: 1117

Re: TurboTax Deluxe: download or disc?

I always made a point of having a hard copy in my files. Then I started cleaning out my records and found years of 3.5" floppies and CDs that worked on Win 3.1 through NT to XP, and every time I've had to amend a return (maybe 8 returns in the last 4 years, going back 6 years, don't ask) never ...
by gd
Wed Dec 09, 2015 7:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to learn a second language
Replies: 103
Views: 8048

Re: How to learn a second language

No need for a French girlfriend, although that is the most effective. Use nothing but French with your wife (both ways). This will force you to a key beginning skill-- framing your thoughts in terms of the available language, and figuring out what you absolutely need to acquire. If you must, reserve...
by gd
Tue Dec 08, 2015 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quadcopter (drone) experience/recommendation
Replies: 26
Views: 1436

Re: Quadcopter (drone) experience/recommendation

If you're going to do it commercially, in any interpretation of the word including incidental to a business, you've got some regulations. I know this only incidentally, but as I understand it you've currently either got to have per-flight notification/permission or have a section 333 exemption requi...
by gd
Tue Dec 08, 2015 6:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Holiday tipping: letter carriers
Replies: 120
Views: 7629

Re: Holiday tipping: letter carriers

deleted pointless comment about benefits envy
by gd
Tue Dec 08, 2015 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Can I Tell Whether a Provider is Competent?
Replies: 19
Views: 1940

Re: How Can I Tell Whether a Provider is Competent?

Lots of good advice, particularly evaluating your friends' evaluation skills and asking why. I've gotten doctor recommendations I later felt were also attempts (perhaps unconscious) at self-validation-- by using their choices, we validated those choices. One additional thing I've learned is that par...
by gd
Mon Dec 07, 2015 7:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why does the stock market rise & fall?
Replies: 46
Views: 2893

Re: Why does the stock market rise & fall?

Keep in mind there's no rule of nature that says problems have single or even simple explanations. Why is it going to be warm today, in December? You've got some large effects like planetary tilt, Coriolis force and land mass effects, more obscure events like El Nino and lake effects, then that park...
by gd
Mon Dec 07, 2015 7:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Work Part-Time or Fully Retire?
Replies: 57
Views: 5216

Re: Work Part-Time or Fully Retire?

You did not say what you would be doing after fully retiring, which raises a flag with me. If you don't know, that's a factor in favor of part-time. We don't know you, maybe you'll be happy as a pig in mud, but lots of people eventually feel adrift and disconnected when they break their connection w...
by gd
Sun Dec 06, 2015 2:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard TurboTax - Not Available 2015?
Replies: 320
Views: 31009

Re: Vanguard TurboTax - Not Available 2015?

danaht wrote:Vanguard has been reducing benefits lately. I believe they also eliminated "free" stock trades for the flagship investors recently. I think everyone has to pay at least $2 now for a regular stock trade.
OT, but web site says first 25 are free for Flagship <$10M. Select are all $2.
by gd
Sun Dec 06, 2015 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard TurboTax - Not Available 2015?
Replies: 320
Views: 31009

Re: Vanguard TurboTax - Not Available 2015?

I called Intuit yesterday and ordered Turbotax Deluxe download for desktop. I explained that I was a vanguard flagship client and had used the vanguard discount in prior years. The Intuit representative gave me a $20 discount off the $60 list price for vanguard clients. The net cost with tax was $4...
by gd
Sun Dec 06, 2015 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Brilliant Energy-Saving Idea -- Or Just Really Stupid?
Replies: 54
Views: 5393

Re: Brilliant Energy-Saving Idea -- Or Just Really Stupid?

I lived in an apartment building once that vented the dryer into a 2' nylon tube, like the pantyhose solution. it coated with lint-- a simple screen like on that diverter will need to be cleaned each time. Your basement will get seriously moist, and probably house will fill with laundry smell. Sold ...
by gd
Sun Dec 06, 2015 8:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Writing checks - a Bogleheads thing to do?
Replies: 117
Views: 8069

Re: Writing checks - a Bogleheads thing to do?

Maybe they've had bad experiences with ATM and/or credit cards. Perhaps they find it easier or more prudent to manage their cash flow by using more thorough paper means. Write checks, go home, figure out that evening whether you need to transfer money into the checking account. I don't believe I or ...
by gd
Sun Dec 06, 2015 7:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to claim Social Security if you won't ever "need" it?
Replies: 50
Views: 4039

Re: When to claim Social Security if you won't ever "need" it?

This is what I thought the OP was, or at least the angle on it that interested me: given a simple scenario of average life expectancy, average incomes, average tax situation if that is relevant, if all SS income was immediately invested at average rates of return (be nice, just trying to grasp the c...
by gd
Fri Dec 04, 2015 8:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cordless phone batteries
Replies: 18
Views: 695

Re: Cordless phone batteries

Many thanks; I will take your advice. But on another topic, seriously, when does one individual know when or at what point one is "overthinking it." Topics like tv, car, and electronic items seem to just go on as do topics like global warming, etc. When does one draw the line and say enou...
by gd
Fri Dec 04, 2015 7:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard TurboTax - Not Available 2015?
Replies: 320
Views: 31009

Re: Vanguard TurboTax - Not Available 2015?

It was worth more than the $10 or $20 mentioned in the article above to flagship clients, and more significantly, encouraged and facilitated good planning. Judging by the amount of discussions about tax strategies here, as well as my own situation, I'd say tax strategies and planning, facilitated by...
by gd
Wed Dec 02, 2015 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard TurboTax - Not Available 2015?
Replies: 320
Views: 31009

Re: Vanguard TurboTax - Not Available 2015?

I’m still curious as to why Vanguard pulled the plug on TurboTax. Did Vanguard fear legal liability if a Vanguard client who used Vanguard’s discounts to purchase TurboTax later decided for some reason to sue TurboTax? I think this sort of speculation is overthinking it. Vanguard's gone big time, t...
by gd
Tue Dec 01, 2015 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Printer
Replies: 28
Views: 2361

Re: New Printer

HP 5530 for <$100, and cartridge refill kits (Inktec, I think) from amazon. Doesn't print after refill quite as cleanly as past models, but ok, might reconsider if I was sending out business letters. I turn the color off first thing, probably still have most of the included color left. I consider it...
by gd
Tue Dec 01, 2015 7:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard TurboTax - Not Available 2015?
Replies: 320
Views: 31009

Re: Vanguard TurboTax - Not Available 2015?

A recent thread about flagship customers had several posters, including me, note it as the only useful perquisite. Onward and downward New Vanguard! Edit- perhaps partially unfair, since it's as likely Intuit is the obstruction here, such as raising prices to Vanguard after hooking us for a few year...

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