Search found 1123 matches

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: 2634

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: 1427

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: 2634

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: 8448

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: 2964

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: 1244

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: 1424

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: 1424

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: 787

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: 1817

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: 895

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: 8448

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: 17
Views: 3055

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: 837

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: 3809

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: 1869

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: 10033

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: 6089

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: 2301

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: 1679

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: 1679

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: 1679

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: 683

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: 4896

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: 3131

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: 3088

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: 3088

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: 1254

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: 179
Views: 13537

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: 2554

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: 3224

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: 2009

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: 2009

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: 7268

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: 662

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: 3264

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: 4206

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: 1076

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...
by gd
Wed Aug 31, 2016 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Shopping - Early 2000s Mid-Sized Car Reliability under $5k?
Replies: 37
Views: 2745

Re: Car Shopping - Early 2000s Mid-Sized Car Reliability under $5k?

Perhaps you've already considered this, but newer styles of small cars have much more headroom than before, since everything's SUV-styled. The other body proportions may not fit, no clue. A 2010 Fit seems to be about $6-7k, you can probably hit your budget with a much newer car if you downsize your ...
by gd
Mon Aug 29, 2016 6:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying house near church
Replies: 68
Views: 5773

Re: Buying house near church

Problem would be if they expand and take away on-site parking (hopefully city would stop that but you never know). You can certainly check what the zoning laws are, and what the process is for granting exceptions to them. Around me it involves public notices & hearings. Common sense probably gi...
by gd
Sun Aug 28, 2016 4:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: B&M banking - heading the way of record stores, what to do
Replies: 43
Views: 2347

Re: B&M banking - heading the way of record stores, what to do

Local banks around me are slowly consolidating, but hardly disappearing. What has changed is that online services are as good as larger banks. I use an online bank when I want to hold lots of cash for a long time, but the actual dollar amounts resulting from the differences in rates are usually pret...
by gd
Sat Aug 27, 2016 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to mount winter tires?
Replies: 31
Views: 2332

Re: Where to mount winter tires?

I read that for best practice you should store them in airtight bags in a climate contrlled space. That's nitrogen-filled airtight bags, I believe. :D I had someone, don't recall if it was a chain tire store or my otherwise-trustworthy local garage, likely bugger up a bead on my seasonal tire-swap ...
by gd
Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Time to worry about Treasury Direct???
Replies: 31
Views: 3935

Re: Time to worry about Treasury Direct???

Note that it's a lot easier to read a text message on a flip phone than send one, and that's all you'd need here.
by gd
Sat Aug 06, 2016 7:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: new potential tenants negotiating on rent
Replies: 72
Views: 7020

Re: new potential tenants negotiating on rent

How many of you had tenants negotiate their monthly rent? I was already giving them a break with the security deposit, and now they want more. If anything,I feel insulted. So you're already unhappy with them as tenants. If it was me, I'd point out the (dangerously) low security deposit, not budge, ...
by gd
Thu Aug 04, 2016 6:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Form 1116 guidance
Replies: 14
Views: 910

Re: Form 1116 guidance

So you have <$300 in foreign tax paid from a single Fidelity MF, CG distributions only, no other unusual circumstances, and get a letter out of the blue from the IRS simply telling you you're missing Form 1116 and Schedule D? Makes no sense. My intuition is that even if you get someone on the phone,...
by gd
Wed Aug 03, 2016 8:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Form 1116 guidance
Replies: 14
Views: 910

Re: Form 1116 guidance

I'd agree with the "Huh? Not enough information" responses. FYI, Turbotax (Deluxe, at least) will create the form even if it isn't normally required by going directly into the personal information form (not interview) and hunting down a checkbox that will force it. As far as I know, it wil...
by gd
Wed Aug 03, 2016 7:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Subaru Legacy Question.
Replies: 20
Views: 1559

Re: Subaru Legacy Question.

Just bought a different 2015 CVT model with 2.5, would have preferred and happily bought the 2.0 version they sell in Europe where hills are steeper, highways faster, use of light trailers more common, drivers more aggressive and life-risking passing on 2-lane roads a constant event. 33 mpg overall,...
by gd
Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding a bump to the next tax bracket
Replies: 34
Views: 3297

Re: Avoiding a bump to the next tax bracket

Calculate various scenarios with a tax preparation program to make sure you really understand the numbers, the thresholds and effects may not be what you're expecting. Personally, I would pay little attention to an extra 2% on marginal income at that level and consider myself fortunate to have that ...
by gd
Wed Aug 03, 2016 5:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding a bump to the next tax bracket
Replies: 34
Views: 3297

Re: Avoiding a bump to the next tax bracket

Calculate various scenarios with a tax preparation program to make sure you really understand the numbers. Personally, I would pay no attention to an extra 2% on marginal income at that level , or shrug it off and consider myself fortunate to have that situation.
by gd
Fri Jul 29, 2016 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who should get Power of Attorney?
Replies: 6
Views: 622

Who should get Power of Attorney?

Upon advice of a prior lawyer, my spouse and I have given each other Durable Power of Attorney. Reviewing our estate and other issues, a new lawyer advised us to go further and additionally designate someone else the same PoA. They argue this is needed for circumstances where we are both incapacitat...

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