Search found 1002 matches

by gd
Sun May 01, 2016 6:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Questions to ask a legal attorney [Application for Green Card]
Replies: 15
Views: 1897

Re: Questions to ask a legal attorney [Application for Green Card]

Five Quatloos that the moderators quietly disappear the thread after 2 more people doing an internet search for reviews of Chen register to ask for an update. :D
by gd
Sun May 01, 2016 6:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Small Overpayment on Taxes?
Replies: 12
Views: 765

Re: Small Overpayment on Taxes?

I'd forget about it. Unless the lower-end tax prep software is better than I recall, you're going to have to research and do stuff on your own, and based on your questions I get the sense you don't want to do that. I'd agree with the others that it's a good opportunity to learn stuff, but there's li...
by gd
Wed Apr 27, 2016 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead Beer
Replies: 617
Views: 98457

Re: Boglehead Beer

It was mentioned in passing a few years ago, somewhere in the last 600 posts... for fans of Hefeweizen, Trader Joe's Bavarian Style Hefeweizen is remarkable if you like the clovey, flowery style. Serve at ~55F, pour 2/3, swirl up the yeast, pour the rest. It's as good as any I find in southern Germa...
by gd
Tue Apr 26, 2016 6:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BH Way of Landscaping?
Replies: 42
Views: 3286

Re: BH Way of Landscaping?

Big-box and mainstream nurseries, and the landscapers that use them, have pretty bland selections and ideas. Some of the more interesting native plants in my yard I got from local non-profit plant sales or a nursery attached to a local nature preserve. I'd bet I've got the only paw paw trees in town...
by gd
Tue Apr 26, 2016 6:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If not Children - Who/What Leave Estate To?
Replies: 27
Views: 2497

Re: If not Children - Who/What Leave Estate To?

My siblings are named beneficiaries, but they and their children don't particularly need it. They're all sensible, decent, responsible people who would certainly value the windfall, but... meh. It would go to fund their perfectly normal lifestyle that's more indulgent than ours. And I'm not expectin...
by gd
Mon Apr 25, 2016 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BH Way of Landscaping?
Replies: 42
Views: 3286

Re: BH Way of Landscaping?

BHUser27 wrote: The biggest mistake DIY landscapers make is plant spacing - too close to house or too close to one another.

Around me the pros do it more than the DIYers. It's got to look good the day they get their check. They'll be long gone when the problems start.
by gd
Mon Apr 25, 2016 6:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BH Way of Landscaping?
Replies: 42
Views: 3286

Re: BH Way of Landscaping?

BTW, how come giving Boglehead financial advice requires knowing extensive detail, but lawn care advice doesn't even require knowing what continent you're on? :D
by gd
Mon Apr 25, 2016 6:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BH Way of Landscaping?
Replies: 42
Views: 3286

Re: BH Way of Landscaping?

my yard is going to be a beautiful collection of plant life...rather than just being grass. Well, that's my answer. Dandelion crop might be disappointing this year, but violets just started to bloom nicely. I'm making a regular spring trip later this year partly so I can let the early stuff grow ou...
by gd
Sun Apr 24, 2016 5:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken 2014 just starting asking for "Intuit ID Password"
Replies: 16
Views: 994

Re: Quicken 2014 just starting asking for "Intuit ID Password"

I think is the last straw for me against quicken. When performing a "one-step update", a dialog box "Enter Intuit ID Password" now occurs. Never had to enter it before and will not do it now. Used it for over 15 years but am stopping now. So long quicken. I think you're describi...
by gd
Sat Apr 23, 2016 1:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "The Index Card"
Replies: 19
Views: 2760

Re: "The Index Card"

You should never — never — buy individual stocks. Not necessarily. Back when I had an account with the various companies starting with Dean Witter Reynolds and ending up Morgan Stanley, I spent a bit of time muddling through their research available to customers. Several things became apparent. I c...
by gd
Fri Apr 22, 2016 6:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: First time investor, nervous about dropping $150.000 into the market
Replies: 8
Views: 1996

Re: First time investor, nervous about dropping $150.000 into the market

I didn't always think this way, but my opinion nowadays is that the only reason for permanent residency is as a precursor to citizenship. It's the worst of both worlds-- more tax liability than a citizen, with no protections. I'd be nervous about the PR, not the market.
by gd
Thu Apr 21, 2016 7:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Complication donating Vanguard mutual fund to charity
Replies: 21
Views: 1436

Re: Complication donating Vanguard mutual fund to charity

OP here, tying off the thread. I have confirmed with a second Vanguard rep that to transfer a Vanguard mutual fund as a charitable gift without selling first and incurring CGs, the recipient must have a Vanguard account to receive the fund, period. The funds can be immediately sold & a check sen...
by gd
Wed Apr 20, 2016 6:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filed form 8606 when not needed - should I amend?
Replies: 5
Views: 459

Re: Filed form 8606 when not needed - should I amend?

No clue what you *need* to do, but if you're going to wonder about it until retirement, just submit the 1040X. It's easy, since all the numbers are the same, with an explanation in Part III and the revised 8606 attached. What's the worst that can happen-- a few clerks you'll never meet laugh at you ...
by gd
Wed Apr 20, 2016 5:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why am I still scared ? Is it actually normal ?
Replies: 59
Views: 6492

Re: Why am I still scared ? Is it actually normal ?

joyanni wrote:... I still feel that I cannot relax. We watch every dollar we spend and still clip coupons and save every dollar we can, like when I had $2000, is that normal ?...
It is for you. Call it a hobby or lifestyle choice, whether you're conscious of it or not. Perhaps it's time for a different choice.
by gd
Mon Apr 18, 2016 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Complication donating Vanguard mutual fund to charity
Replies: 21
Views: 1436

Re: Complication donating Vanguard mutual fund to charity

This from Boglehead's Wiki https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Donating_appreciated_securities Donating securities at Vanguard To donate mutual funds with Vanguard, go to Forms,( https://personal.vanguard.com/us/literature )then under "Change of Ownership", select "Giving Fund Shares to ...
by gd
Mon Apr 18, 2016 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Complication donating Vanguard mutual fund to charity
Replies: 21
Views: 1436

Re: Complication donating Vanguard mutual fund to charity

letsgobobby wrote:This is one of many reasons a donor advised fund is so great. I do not have to worry about whether the charity has a brokerage account, and with whom. I donate the appreciated shares to the DAF. They send a check to my charity.

That's what it's for, to set that up with a local foundation.
by gd
Mon Apr 18, 2016 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Complication donating Vanguard mutual fund to charity
Replies: 21
Views: 1436

Complication donating Vanguard mutual fund to charity

I'm trying to give a charity a donation of a specific Vanguard mutual find, with very low cost basis. I've never done this before. A Vanguard rep told me clearly that the only way I can do this without it being a taxable event to me is if the recipient has an account with Vanguard to receive the fun...
by gd
Mon Apr 18, 2016 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fraudulent charges on two separate credit cards
Replies: 22
Views: 2293

Re: Fraudulent charges on two separate credit cards

harrychan wrote: Someone bothered to place an order for an exensive pc with my actual address, phone but with the name of 'Fu'. Were they planning to have UPS or Fedex redirect the package?

Or a prank, and "F U" was a message, not a name.
by gd
Mon Apr 18, 2016 5:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Just got married wife has a annuity please help
Replies: 7
Views: 1074

Re: Just got married wife has a annuity please help

No clue if there's overhead in this, but if not and it's going to stay there for a while I'd consolidate everything into the broadest index they've got. This seems like a fund selection based on the time-honored principle of "make the portfolio hard to understand and look really sophisticated&q...
by gd
Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:04 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Did the brokers just get lucky?
Replies: 16
Views: 2427

Re: Did the brokers just get lucky?

Puzzling, why not just make money doing it themselves rather than selling their knowledge?
by gd
Sun Apr 17, 2016 6:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it possible to repair rotted wood on a structure?
Replies: 16
Views: 1825

Re: Is it possible to repair rotted wood on a structure?

Minwax has the same product, also a wood hardener that soaks in and seals the wood underneath for a bit of extra durability. I use it a lot inside and out for small areas of rotten or damaged trim. It's fine for, say, mounting curtain or window brackets on or rebuilding the sill the previous owner's...
by gd
Thu Apr 14, 2016 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Foreign earned income exclusion
Replies: 24
Views: 1239

Re: Foreign earned income exclusion

A programmer certainly recognizes the acronym GIGO. Specifying your unnamed target country, rights to live there and any circumstances involving your employer in the event are probably relevant.
by gd
Thu Apr 14, 2016 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cell phone service - delay, echo and crosstalk
Replies: 17
Views: 1020

Re: cell phone service - delay, echo and crosstalk

Because no one lives in Montana (which is why the infrastructure is so poor)? :D You are describing unusually bad service, but keep in mind that cell phone enthusiasts have come to accept telephone quality that would have been utterly unacceptable with landlines 20 years ago.
by gd
Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Lawn vs. The Homeowner (guess who's winning)
Replies: 59
Views: 5214

Re: The Lawn vs. The Homeowner (guess who's winning)

It's all in your head. Once the lawn works it's way out of being an ecological desert on life support, it'll be fine. I'm looking forward to our violet crop, then the dandelions, then maybe some clover. Stays green and interesting all summer because of the diversity. That's the way lawns were before...
by gd
Tue Apr 12, 2016 7:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Living abroad, filing US taxes, few ?s
Replies: 9
Views: 862

Re: Living abroad, filing US taxes, few ?s

Don't expect the tax program to do your work for you, don't base your choice on cost (I don't like Intuit, but use TurboTax). You'll need to pay someone, or spend lots of time studying the usual IRS publications carefully, word by word. You have a new hobby. Your US rental property is handled as it ...
by gd
Tue Apr 12, 2016 6:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Tax Software for US Expat
Replies: 5
Views: 561

Re: Best Tax Software for US Expat

My experience with passive foreign income (no earned): In the range of 5 years ago, TurboTax was clearly better with 1116 than TaxAct, although neither was good enough to allow e-filing; I had to manually change stuff and it would then refuse to e-file. TurboTax can now do my 1116 well enough to e-f...
by gd
Fri Apr 08, 2016 8:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental Property Depreciation Carry over loss in Turbo Tax
Replies: 33
Views: 2004

Re: Rental Property Depreciation Carry over loss in Turbo Tax

It's not a big deal to amend your tax return if you must file now. Redo it later, fill out a 1040X with the original and revised returns side by side, possibly pay a modest penalty.
by gd
Thu Apr 07, 2016 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental Property Depreciation Carry over loss in Turbo Tax
Replies: 33
Views: 2004

Re: Rental Property Depreciation Carry over loss in Turbo Tax

thanks, I suspect my confusion hinges on "additional depreciation". Way over my head; I'd be concerned it was over TurboTax's skill level, also.
by gd
Thu Apr 07, 2016 6:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental Property Depreciation Carry over loss in Turbo Tax
Replies: 33
Views: 2004

Re: Rental Property Depreciation Carry over loss in Turbo Tax

The possible solution here is simply not to claim the depreciation in the first place and, on sale, claim the benefit of section 1250(b)(3). That provision says (in essence) that the amount of depreciation recapture is reduced by the amount of depreciation you could have taken in prior years, but d...
by gd
Wed Apr 06, 2016 6:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard "Your 2014 1099-DIV has been amended"
Replies: 13
Views: 1766

Re: Vanguard "Your 2014 1099-DIV has been amended"

Do you know which investment(s) in your brokerage account that caused bookkeeping problems at Vanguard? I can't tell from the 1099 or the cover letter. But from the types of funds/accounts we have I suspect that any fund that has monthy dividends is involved. But maybe any fund that you received di...
by gd
Tue Apr 05, 2016 6:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: phone gizmos plugged into electrical outlets
Replies: 20
Views: 1980

Re: phone gizmos plugged into electrical outlets

It's my understanding you can "backfeed" this into your existing phone system by connecting a phone cable from the unit back into your existing phone jack. Do your own research to confirm. Certainly you can, after disconnecting your house circuit from the previous service at the (usually)...
by gd
Mon Apr 04, 2016 7:50 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Things I'm Pretty Sure About
Replies: 22
Views: 4162

Re: Things I'm Pretty Sure About

What they enjoy is the respect and admiration that they assume flaunting expensive stuff will bring them. And they're often wrong about it. Humility may bring you more respect than vanity, but it's so hard to accept that. I'm pretty sure this is wrong. Sometimes, yes. Often, no. It'd be nice if the...
by gd
Thu Mar 31, 2016 7:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Battling Deer Ticks, Opinions Sought
Replies: 66
Views: 4013

Re: Battling Deer Ticks, Opinions Sought

Here's one, scroll down to Q #19. The 4-6 hour window is also mentioned on many of the national Lyme org websites. https://sites.google.com/site/marylandlyme/50-faq-answers Scary web site! If they have a original source for that time in this web site, I didn't have the patience to find it. Quotes b...
by gd
Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Battling Deer Ticks, Opinions Sought
Replies: 66
Views: 4013

Re: Battling Deer Ticks, Opinions Sought

New research also shows that the old rule of 24 hours is also wrong. The bacteria can be (and has in some victims) transferred in as few as 4-6 hours. Not challenging you, but finding 10+ ticks a year, this is important to me-- where did you find this? Places I look are still saying longer. To my k...
by gd
Mon Mar 28, 2016 8:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Living in Pittsburgh
Replies: 70
Views: 4995

Re: Living in Pittsburgh

It's an interesting place-- to be from. One of the impressions of my youth is simply forgetting about the existence of the sky for the winter. Grey, and dumpy hills that never really gave you a real view. Lots and lots and lots of really, really steep hills. South Hills is too far to Oakland unless ...
by gd
Mon Mar 28, 2016 4:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Battling Deer Ticks, Opinions Sought
Replies: 66
Views: 4013

Re: Battling Deer Ticks, Opinions Sought

I think you're on the wrong path. It's nature, they're everywhere, and you aren't going to keep them (ticks) out of your yard. I cannot even imagine how 6 little tubes of cotton is going to significantly impact ticks over 1.8 acres. That area might have dozens of mice, each with several nests. I've ...
by gd
Sun Mar 27, 2016 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Low flow shower head?
Replies: 32
Views: 2286

Re: Low flow shower head?

I've bought a handheld with trickle-flow button, it was hard to press and we just stopped using the button. A separate flow control valve device inline with the head, having a rotating stopcock, worked much better, only adds on maybe 1.5", and gives you more options for the showerhead itself. $...
by gd
Sun Mar 27, 2016 7:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Recommend book(s) on] Critical thinking, suggestion please?
Replies: 42
Views: 3202

Re: [Recommend book(s) on] Critical thinking, suggestion please?

How To Solve It, G. Polya. As I recall it was more mathematical or scientific problem-solving than general critical thinking, but the two are not always so far apart.
by gd
Sun Mar 27, 2016 7:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Low flow shower head?
Replies: 32
Views: 2286

Re: Low flow shower head?

I've got two Niagara Earth Massage 1.5 gpm handheld shower heads, and recommend them. Listing at about $15 as I check, and 1.6 gpm measured. I do not recommend buying anything that doesn't state its flow rate, one purchase from amazon claimed it was low flow but measured standard (2.6 gpm, just spra...
by gd
Sat Mar 26, 2016 7:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Considering S&P 500 Index and Total Stock Market Index in portfolio....
Replies: 10
Views: 1163

Re: Considering S&P 500 Index and Total Stock Market Index in portfolio....

I've had both, it's about a wash. Look at Vanguard's fund comparisons over various ranges and convince yourself, or not. I use TSM because it makes me feel better. If you want enough mid- and small-cap to make a real difference, buy a separate index for that in a larger percentage than TSM adds to S...
by gd
Sat Mar 26, 2016 7:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wet / Dry (shop) vac recommendations
Replies: 21
Views: 1267

Re: Wet / Dry (shop) vac recommendations

Shop-Vac 2.5 HP AllAround EZ. I've got what I think is a previous generation of this thing. The on/off switch broke "on" after a few decades, but the damn vacuum just won't die otherwise despite endless abuse, so I can't bring myself to throw it away. You have 3 choices-- foam filter for w...
by gd
Thu Mar 24, 2016 7:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to get rid of poison ivy
Replies: 58
Views: 3016

Re: How to get rid of poison ivy

Grazing, cutting or weed-wacking PI is like pruning a bush to promote further growth. Do it constantly for a few years and it'll give up, do it once or twice and it'll come back twice as thick. I can easily identify areas on my property where previous owners have done that, vs. old-growth PI. Old gr...
by gd
Tue Mar 22, 2016 6:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ethernet Wired Home - Advice
Replies: 24
Views: 1861

Re: Ethernet Wired Home - Advice

hudson wrote: Is there 110 volt service there?

First thing I thought of-- picturing an extension cord running into the closet. :D
by gd
Fri Mar 18, 2016 8:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fund CG reporting assumptions
Replies: 1
Views: 170

Fund CG reporting assumptions

Doing taxes, I notice the IRS is very fussy about breaking down capital gains into reported and unreported categories, older purchases being unreported because of less record-keeping by funds in previous decades. I use FIFO and Quicken going back 25 years, but want to leave an easy alternate paper t...
by gd
Fri Mar 18, 2016 8:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Making new mulch bed yourself - what do I need?
Replies: 35
Views: 2240

Re: Making new mulch bed yourself - what do I need?

Find an example of what you want to do in your area, with closely similar pine density and shading, and note what they've got growing well-- you may have unreasonable expectations for the area. If it's a densely shading, vigorous pine tree I let the needles accumulate into a soft, pleasant carpet un...
by gd
Fri Mar 18, 2016 7:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Deck staining
Replies: 15
Views: 1542

Re: Deck staining

Check what specific stain they're proposing, go to a store that sells it, and read the instructions on the can for the final authority. Stain isn't really intended to fill cracks the way paint does, although it can up to a point. As others above, pretty unlikely it says more than 2 coats, if that. I...
by gd
Thu Mar 17, 2016 7:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Programs, Foreign Tax, Form 1116, Capital Gains, Deductions
Replies: 13
Views: 1240

Re: Tax Programs, Foreign Tax, Form 1116, Capital Gains, Deductions

It's disappointing that tax software is not handling Form 1116 quite right but as you mentioned the difference is probably small in most cases. You would think that sophisticated software could make an adjustment after the state tax forms are complete, but it would likely add a complication that th...
by gd
Tue Mar 15, 2016 7:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: figuring taxes on my german brokerage account to declare on my US tax form
Replies: 6
Views: 518

Re: figuring taxes on my german brokerage account to declare on my US tax form

Never faced it because no one in Germany would let us buy stock funds, presumably for this reason. For bank account interest, we beg German banks to give us year-end summaries I don't think they normally send out, and simply use information as if we got a 1099-INT. The IRS doesn't seem to care if I ...
by gd
Tue Mar 15, 2016 7:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Duct cleaning
Replies: 36
Views: 2809

Re: Duct cleaning

Duct mastic sealant, if you're sure you don't want to open it again. Buy it in pails and slather it on with a paint brush. I used it 7-8 years ago to improve joint sealing in old ducting, and as far as I know it's completely intact everywhere. Effective old-school solution.
by gd
Mon Mar 14, 2016 6:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For Parents Who Have Given a Child Money For Home Down Payment
Replies: 158
Views: 10843

Re: For Parents Who Have Given a Child Money For Home Down Payment

muddlehead wrote: I think of it as a pre-death inheritance.
Inheritances are usually given to the child. Do you lie awake at night worrying that if you give son an inheritance and they later divorce, the spouse would get part of it? Same thing, except this way you get more satisfaction out of the bequest.

Go to advanced search