Search found 36 matches

by jkrm
Sat Mar 11, 2017 12:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ally Bank Replacement
Replies: 65
Views: 4793

Re: Ally Bank Replacement

Ah you clearly missed the whole Vanguard is down during trading hours debacle the other week! Guess I was lucky! To be fair, I know that all web sites have downtime. Ally's just frustrates me because of their timing. Other than that I honestly have no complaints about them, and I probably will just...
by jkrm
Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ally Bank Replacement
Replies: 65
Views: 4793

Re: Ally Bank Replacement

Ally had a notification all week about doing site maintenance today. I didn't see that. I pretty much only use it on Saturday mornings, when I do my banking. It is good to know that they had forewarned people, but I still don't see why a bank that claims 24/7 availability isn't. I have never experi...
by jkrm
Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ally Bank Replacement
Replies: 65
Views: 4793

Re: Ally Bank Replacement

If I were you, I'd go with Fidelity.


Thanks. I am looking into it now. Ally is still down.
by jkrm
Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ally Bank Replacement
Replies: 65
Views: 4793

Re: Ally Bank Replacement

Thanks for the suggestions so far. I have retirement accounts at Fidelity and a Fidelity Visa. I will check out their cash management accounts. Maybe I will look at Vanguard too. I use Ally as my primary checking account, paying all of my bills electronically through them, and also depositing checks...
by jkrm
Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ally Bank Replacement
Replies: 65
Views: 4793

Ally Bank Replacement

Once again, for maybe the fourth or fifth time in the past year, Ally Bank's website is unavailable. A call to them only got an apology and "We're doing updates." I do my banking on Saturday mornings and this is getting ridiculous. Capital One, when I was with them, was more reliable. Can ...
by jkrm
Sat Jan 28, 2017 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: American Opportunity Tax Credit and pre-paid tuition plan
Replies: 2
Views: 266

Re: American Opportunity Tax Credit and pre-paid tuition plan

dwickenh wrote:Did you receive a 1098T from the in-state college for the tax year 2016?


No, I didn't. But the H&R Block program said that I might not get one; besides, the VA plan pays them directly so maybe I will not get one. I also have not received a 1099-Q yet. Maybe that will have some guidance.
by jkrm
Sat Jan 28, 2017 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: American Opportunity Tax Credit and pre-paid tuition plan
Replies: 2
Views: 266

American Opportunity Tax Credit and pre-paid tuition plan

I have a pre-paid tuition plan (Virginia) to pay for 8 semesters of in-state college tuition for my son. I am trying to figure out if I qualify for any of the American Opportunity Tax Credit. Since it was my after-tax money that funded the plan, it seems to me that a portion of what was paid for my ...
by jkrm
Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retiree Portfolio Model
Replies: 297
Views: 107249

Re: Retiree Portfolio Model

I just tried the second fix - no issues. Thanks!
by jkrm
Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retiree Portfolio Model
Replies: 297
Views: 107249

Re: Retiree Portfolio Model

I am using Excel 2010 and saved the workbook as a .xlsm file, in case that might be the problem. Please download this fixed version and see if you still get that error. Thanks. https://www.dropbox.com/s/d6s25h9llk2dr61/Retiree%20Portfolio%20Model%20v17.0%20-%20fix.xls?dl=0 Not getting the error wit...
by jkrm
Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retiree Portfolio Model
Replies: 297
Views: 107249

Re: Retiree Portfolio Model

Hi, Bigfoot. Happy New Year and thank you again for this great spreadsheet model. I just downloaded and started to use version 17. Excel keeps popping up a box with this message: "The name, QCD1, either conflicts with a valid range reference or is invalid for Excel. The name has been replaced w...
by jkrm
Thu Mar 31, 2016 6:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mom's on Medicaid; dealing with credit card debts
Replies: 5
Views: 1217

Re: Mom's on Medicaid; dealing with credit card debts

Thanks to both respondents. I tried calling the Discover executive office. They were very nice, took down the info I gave them, and said they would call back in a couple of days. They did so, with an offer to have my mom pay $102/month for 60 months at a super-low interest rate, with over $1,000 of ...
by jkrm
Mon Mar 21, 2016 7:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mom's on Medicaid; dealing with credit card debts
Replies: 5
Views: 1217

Mom's on Medicaid; dealing with credit card debts

I am hoping someone here might have some experience with this. My mother has dementia and is now in an assisted living facility, covered mostly by Medicaid. Her income consists of social security, about $150/month from a federal pension, and about $175 per month from an annuity she purchased many ye...
by jkrm
Mon Mar 21, 2016 7:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any experience w/ Ally CHECKING account?
Replies: 40
Views: 3404

Re: Any experience w/ Ally CHECKING account?

I switched to Ally a couple of years ago and have been quite satisfied. Their web site is well thought out and easy to use. Chat help comes on immediately or after only a couple minutes' wait, and is always knowledgeable. My only complaint is that, while paper checks are free, they will send only on...
by jkrm
Fri Feb 06, 2015 7:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: time to replace my router?
Replies: 45
Views: 5161

Re: time to replace my router?

Just a thought - Do you use cable, and if so, how old is your cable modem? I had a problem many years ago (about ten, I think) that was just like yours. The connection would just die, and I had to reboot the router. The cable company insisted I needed a new router but replacing it didn't help. Then ...
by jkrm
Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Microsoft Excel vs. Apple Numbers
Replies: 20
Views: 10458

Re: Microsoft Excel vs. Apple Numbers

I agree with many of the posts above. I have used Numbers for a long time. It is very simple and ideal for a quick spreadsheet. It makes the use of relative/absolute cell addressing very easy - there is a dropdown that appears in the formula as you type it. If you freeze the top row or column it wil...
by jkrm
Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question on potential switch to FIOS
Replies: 5
Views: 1682

Question on potential switch to FIOS

Several years ago, I almost switched from Cox Communications to FIOS to consolidate phone, cable, and Internet service and get a lower rate. The deal was scotched when my wife refused to change her email address - it ends with "@cox.net". No one at Verizon offered me any solutions when I c...
by jkrm
Fri Jan 30, 2015 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mac reliability?
Replies: 89
Views: 6843

Re: Mac reliability?

All of our computers have been Macs - probably 9 or 10 of them counting the laptops my son and daughter used in college. Each was kept in service at least five years - my son just retired an ancient one that was 8 years old, and we have another one that's 7 years old in the basement as a spare. In t...
by jkrm
Fri Jan 30, 2015 1:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: what to do with 529 if you earn a scholarship?
Replies: 22
Views: 2666

Re: what to do with 529 if you earn a scholarship?

We actually had this happen - we had a 529 account to cover all of my daughter's college expenses, but during the course of her college career she earned about $18K in scholarship money. What we did was transfer ownership of the account to her (you can do that in Virginia; I don't know about other s...
by jkrm
Wed Jan 14, 2015 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reporter doing story on Turbo Tax Fracas
Replies: 52
Views: 8647

Re: Reporter doing story on Turbo Tax Fracas

I used to use TurboTax online, but switched to H&R Block (TaxCut it was then) when TT would not allow me to take the full deduction for my kids' 529 plans on our state return for some reason. I trialed TaxCut, it worked, and I have used it ever since. I really like it, it costs less, and is a go...
by jkrm
Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much in I bonds do you own?
Replies: 29
Views: 3837

Re: How much in I bonds do you own?

Hmmm. It's been a very long time since I used it. Maybe I should take another look. Thanks.
by jkrm
Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much in I bonds do you own?
Replies: 29
Views: 3837

Re: How much in I bonds do you own?

I've thought many times about purchasing I-bonds, but I find the Treasury Direct web site to be a mess. I would not want to leave my wife trying to deal with it if something happened to me. If I could buy them through a broker, or even in paper form at a bank, I'd be right there. But Treasury Direct...
by jkrm
Fri Jan 02, 2015 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ESPlanner renewal
Replies: 5
Views: 1217

Re: ESPlanner renewal

I've used it since, I think, about 1998. Around the time it first came out in version 1. I found it to be really useful for helping me decide how much I needed to be saving for retirement - in fact it helped me to relax about how prepared I was. It's true that it uses a lot of assumptions and does s...
by jkrm
Wed Dec 10, 2014 7:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unneeded debit cards
Replies: 3
Views: 576

Re: Unneeded debit cards

That's a good idea - I have a fireproof safe I keep such things in.
by jkrm
Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unneeded debit cards
Replies: 3
Views: 576

Unneeded debit cards

I have several debit cards that I don't need. Three belong to my wife, who never uses them. One is for a Fidelity cash management account that I use just for getting rebates from my AMEX card, so I never use that card. I just opened a new account with Ally, so my wife now has a card from them (which...
by jkrm
Tue Sep 30, 2014 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oatmeal suggestions
Replies: 149
Views: 19776

Re: Oatmeal suggestions

This is different, and not exactly what you asked, but it's what I have had for breakfast every morning for years. I take about half a cup of whole milk yogurt (Trader Joe's), add about the same amount or a bit less of uncooked Quaker Oats (the regular kind, not instant), stir in some blueberries (t...
by jkrm
Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Checklist of info to have on elderly parent?
Replies: 20
Views: 3207

Re: Checklist of info to have on elderly parent?

You are doing the right thing to compile this information now. My mother has dementia, and only recently did my brothers and I come to realize how far it's progressed. But luckily, about a year ago my attorney pointed out that I should have a Durable Power of Attorney (POA) for her. I got her to agr...
by jkrm
Mon Jul 07, 2014 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best kitchen faucet?
Replies: 14
Views: 2746

Re: Best kitchen faucet?

I recommend Moen. They are easily self-serviceable. In fact I just replaced the cartridge in our kitchen faucet yesterday. It took about an hour, and that's because it was my first time with it. Next time it'll be half that time. All of our other faucets are also Moen and all use the same cartridge ...
by jkrm
Mon Apr 28, 2014 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do Honda Mowers Leave Un-cut Grass Strips? [YES, but...]
Replies: 65
Views: 28890

Re: Do Honda Mowers Leave an Un-cut Grass Strip?

Our Honda mower is probably about ten years old. Never have problems starting it, and no uncut grass strips. The only time I ever saw anything like what is described, it turned out that I had the wheel height set differently on the left and right sides of the mower.
by jkrm
Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Laid off today... TODO list?
Replies: 97
Views: 14745

Re: Laid off today... TODO list?

I was in your position last August. I knew the end was probably coming, but thought I had till at least October, and maybe the end of the year. So it was a surprise. Assuming you want another job, first figure out what you need to earn. If you were close to retirement anyway I am guessing you are at...
by jkrm
Fri Dec 13, 2013 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard Voyager Select and Flagship Services
Replies: 18
Views: 4119

Re: Vanguard Voyager Select and Flagship Services

I have used Vanguard CFP's probably three or four times and have been favorably impressed each time. I found their advice completely in line with what is on this forum and did not get any sales pitches. I am confident enough with them that I have asked my wife and son to rely on them for advice aft...
by jkrm
Fri Dec 13, 2013 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard Voyager Select and Flagship Services
Replies: 18
Views: 4119

Re: Vanguard Voyager Select and Flagship Services

I used Ask a CFP once and was underwhelmed. I was also struck that the person I talked to didn't sound terribly confident - almost like it was her first day on the job with a newly-received CFP certification (which I suppose might be the actual case).
by jkrm
Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Learn Statistics? How?
Replies: 40
Views: 3226

Re: Learn Statistics? How?

If you are looking to first develop a feel for how statistics works (and how it can be misused) rather than to get into the math, I second livesoft's recommendation of Charles Wheelan's Naked Statistics . I finished that book just a couple of weeks ago and was impressed at how well he got the intuit...
by jkrm
Sat Sep 28, 2013 7:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Move into GIC?
Replies: 1
Views: 278

Move into GIC?

I have a 403(b) account through Fidelity with an employer that I recently left (it's managed by Fidelity, but most of the investment choices are Vanguard funds!). The stock/bond allocation is about 35/65 as I am about three years from retirement. In a meeting last week with my Fidelity representativ...
by jkrm
Tue Sep 03, 2013 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Goodbye Sprint, Hello Ting
Replies: 29
Views: 3831

Re: Goodbye Sprint, Hello Ting

Does anyone know of a similar deal I could get on Verizon's network? I'm paying about $200 per month for a family of five and it would be nice to get that down a bit.
by jkrm
Wed Feb 24, 2010 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Baffled about Medicare costs
Replies: 29
Views: 4411

Thanks to all for the responses, though I wish they were more positive from the costs point of view. Looks like I'd better keep working and saving!
by jkrm
Tue Feb 23, 2010 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Baffled about Medicare costs
Replies: 29
Views: 4411

Baffled about Medicare costs

I think this is my first post here, after being a faithful reader for 2 - 3 years. I am hoping that some people who have been actually using Medicare for a few years can help me. I am 55, my kids are through college, I will soon pay off my mortgage, and I have pretty substantial retirement savings. ...

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