Search found 685 matches

by plnelson
Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Uncashed unemployment check
Replies: 2
Views: 387

Uncashed unemployment check

I was unemployed back in 2009 and collecting unemployment benefits from the state of Massachusetts. The other day I was going through a pile of old stuff and found an uncashed check from that period for $75. It also says "void 90 days from date of check". Since it's a legitimate payment and I was el...
by plnelson
Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Income for Social Security eligibility
Replies: 4
Views: 788

Re: Income for Social Security eligibility

The income limit is per year, not per month. If you are concerned about having too much income for the year, and you use cash accounting, no reason why you can't bill late in year 1 so that your income is received in the following year 2. Nope, read the link from Social Security I provided in the O...
by plnelson
Fri Oct 27, 2017 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Discussion Forum?
Replies: 31
Views: 2616

Re: Social Security Discussion Forum?

As mentioned earlier, this forum would be an excellent place to post your questions. If you search on Social Security related topics, you will see that there is a great deal of expertise available right here in this forum. I would suggest starting with a single thread. Spend a little time on the wo...
by plnelson
Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Discussion Forum?
Replies: 31
Views: 2616

Re: Social Security Discussion Forum?

Since posting my question I've been extensively searching the web and have come up with nothing . AARP has an online discussion forum that covers this but traffic is extremely light. There are lots of forums with discussions related to Social Security benefits run by groups with specific disabilitie...
by plnelson
Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Income for Social Security eligibility
Replies: 4
Views: 788

Income for Social Security eligibility

I'm 64 and winding down into retirement. My wife died in 2012 and I'm eligible for income under her benefits. I won't be taking SS income under my own Social Security benefits until 70. I have a consultancy (an LLC) and October is my last full month of work. In November or December I promised to mak...
by plnelson
Thu Oct 26, 2017 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Discussion Forum?
Replies: 31
Views: 2616

Re: Social Security Discussion Forum?

:happy I like 'fKBA' - I'm going to start promoting that.
by plnelson
Thu Oct 26, 2017 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Discussion Forum?
Replies: 31
Views: 2616

Re: Social Security Discussion Forum?

I use the free Keepass, an open source password manager & it has made my life much easier. It will generate encrypted, random generated passwords that complies with each website formats. I only have to remember 1 password to open keepass. Thanks, but I'm unsure how that relates to our discussion. I...
by plnelson
Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Discussion Forum?
Replies: 31
Views: 2616

Re: Social Security Discussion Forum?

Sometimes when I log into my credit union account I am asked to identify my favorite candy bar. I doubt that is public knowledge. I don't remember answering that question when I opened my account, but I guess I must have. Just glad I can still remember that my favorite candy bar is #########. That'...
by plnelson
Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Discussion Forum?
Replies: 31
Views: 2616

Re: Social Security Discussion Forum?

Ive been struggling with SS for about 9 months & its left me in terror of having to go through the gov bureaucracy for my life support care. (...deletia for space ...) . He set up a phone appt for me Nov 17. Looks like its time to make a draw from VGFVPAS (Vanguard if you dont know) :mrgreen: YES! ...
by plnelson
Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Accessing a Social Security Office
Replies: 20
Views: 1330

Re: Accessing a Social Security Office

I went 2-3 times when I was still back East, walk-in. I got there before the door opened. Even so there was a wait of an hour or so. Bring a book. I suspect the wait time depends on where you are. Despite being in a lower-income part of a big city, the wait was not too bad. Expect to rub shoulders ...
by plnelson
Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Accessing a Social Security Office
Replies: 20
Views: 1330

Re: Accessing a Social Security Office

That number was not accepting any calls or messages. I seem to recall finally getting through (either nationally or locally) and being told they were totally booked for the foreseeable future and were not scheduling any appointments at that time. That prompted another walk-in visit. When I apply fo...
by plnelson
Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Accessing a Social Security Office
Replies: 20
Views: 1330

Re: Accessing a Social Security Office

I would suggest setting up an appointment if you can't accomplish what you need online of via a telephone call versus just showing up. But, as the year gets closer to the end I would expect the appointments offered interval will increase substantially, kinda like the DMV lines at the end of the mon...
by plnelson
Wed Oct 25, 2017 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Accessing a Social Security Office
Replies: 20
Views: 1330

Re: Accessing a Social Security Office

When we had to go to our SS office (don't ask :annoyed ), we made appointments. However, we noticed that they did allow walk-ins, but the sign stated that the wait would be "longer" without an appointment. (The wait wasn't particularly short *with* an appointment.) But you might want to bring a goo...
by plnelson
Wed Oct 25, 2017 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Discussion Forum?
Replies: 31
Views: 2616

Re: Social Security Discussion Forum?

Anyway, I think this is a good place for SocSec questions, even if they may not always be financial in nature. Perhaps the Personal Consumer Issues forum. Also, thanks for the reminder to get the SSA accounts set up. Been procrastinating on that for a while now. OK, so I've posted a question to the...
by plnelson
Wed Oct 25, 2017 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Accessing a Social Security Office
Replies: 20
Views: 1330

Accessing a Social Security Office

I'm new to Social Security but already I've been directed twice to my local office for things SSA couldn't do online or via the national call center. My local SS Office needs appointments set up super-far in advance. For my last one the earliest they could do was FIVE weeks in advance. And with one ...
by plnelson
Wed Oct 25, 2017 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to tell if your identity is compromised?
Replies: 5
Views: 781

How to tell if your identity is compromised?

A few days ago when applying for Social Security I got some some odd dKBA questions. Since this term confused some people in another Bogleheads thread let's define it - dKBA is dynamic Knowledge Based Authentication. These are questions taken from public and credit records where they ask about old a...
by plnelson
Wed Oct 25, 2017 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Discussion Forum?
Replies: 31
Views: 2616

Re: Social Security Discussion Forum?

What do YOU call that form of authentication? I just call it authentication. I'm not in tech and have never seen or heard of KBA until I read this. There are many kinds of authentication - what do people call that particular kind, say in a discussion on Bogleheads or if you're calling tech support ...
by plnelson
Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Discussion Forum?
Replies: 31
Views: 2616

Re: Social Security Discussion Forum?

This forum is probably the best place to get what you're looking for. Welcome... I dunno - I love Bogleheads and have been on it for years (and one question I asked in 2014 even got the WSJ to do a two-page-article about me!) but I really think of Bogleheads for financial advice. The questions I'll...
by plnelson
Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Discussion Forum?
Replies: 31
Views: 2616

Re: Social Security Discussion Forum?

I don't know what DKBA stands for so I googled it, which provided links to what looks like a terrorist organization. Please identify the acronym you are using. I don't know of a site that primarily discusses SS issues. dynamic Knowledge Based Authentication . These are those questions taken from pu...
by plnelson
Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Discussion Forum?
Replies: 31
Views: 2616

Social Security Discussion Forum?

I recently attempted to set up my Social Security online account at https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/ and was rejected, apparently because of my answers to the dKBA questions. Several days later a subsequent attempt where I got the same dKBA questions and used the same answers (which I know because I m...
by plnelson
Sun Oct 09, 2016 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Most reliable/safe/bulletproof way to get cash overseas
Replies: 30
Views: 3371

Re: Most reliable/safe/bulletproof way to get cash overseas

Any and all of the standard credit cards can be used in most of the world. The issue in picking among them is finding lowest costs. It is ALWAYS a rule to have at least two and preferably three cards in case one becomes compromised or may not work. One should keep/carry cards in separated locations...
by plnelson
Sat Oct 08, 2016 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Most reliable/safe/bulletproof way to get cash overseas
Replies: 30
Views: 3371

Re: Most reliable/safe/bulletproof way to get cash overseas

Charles Schwab may impact credit-score -- apparently they do "hard-hit" credit-check when you "open" checking account. Also fine-print indicates -- you have to reside over 6+ months in US in a year to continue avail the benefit. Used USAA across couple of countries and continent...
by plnelson
Sat Oct 08, 2016 8:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Most reliable/safe/bulletproof way to get cash overseas
Replies: 30
Views: 3371

Re: Most reliable/safe/bulletproof way to get cash overseas

Schwab checking account. Reimbursement of ATM fees anywhere in the world and 24/7 customer service. Have used it on 6 continents without a problem (still waiting till I can get to the ATM in Antarctica!) SAM I don't have a Schwab account but I have accounts with Fidelity and Vanguard - do they have...
by plnelson
Sat Oct 08, 2016 6:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Most reliable/safe/bulletproof way to get cash overseas
Replies: 30
Views: 3371

Most reliable/safe/bulletproof way to get cash overseas

I used to have an account with Bank of America but because of their high fee structure I switched to a local back here in Massachusetts (Eastern Bank). While I generally like them, I've run into a problem with them illustrating a limitation of low cost banks that don't have 24/7 customer support. Wh...
by plnelson
Wed Sep 28, 2016 10:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retail business model question
Replies: 6
Views: 694

Re: Retail business model question

They send them to you because you respond to promotions. The coupons are frequently underwritten by the manufacturers or the competitors of the products you buy. The store sells the data from your loyalty card to the manufacturers and marketers, so they can examine consumer buying behavior. They al...
by plnelson
Tue Sep 27, 2016 4:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retail business model question
Replies: 6
Views: 694

Retail business model question

Note to Mods: This might seem it belongs in "personal consumer" but it doesn't because I'm not asking it from that perspective and the answer won't alter my consumer behavior. Instead, I'm trying to understand the business model of a major industry sector that I sometimes invest in. I fre...
by plnelson
Thu Sep 22, 2016 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Threshold for pre-notifying credit card companies?
Replies: 40
Views: 3542

Re: Threshold for pre-notifying credit card companies?

If this gets worse, the solution may be to have three general purpose CCs and alternate between them to the extent possible... That's what I do already, but if a card is rejected don't I still have to call the bank to tell them it was legit so the card doesn't get shut off as "stolen"? I'...
by plnelson
Thu Sep 22, 2016 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Threshold for pre-notifying credit card companies?
Replies: 40
Views: 3542

Re: Threshold for pre-notifying credit card companies?

I've never had this sort of issue with my AmEx. My credit union card doesn't hassle me with bogus fraud stuff. The 1 1/2 cash back CapitalOne card does this quite a bit. It baffles me why they object to some things. They have tagged things like a grocery purchase a few miles from my home. Yes , now...
by plnelson
Thu Sep 22, 2016 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Threshold for pre-notifying credit card companies?
Replies: 40
Views: 3542

Re: Threshold for pre-notifying credit card companies?

I think it's helpful to include the name of the issuing bank in these reports. Then we might find more useful patterns re: which cards are more reliable to carry. The first one - Nashua - was Eastern Bank in Massachusetts and their card is managed by Elan Financial Services, the same company that d...
by plnelson
Thu Sep 22, 2016 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Threshold for pre-notifying credit card companies?
Replies: 40
Views: 3542

Re: Threshold for pre-notifying credit card companies?

The rejection is done by an algorithm as opposed to a human. The computer looks at you spending pattern such as amount, distance from your billing address and type of purchase and rejects the charge accordingly. Calling prior to charing will typically let the charge go through. Yes I understand tha...
by plnelson
Wed Sep 21, 2016 10:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Threshold for pre-notifying credit card companies?
Replies: 40
Views: 3542

Threshold for pre-notifying credit card companies?

A few weeks ago I tried to buy a mattress in Nashua, 12 miles from my home in Massachusetts, for about $800 and my credit card transaction was rejected. I ended up putting the transaction on a debit card (and losing the 1% cash back on the credit card). When I called the credit card company and aske...
by plnelson
Mon Sep 12, 2016 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do I report the sale of a really old mutual fund where I have no purchase records?
Replies: 28
Views: 4181

Re: How do I report the sale of a really old mutual fund where I have no purchase records?

So I tried calling the IRS but since this is not "filing season" they don't take questions on Schedule D (capital gains). So how are people supposed to get answers about tax questions outside of "filing season"? We buy and sell stock and mutual funds all year long so we need to b...
by plnelson
Fri Aug 12, 2016 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How many credit cards are too many?
Replies: 57
Views: 5198

Re: How many credit cards are too many?

Thank you for all your answers! I got the message: don't worry about having 3 cards.
by plnelson
Fri Aug 12, 2016 11:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How many credit cards are too many?
Replies: 57
Views: 5198

How many credit cards are too many?

I have a cash-rewards credit card at my bank; I have a second cash-rewards credit card I use only for internet purchases (I feel safer not exposing my "main" credit-card to the internet). I recently got an offer from Fidelity for a 2% credit card which looks attractive. But I already have ...
by plnelson
Sat Jun 04, 2016 11:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reporting Requirementsa for Insurance Companies
Replies: 1
Views: 296

Reporting Requirementsa for Insurance Companies

I have some valuables which I prefer not to describe in detail here. Suffice it to say that they are worth a great deal of money and some are in my safe deposit box and some are in my home. They are all perfectly legal - nothing shady about them. Because of their nature and value, in order to insure...
by plnelson
Thu Apr 07, 2016 10:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do I report the sale of a really old mutual fund where I have no purchase records?
Replies: 28
Views: 4181

Re: How do I report the sale of a really old mutual fund where I have no purchase records?

TurboTax has a help section on exactly this question m You can find a lot of similar links by Googling "IRS I don't know my cost basis" (which returns results from Bogleheads going back as far as 2008 from people in similar situations). I still don't understand this. There is NO DOUBT tha...
by plnelson
Thu Apr 07, 2016 9:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do I report the sale of a really old mutual fund where I have no purchase records?
Replies: 28
Views: 4181

Re: How do I report the sale of a really old mutual fund?

If you enter the 1099-B into your tax software, what happens? I think that will answer your question about the IRS. Since the Date Acquired and Cost Basis are blank on the 1099-B, Turbo Tax just outlines those boxes in red and expects me to put something in them. If I don't it flags that transactio...
by plnelson
Thu Apr 07, 2016 9:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do I report the sale of a really old mutual fund where I have no purchase records?
Replies: 28
Views: 4181

Re: How do I report the sale of a really old mutual fund?

No the links don't help because I only know that I bought these in the early 1980's. T Rowe Price has no way to look back to the 1980's. Anyway the MAIN thing is that these have been on my books for several years so I can prove that they are long term. I'm perfectly willing to use $0.00 for the cost...
by plnelson
Wed Apr 06, 2016 11:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do I report the sale of a really old mutual fund where I have no purchase records?
Replies: 28
Views: 4181

How do I report the sale of a really old mutual fund where I have no purchase records?

In 2015 I sold a T Rowe Price Mutual Fund that I bought back in the 1980's. I have no record of the original purchase date or cost basis. But I do have statements from recent years showing that this fund has been on the books for the last several years, so even if I have to use a cost basis of 0, I ...
by plnelson
Tue Mar 08, 2016 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MYGA vs CD
Replies: 8
Views: 1087

Re: MYGA vs CD

So we also can state that good CDs have higher yields than average CDs, but in addition can state that we get the higher yields with no more risk. Kevin Indeed. I'm still puzzled by all these "average CDs" out there offered at rates that are just a fraction of the good ones. Who's buying ...
by plnelson
Tue Mar 08, 2016 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do most of you plan to retire "full-time"?
Replies: 126
Views: 13639

Re: Do most of you plan to retire "full-time"?

As I read these posts I often see people talk about retiring at a set age, say 55, and I'm just wondering if the goal for most of you is to quit working totally. That is, go from being a thrifty, no-Starbucks, pavement pounder for 30 years into watching Arsenio reruns 7 hours a day? I don't watch T...
by plnelson
Tue Mar 08, 2016 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MYGA vs CD
Replies: 8
Views: 1087

Re: MYGA vs CD

Speaking of falling rates, Isn't it funny that there were lots of posts expressing concern about rising rates due to the recent Federal Funds Rate (FFR) increase, yet the rates of most interest to us have gone down instead? I've posted quite a bit about not worrying about small (or even larger) inc...
by plnelson
Tue Mar 08, 2016 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MYGA vs CD
Replies: 8
Views: 1087

Re: MYGA vs CD

Thanks for the clarification. The insurance industry touts that no one has ever lost money in an annuity, but that's a little bit like the widespread article of faith here on Bogleheads that the fact that the equities markets have (long-term, historically) gone up, means that they'll do so in the fu...
by plnelson
Tue Mar 08, 2016 2:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MYGA vs CD
Replies: 8
Views: 1087

MYGA vs CD

I've seen lots of insurance companies and annuity salesmen touting MYGA (Multi Year Guaranteed Annuities) as CD alternatives, or "CD Annuities". Supposedly one of their selling points is that they offer higher-than CD yields but with many of the same attributes. But I'm not seeing it - Cur...
by plnelson
Tue Mar 08, 2016 1:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MYGA income under an IRA umbrella
Replies: 2
Views: 475

Re: MYGA income under an IRA umbrella

Because of the rollover limitations now you also should not plan on doing any indirect 60 day rollovers, since you only get one for all your IRA account combined. I'm not sure I understand what you mean here. What is an indirect rollover? If I do it properly none of the funds should pass through my...
by plnelson
Mon Mar 07, 2016 6:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MYGA income under an IRA umbrella
Replies: 2
Views: 475

MYGA income under an IRA umbrella

I'm super risk-averse and since CD's are so paltry these days I was looking at MYGA's and similar annuity products such as Fidelity's Fixed Deferred annuities. Lots of my money is in self-directed IRA's. If I buy an annuity product in an IRA account such as my Fidelity self-directed IRA, can I direc...
by plnelson
Sun Dec 27, 2015 12:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric utility being switched on me . . .
Replies: 15
Views: 1756

Re: Electric utility being switched on me . . .

OldOne wrote:If you don't want it, opt out. It is clearly explained here:
http://www.townofchelmsford.us/chelmsfordchoice


Yes, I know, that's the letter I was referring to. But it doesn't answer any of the three questions in my OP.
by plnelson
Sun Dec 27, 2015 12:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric utility being switched on me . . .
Replies: 15
Views: 1756

Re: Electric utility being switched on me . . .

I would start by contacting the town on Monday to verify if this is legitimate (and not a scam). If so, ask them your questions directly. I don't think it's a scam, per se, because Googling for this makes it clear that Constellation has entered into agreements like this with municipalities all over...
by plnelson
Sat Dec 26, 2015 11:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric utility being switched on me . . .
Replies: 15
Views: 1756

Electric utility being switched on me . . .

I'm a resident of Chelmsford Massachusetts and I'm a National Grid electricity customer. I recently received a letter in the mail with the Town of Chelmsford's logo on it, but mailed from Constellation energy in Houston Texas, saying that . . . (caps are theirs). . . "All eligible residential a...
by plnelson
Wed Nov 04, 2015 10:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Role for a professional in retirement planning?
Replies: 52
Views: 4702

Re: Role for a professional in retirement planning?

(Finding experts: I live in a suburb of Boston but I prefer to be treated by doctors at major teaching hospitals like Mass General, Dana Farber, or Brigham and Women's, instead of suburban doctors. Criteria that I use in selecting doctors are their published research and that they teach their speci...