Search found 542 matches

by tractorguy
Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric Space Heaters - Does expensive one heat better than cheap one?
Replies: 20
Views: 779

Re: Electric Space Heaters - Does expensive one heat better than cheap one?

I worked for a company that made electric space heaters about 35 years ago. As others have said, 1500 watts is 1500 watts and that's the most heat you're going to get out of one that is plugged in to a normal 110 volt, 15 amp circuit. The more expensive ones may have better temperature control and m...
by tractorguy
Fri Mar 24, 2017 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What online bank do you use?
Replies: 41
Views: 1982

Re: What online bank do you use?

I have helped my MIL set up savings accounts and CD's at both Ally and Synchrony bank to get good interest and I have savings and CD accounts at Ally. Of the two, I much prefer working with Ally. I probably wouldn't go to Synchrony again. Their website is clunky and their back office systems appear ...
by tractorguy
Fri Mar 24, 2017 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ever apply a competitor and have word get back to your employer?
Replies: 29
Views: 2888

Re: Ever apply a competitor and have word get back to your employer?

All bosses are different but if I had a boss that would retaliate for interviewing with a competitor, I'd run from him or her as fast as I could. Up til I retired 6 years ago, the company I worked for pushed its HR department to give pay and benefits that were good enough that good people who interv...
by tractorguy
Sun Mar 19, 2017 11:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A SUV for towing a Travel Trailer
Replies: 69
Views: 3728

Re: A SUV for towing a Travel Trailer

I ended up with a 2015 Mercedes ML350. I've towed my 4500# Jayco to Wisconsin & Pittsburgh with no issues at 65 MPH. It doesn't really want to go faster than 65. Weight isn't the issue, wind resistance is. I haven't climbed any mountains with the rig yet but don't anticipate any problems keeping...
by tractorguy
Thu Mar 16, 2017 4:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Father is 90, taking over his investments
Replies: 23
Views: 2537

Re: Father is 90, taking over his investments

Your first objective should be to make sure that your father will be cared for in all cases. Does he have a contract with the assisted care facility that guarantees that they will care for him if his money runs out? If not, you need to be thinking about the off chance that he will outlive his money....
by tractorguy
Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need to Re-invest part of RMD in bond fund. Muni or Not ??
Replies: 18
Views: 969

Re: Need to Re-invest part of RMD in bond fund. Muni or Not ??

I've let asset allocation prevail in my case. I want to minimize taxes but that is a secondary objective to having an allocation that allows me to sleep at night and making me do something foolish when the next downturn comes.
by tractorguy
Sun Mar 12, 2017 6:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to get out of a concentrated stock option position?
Replies: 21
Views: 1593

Re: How to get out of a concentrated stock option position?

I'm not an expert but I have exercised options. My observations: * This forum talks a lot about the risk of single stocks vs holding a diversified portfolio. My experience is that options are much more risky than single stocks because the leverage they give. I would place a priority on exercising th...
by tractorguy
Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Edward Jones to Vanguard Transition: What to do with Bonds?
Replies: 15
Views: 1070

Re: Edward Jones to Vanguard Transition: What to do with Bonds?

What to do depends on how much of your portfolio these bonds are. I inherited several bonds in an EJ account when my Mother passed away. I ended up moving them in kind to my Vanguard Brokerage account and letting them ride. They were significantly lower quality (and higher interest) than I would hav...
by tractorguy
Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping my MIL figure out her holdings (Success! at least mostly)
Replies: 47
Views: 3972

Re: Helping my MIL figure out her holdings (no idea where)

I went through some of this when we were settling my Father In Law's estate. He lived down the street from Bell Labs, thought AT&T was a great, safe company, and bought a few shares in the 60's. Come 1984, AT&T was forced to sell its 7 regional operating companies by the U.S. federal governm...
by tractorguy
Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car engines. Turbo vs no turbo
Replies: 68
Views: 4762

Re: Car engines. Turbo vs no turbo

The trend is to smaller engines to save weight (fuel economy), save space (also fuel economy, more passenger & cargo space in same size vehicle), and reduce the cost of manufacturing more engine lines. Broad brush, it costs a manufacturer somewhere between 2/3 to 3/4 to make a 4 cylinder engine ...
by tractorguy
Mon Feb 27, 2017 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used German Luxury vs New Japanese
Replies: 89
Views: 7196

Re: Used German Luxury vs New Japanese

Luxury cars of any make are sold as jewelry. This is what a couple of regional sales managers for Jaguar have told me and there TV adds support this statement. Except for a few people who get their enjoyment from squeezing every penny, most of us need to make an irrational purchase sometimes. The Ge...
by tractorguy
Mon Feb 27, 2017 4:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: moving & switching funds EJ -> Vanguard
Replies: 3
Views: 352

Re: moving & switching funds EJ -> Vanguard

Definitely 'Do not reinvest' for a taxable account unless you want to keep the fund. If you reinvest dividends and then sell less than a year later you may have short term capital gains that you have to pay taxes on.
by tractorguy
Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken's future direction - a cause for concern
Replies: 258
Views: 21083

Re: Quicken's future direction - a cause for concern

Quicken 2017 Premier is ~$74.00 today on Amazon. I have 2015 and was planning to update it on my usual 3 year cycle next year. Based on this thread, I guess I'll buy 2017 from Amazon next time it drops back to the $55.00 range or in August (whichever comes first). That will hopefully buy me 3 years ...
by tractorguy
Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard Web Site Down?
Replies: 98
Views: 3955

Re: Vanguard Web Site Down?

I just logged in and checked balances with no problems. 9:45 Central time. I did the the conversion to brokerage account a while back (which went off with no problems) so I can't say if the old style mutual fund accounts are working OK.
by tractorguy
Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HR Block desktop software not doing foreign tax credit correctly
Replies: 5
Views: 416

Re: HR Block desktop software not doing foreign tax credit correctly

An update. After 20 minutes of waiting, I was finally put through to the HR Block Chat help who walked me through filling out form 1116 as other posters have suggested. Between her help and reading the IRS instructions 2-3 times, I think I got it done correctly. I'm still annoyed at the software and...
by tractorguy
Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I put money into an IRA this year?
Replies: 4
Views: 588

Re: Should I put money into an IRA this year?

Thanks for the suggestion to put some money into a Roth. I hadn't thought of that.
by tractorguy
Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HR Block desktop software not doing foreign tax credit correctly
Replies: 5
Views: 416

HR Block desktop software not doing foreign tax credit correctly

I have over $600 in foreign taxes reported to me on my 1099-DIV's from Vanguard. Every other year, this flowed directly to a tax credit (line 42 on form 1040). This year, there was nothing there. Digging in to it, if you have over $600 in foreign taxes and are married, filing jointly, ($300 for sing...
by tractorguy
Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I put money into an IRA this year?
Replies: 4
Views: 588

Should I put money into an IRA this year?

I'm 64, 95% retired and living off my corporate pension and taxable investments. I also have a healthy IRA. Last year I earned enough from a small consulting contract to add some money to my and my spouse's IRA. After a short analysis, I think I don't want to do this but would appreciate the thought...
by tractorguy
Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Enroll employer insurance and then resigning
Replies: 7
Views: 912

Re: Enroll employer insurance and then resigning

I've known quite a few people who've done this and I don't consider it unethical. As others have indicated, insurance is a benefit & you have the right to exercise it up to the last day of employment. Some things you should consider; 1) When you resign, your insurance will likely terminate on yo...
by tractorguy
Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: UPDATED: Confirmed H&R Block chokes on Line 29
Replies: 20
Views: 2657

Re: UPDATED: Confirmed H&R Block chokes on Line 29

Did you get HR Block to pay you for the debugging work? :D At a minimum, I think they owe you a refund of the cost of the software.
by tractorguy
Mon Jan 16, 2017 10:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacement floor mats for Infiniti M37
Replies: 18
Views: 1102

Re: Replacement floor mats for Infiniti M37

I used Lund mats for my Camry when the factory carpet mats wore through. They are not as plush carpet as OEM but they are the same principle as the Weathertech and work well. My spouse was happy with them. She's not happy with the factory rubber mats I currently have in my BMW because she complains ...
by tractorguy
Mon Jan 16, 2017 10:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping family member with taxable account
Replies: 11
Views: 484

Re: Helping family member with taxable account

The Fidelity Freedom Fund is OK but you could find a target date fund with a lower expense ratio. Vanguard Target retirement 2025 ER is 0.15% vs 0.69% from the Fidelity Fund. I don't know Fidelity's offerings well enough to know if they have a lower cost target date fund offering. Assuming your frie...
by tractorguy
Sun Jan 15, 2017 11:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does it sound like my employer trying to push me out?
Replies: 60
Views: 6154

Re: Does it sound like my employer trying to push me out?

When I left my mechanical engineering management job at megacorp 5 years ago, their was a well defined upper management belief that business system software was not a differentiator and that they should buy turnkey off the shelf systems whenever possible and modify them as little as possible. This t...
by tractorguy
Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [403(b) Fidelity or TIAA Cref allocation, and do I want one?]
Replies: 137
Views: 5439

Re: EJ not [costing me as much as] others?

As others have said, you should do some more research to answer your questions yourself. However, I can give you the benefits of my research into EJ fees on my parent's account which were similar to yours. They never moved them but I did when I inherited the money and I'm glad I did. * My understand...
by tractorguy
Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car for Teen next year...new vs used?
Replies: 50
Views: 3556

Re: Car for Teen next year...new vs used?

Based on my experience with my 4 daughters, you have a 50%chance of a major accident with a new driver in the first year after getting their license. A car for a new driver should not be bought with an idea that you want something that will be trouble free for a long time. You want one that has good...
by tractorguy
Mon Jan 02, 2017 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please suggest websites/software for tracking investments, net worth, budget
Replies: 16
Views: 1868

Re: Please suggest websites/software for tracking investments, net worth, budget

+1 on Quicken. I've been using it since the early 80's. I also don't typically worry about budgets but I used Quicken and a spreadsheet to put together a retirement budget about 2 years before I pulled the trigger. It gave me confidence that I didn't need to work any longer. I still use it to track ...
by tractorguy
Mon Jan 02, 2017 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Donating Laptop/Eliminate Personal Data
Replies: 14
Views: 1375

Re: Donating Laptop/Eliminate Personal Data

I have also used DBAN, both for wiping internal disk drives and external. Just be prepared for the computer that is running it to sit around for a quite a while. If memory serves, last time I used it on a 250gByte disk it took 8 hours.
by tractorguy
Wed Dec 21, 2016 8:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are the REAL reasons to avoid international?
Replies: 71
Views: 5568

Re: What are the REAL reasons to avoid international?

I am retired. I have about 20% of stocks international and no bonds. I can only speak for my reasons for not increasing my exposure. They are: 1. Currency Risk 2. Currency Risk 3. Currency Risk. I have lived outside the U.S. for 10 of my working years. During this time, I was shipping money back and...
by tractorguy
Fri Dec 16, 2016 7:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to buy tax preparation software?
Replies: 5
Views: 760

When to buy tax preparation software?

I'll be buying tax prep software (probably H&R block) to do my taxes soon. Historically when is the lowest price time to buy?
by tractorguy
Fri Dec 16, 2016 6:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Personal fulfillment in retirement
Replies: 37
Views: 5320

Re: Personal fulfillment in retirement

For me, the nice thing about retirement is that I get to do what I want, when I want. If you're not a self starter, this could become a problem. It isn't for me. I spend my time volunteering at a local museum and a bunch of church activities, traveling for fun, and traveling to visit children & ...
by tractorguy
Wed Dec 14, 2016 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Front Wheel Drive (FWD) vs All Wheel Drive (AWD)
Replies: 136
Views: 7964

Re: Front Wheel Drive (FWD) vs All Wheel Drive (AWD)

I live in Chicago but my in laws live in in NJ. I've had much experience driving in snow in both places. I grew up in Southern Missouri that didn't have much snow but occasionally had issues with ice. IMOP, a modern FWD car with all season tires, ABS, and traction control is so much better than the ...
by tractorguy
Tue Nov 29, 2016 8:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Quicken Worth it?
Replies: 58
Views: 10083

Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Does Quicken support multi factor authentication? Yes. I use multifaceted authentication on my Vanguard account and Quicken still downloads transactions OK. I have a similar set up but Quicken is not actually impose multi factor authentication. Are you being pinned for the second factor when using ...
by tractorguy
Tue Nov 29, 2016 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to discuss salary offer as a manager?
Replies: 29
Views: 2774

Re: How to discuss salary offer as a manager?

Indeed. I find it absurd that you wish to talk salary to the employee before the figures are first cleared by HR. You'll look extremely silly, and the employee will be totally pissed off if you talk 75k and HR then says no way. +1 on this and not just the money. You need to confirm the salary grade...
by tractorguy
Sat Nov 26, 2016 7:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: OK for me to retire in early 2017?
Replies: 14
Views: 3895

Re: OK for me to retire in early 2017?

I retired at age 58 with numbers very similar to yours. 6 years later, I am not yet collecting SS but have been very happy with my financial situation. I too had trouble finding things to do before retirement because I was working all the hours of the day and too tired on the weekend to do much. Wit...
by tractorguy
Fri Nov 25, 2016 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Got a Job offer, can I see 401k options beforehand?
Replies: 90
Views: 7668

Re: Got a Job offer, can I see 401k options beforehand?

I also agree that trying to negotiate has close to zero chance that it will cause the company offering you a job to rescind the offer. Anyway, if they make a promise (an offer) and then try to back out of it you don't want to move to another city to work for them anyway. As a former hiring manager, ...
by tractorguy
Mon Nov 21, 2016 5:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Synchrony vs Ally
Replies: 37
Views: 4101

Re: Synchrony vs Ally

I have CD and savings accounts at both. I have found Ally much easier to buy CD's and set up accounts. Unfortunately, they are currently offering lower rates for 12 month CDs and the convenience is not worth passing up the increased income so I bit the bullet and am dealing with Synchrony for my sho...
by tractorguy
Sat Nov 19, 2016 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Quicken Worth it?
Replies: 58
Views: 10083

Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

ABS wrote:Does Quicken support multi factor authentication?

Yes. I use multifaceted authentication on my Vanguard account and Quicken still downloads transactions OK.
by tractorguy
Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sending money to a friend using CC via PayPal?
Replies: 9
Views: 1198

Re: Sending money to a friend using CC via PayPal?

I have sent money internationally using paypal. The times I did it, the receiving person had a paypal account set up to take it. Paypal handled all of the currency exchange. Within the U.S., I prefer to send money from my bank using Popmoney. Many banks have this or you can do it from the Popmoney w...
by tractorguy
Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Incipient Car Rust: DIY Repair?
Replies: 15
Views: 1043

Re: Incipient Car Rust: DIY Repair?

I fought rust on a few cars in the 70's and never successfully got it repaired and looking good. The rust in the picture you referenced is probably coming from the back surface. Because of that, any attempt to treat it from the front only is going to be a temporary patch. New paint over rust that is...
by tractorguy
Mon Oct 03, 2016 6:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Staying at same company for years and years….bad idea?
Replies: 41
Views: 4814

Re: Staying at same company for years and years….bad idea?

My advice is to polish up your resume, do some networking, and find out what opportunities are out there. You may find out that there is nothing that will give you the job satisfaction, opportunities and pay that you are getting now. If that is the case, you can stop worrying about jumping ship and ...
by tractorguy
Wed Sep 21, 2016 4:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Leaving Ameriprise for Vanguard - Tax Implications?
Replies: 11
Views: 1274

Re: Leaving Ameriprise for Vanguard - Tax Implications?

You invested $35K 5 years ago. Its now worth $60K. I'm guessing that you've been reinvesting dividends and capital gains distributions and paying tax on those as you go. However, you probably also have "unrealized" capital gains. You will have to pay capital gains tax on this unrealized ga...
by tractorguy
Mon Sep 19, 2016 5:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New hollow core door or shorten the one I have?
Replies: 26
Views: 1689

Re: New hollow core door or shorten the one I have?

I've shortened several hollow core doors at various times. I own both a circular saw and a belt sander. It sounds like you have very little to take off. 1/8" would jam the door and make it impossible to open. 1/16" is more likely to be the interference. Based on this assumption, I'd use a ...
by tractorguy
Thu Sep 01, 2016 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows 10 Update error
Replies: 16
Views: 1219

Re: Windows 10 Update error

This sort of problem is why my old mega Corp paid for maintenance on mission critical software. A minimum expectation for an accounting package is that the provider would update it to make it compatible with windows 10. If they don't, or if you are moving to something else, then I'd buy a dedicated ...
by tractorguy
Fri Aug 26, 2016 11:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Computer Security [Risk of using online financial services]
Replies: 31
Views: 2910

Re: Computer Security [Risk of using online financial services]

A further comment on the aggregators: There was a bogglehead discussion topic on this in 2015. https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=177582 I'm not aware that anything has changed. Some big banks are discouraging them and raising security flags because of business reasons having nothing t...
by tractorguy
Sun Aug 21, 2016 1:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Seemingly Too Good To Be True Investment Opportunity: Invest or Don't?
Replies: 85
Views: 7484

Re: Seemingly Too Good To Be True Investment Opportunity: Invest or Don't?

Your friends numbers don't add up. He's claiming that he buys wholesale, which every retailer in the U.S does, sells on line and has a 56% per year net profit margin to share with his investors. Profit margins in retail businesses are generally in single digits. I'd run away from this opportunity.
by tractorguy
Wed Aug 17, 2016 1:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Earlier Retirement with Lower Pension?
Replies: 26
Views: 3316

Re: Earlier Retirement with Lower Pension?

In many ways, only you can answer your question. In your shoes, I would continue to save and invest for the next 3-4 years and then get serious about crunching the numbers. In my case I retired at age 58 and, like you, left quite a bit of money on the table. However, I had estimated my retirement bu...
by tractorguy
Sat Aug 13, 2016 3:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Move account from Morgan Stanley?
Replies: 16
Views: 957

Re: Move account from Morgan Stanley?

You can probably transfer the holdings you have at Morgan Stanley "in kind" and then sell them with the timing designed to minimize taxes. You haven't told us what you own (except for mentioning Apple stock) so I can't tell you specifically what will or won't transfer. However, you can fin...
by tractorguy
Fri Jul 22, 2016 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Renovate or replace 12yr old SUV?
Replies: 45
Views: 2705

Re: Renovate or replace 12yr old SUV?

Keep it. If you have two teenage sons who are learning to drive, you should plan on at least one of them being involved in a fender bender in the car. My experience with 4 daughters is that 50% are going to hit something. A coworker had his daughter total his wife's new car on the way back from the ...
by tractorguy
Thu Jul 21, 2016 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Removing Broken Bolts
Replies: 54
Views: 3873

Re: Removing Broken Bolts

My recommendation is to look on Craigslist for a 2-3 year old elliptical machine to replace your old one. Haul the old one out to the street for the scavengers to pick up. I've had some experience with broken bolts and have found them to be very, very frustrating and time consuming to deal with. If ...
by tractorguy
Tue Jul 19, 2016 8:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Garage Door Wireless Keypad
Replies: 3
Views: 799

Re: Garage Door Wireless Keypad

I bought the Chamberlain opener with MyQ from home Depot 2 years ago and it has been working flawlessly with my Lift master door opener. Easy to install and program.

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