Search found 484 matches

by tractorguy
Tue May 24, 2016 11:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: be my mother in law's financial advisor...or not?
Replies: 21
Views: 1960

Re: be my mother in law's financial advisor...or not?

If she's living in a paid for house & is living off SS & a small pension, it sounds like this $400K is an emergency fund for medical expenses or for when she has to move to a retirement home (along with the equity in the house). The question is if the drag on her portfolio from this adviser ...
by tractorguy
Sun May 15, 2016 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trade in BMW?
Replies: 45
Views: 3758

Re: Trade in BMW?

Based on my experience, you'll shortly be getting an offer from your BMW dealer to sell you a 2 or three year extension on your warranty. The cost for this, plus cost of oil and filter changes, will set an upper limit on the average cost of keeping your BMW. On the one hand, BMW and the dealer make ...
by tractorguy
Sun May 15, 2016 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a house for an adult child (child adult?)
Replies: 94
Views: 8157

Re: Buying a house for an adult child (child adult?)

You are risking your retirement if you do this. I have two coworkers who cosigned loans for children just before the housing bubble burst in 2008. Both sets of children were laid off and had to move to find work and couldn't afford to make payments on the house and their new housing. The parents wer...
by tractorguy
Wed Apr 27, 2016 11:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I Hate My Job: Politics at Work (Advice Needed)
Replies: 108
Views: 12323

Re: I Hate My Job: Politics at Work (Advice Needed)

If I had a junior person who was working for me as a contractor who was trying to play political games, I'd quietly let the contract expire without renewing. The skillset for being successful in the working world is very different than the skillset for academic success. This is the part of life whe...
by tractorguy
Sun Apr 10, 2016 5:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Free old BMW worth it?
Replies: 44
Views: 4672

Re: Free old BMW worth it?

I own a 07 328i. The car is a dream to drive but it is expensive to run, insure and maintain. A 5 series will be worse. Cars.com is showing asking prices of $10K + in my area for the car you describe in clean condition. If it were me, I'd take the money and put it towards something more practical fo...
by tractorguy
Thu Apr 07, 2016 10:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How often does your credit card # get stolen?
Replies: 73
Views: 3764

Re: How often does your credit card # get stolen?

I've had 4 new Capital one cards issued to me in 4 years. The last one had a chip in it. It was hacked last Friday and I got a new one on my doorstep on Tuesday. I've only had one case of fraudulent charges. The credit card company noticed it before I did and called me on my cell phone. They'd seen ...
by tractorguy
Wed Apr 06, 2016 9:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card being closed for inactivity...Should I care?
Replies: 7
Views: 1000

Re: Credit card being closed for inactivity...Should I care?

I like to keep two cards active so that I have a backup if one gets locked. I just got a phone call last Friday night that my credit car number had been compromised. The issuer didn't say where this happened. They reviewed the charges on my card (all mine) and then locked it. A new card showed up Tu...
by tractorguy
Sun Mar 27, 2016 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto Insurance-Notice of Non Renewal
Replies: 37
Views: 2892

Re: Auto Insurance-Notice of Non Renewal

If you have a child under (I think) 24 living with you, the insurance companies will assume that he/she is going to drive any car in the house. They also going to assume that their presence will increase the chance that an accident might happen on your property. When my then 23 year old daughter lef...
by tractorguy
Mon Mar 07, 2016 6:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A Lost Engineer [Which masters program to pursue?]
Replies: 20
Views: 2824

Re: A Lost Engineer

+1 on looking for a new job. The megacorp I worked for would generally move young engineers to a different division every 3-5 years to broaden their experience, give them new managers and co-workers to learn from, and broaden their network. It sounds like you're ready for this move. Since the compan...
by tractorguy
Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct Plus vs TurboTax vs H&R Block for 2015
Replies: 117
Views: 10140

Re: TaxAct Plus vs TurboTax vs H&R Block for 2015

I've historically used Turbotax because of Vanguard's Flagship member discount. This year, I've entered data into the online versions of both Taxact and H&R Block's program. I found H&R Block's easier to use, has better documentation, and is significantly faster to use than TaxAct. I will pr...
by tractorguy
Wed Dec 30, 2015 7:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: bicycle insurance
Replies: 17
Views: 1111

Re: bicycle insurance

Check with your insurance agent for your homeowners /renters policy. You may have to itemize a bike of this value specifically to get it covered. Plus 1on bringing a good bike indoors at night. All locks can be broken given a little bit of time.
by tractorguy
Mon Dec 14, 2015 10:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy a Bosch dishwasher on Amazon?
Replies: 25
Views: 1975

Re: Buy a Bosch dishwasher on Amazon?

After a bad experience with a clothes washer that I bought from a mail order buying service in the 70's, I have a personal rule that I don't buy on line anything that I can't carry out to the car and back to a UPS store. Returns are just too much of a hassle if it takes more than one person to pick ...
by tractorguy
Sun Dec 13, 2015 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need recommendations for 4WD/AWD vehicle
Replies: 56
Views: 4297

Re: Need recommendations for 4WD/AWD vehicle

Are there laws about using chains where you are? In my experience driving in the Alps in the winter, a 2WD vehicle with chains will be able to pull a stuck 4WD out of the ditch. Chains on the drive wheels of your Camry will mean that you can start, stop and steer. 4WD will allow you to get started i...
by tractorguy
Sun Dec 13, 2015 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Computer Photo Backup
Replies: 54
Views: 3213

Re: Computer Photo Backup

+1 on organizing your photos so that you know where they are. All of mine are organized as subdirectories in the "My Photos" directory on my laptop. I've got them sub organized by year and then by the date that the photo was taken. I bought a cheap Western Digital 1 terabyte NAS drive that...
by tractorguy
Fri Dec 11, 2015 6:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ship car from overseas or sell it?
Replies: 7
Views: 676

Re: Ship car from overseas or sell it?

I'm going to say sell it for all of the reasons mentioned. In addition, cars with the same name in Europe are not necessarily identical to the models sold here. Emissions laws, safety regulations, different fuel availability, can all drive differences in engines and other pieces. There is a potentia...
by tractorguy
Sun Dec 06, 2015 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A car nicer than the boss?
Replies: 169
Views: 12740

Re: A car nicer than the boss?

+1 on renting for a few weeks while you figure out the culture at your new office and several other things. I've worked at or known of companies that had a culture that ran the gamut from "keeping up with the Joneses" to "I don't care" to one in which the chairman fired managers ...
by tractorguy
Mon Nov 23, 2015 6:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving out of state for one year - for transportation, rent/Uber/what else?
Replies: 25
Views: 2200

Re: Moving out of state for one year - for transportation, rent/Uber/what else?

I'd take the car for a lot of reasons. 1.Sightseeing. You're going to be 2500 miles from your home for a year. I'd be someplace different every weekend. Most of the really cool places are going to be a car ride away. 2. Shopping. Except for some city centers. It is very difficult to bring home groce...
by tractorguy
Thu Nov 19, 2015 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College Engineering Programs - how different are they?
Replies: 152
Views: 9250

Re: College Engineering Programs - how different are they?

One consideration I've not seen mentioned is that students are much more likely to settle in a region that is geographically near the school. Between companies interviewing locally and making friends and potential spouses from the area there are strong incentives to stay in the area. If you want you...
by tractorguy
Thu Nov 05, 2015 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Direct Vent Gas Hot Water Tank
Replies: 21
Views: 2019

Re: Direct Vent Gas Hot Water Tank

FYI, I just had a local plumber replace a forced draft water heater with a 50 gallon forced draft, AO Smith model. His standard installed fee was $1880. This included hauling away the old heater. Looking at specs, the AO Smith heater has almost twice the BTU's as an equivalent size forced draft wate...
by tractorguy
Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stick out miserable job for health insurance in retirement?
Replies: 49
Views: 5862

Re: Stick out miserable job for health insurance in retirement?

I'd be looking for a new job. Putting up with even one year of misery now on the hope that it will pay some benefit 20 years from now is a bad bargain IMOP. Bogleheads as a group are all about willing to defer gratification but this is much, much more than putting off buying some toys until you can ...
by tractorguy
Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Exercising Options - splitting hairs?
Replies: 5
Views: 622

Re: Exercising Options - splitting hairs?

If your plan is like mine, the broker will sell to cover and withhold taxes on the exercise assuming that you're at the 28% marginal rate. When you file your taxes, you'll have to come up with the cash to pay the taxes on the difference between 28% and your real rate. Depending on the size of the ex...
by tractorguy
Fri Oct 16, 2015 9:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you prefer pulling a trailer with your car, or a car with your RV?
Replies: 50
Views: 3821

Re: Do you prefer pulling a trailer with your car, or a car with your RV?

The advertised pulling capacity is an OK starting point but you really need to look at tongue weight, tow vehicle max GVW, and max load on each axle before you can decide if your vehicle can pull your trailer safely. In my experience, many RV dealers will upsell you beyond your tow vehicle's capacit...
by tractorguy
Thu Oct 15, 2015 9:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Older Investors Seeking Guidance
Replies: 31
Views: 2651

Re: Older Investors Seeking Guidance

Maggie; Congratulations on finding this forum before getting tied into a variable annuity with Ameriprise. As a long time Vanguard investor who has also dealt with "financial advisors" let me warn you that Vanguard and Ameriprise have radically different approaches to their customers. If A...
by tractorguy
Tue Oct 13, 2015 11:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [All weather car mats]
Replies: 59
Views: 3655

Re: All weather car mats

I bought a pair of "Catch-It" front mats for my 2008 Camry in 2012 to replace the factory carpet mats that were new in 2009 and had a hole worn through them by 2012. The Catch It mats were still going strong when I sold the car in 2015. I liked them better than the factory mats because the...
by tractorguy
Sun Sep 27, 2015 1:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Northwestern Mutual - investment advice
Replies: 39
Views: 2522

Re: Northwestern Mutual - investment advice

To answer your question, Vanguard offers a "quantity discount" for many of their funds and calls it Admiral Shares. The Admiral and Investor shares classes of the fund with the same name own the same underlying stocks in the same ratios. The Admiral shares just pays a lower expense ratio. ...
by tractorguy
Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Least expensive shipping options for a donation
Replies: 9
Views: 694

Re: Least expensive shipping options for a donation

If you and somebody at the other end are willing to make a trip to an Amtrak train station, you should look into shipping via train. My daughter used this service to move several boxes of stuff when she moved from Williamsburg to Boston. The catch is Amtrak doesn't deliver. Someone has to go to the ...
by tractorguy
Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Transferring to Vanguard funds w/o getting out of the market?
Replies: 7
Views: 776

Re: Transferring to Vanguard funds w/o getting out of the market?

When I did this, I did it in stages. I,nstead of selling the whole position, spread the sales and purchases o out over 2-3 sales. This will smooth out the market fluctuations to some amount. This assumes you can make free trades.
by tractorguy
Sat Aug 29, 2015 7:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can the market go up forever?
Replies: 80
Views: 6576

Re: Can the market go up forever?

I suggest you get and read William Bernstein's book: "The Birth of Plenty......" It's at Amazon here: http://smile.amazon.com/Birth-Plenty-Prosperity-Modern-Created-ebook/dp/B0041842UQ/ref=sr_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1440895662&sr=1-8&keywords=william+j.+bernstein&pebp=1...
by tractorguy
Tue Aug 25, 2015 4:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Inexperienced investor: Please help with asset allocation/location
Replies: 12
Views: 822

Re: Inexperienced investor: Please help with asset allocation/location

I had the same reaction as Brad. You're making this too complicated. Get the basics first (stock/bond/cash allocation, U.S. vs rest of world stock allocation) and define an investment plan that meets these basics and is tax efficient. IMOP, all decisions beyond this top level (micro caps, emerging m...
by tractorguy
Tue Aug 25, 2015 8:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Using the market correction as an advantage when changing mutual funds to index
Replies: 8
Views: 1218

Re: Using the market correction as an advantage when changing mutual funds to index

I'm sorry about your pending layoff. I hope your semi-retirement plan works out for you. It sounds to me like it might be tight but then I've never been or wanted to be a landlord :D First of all, I'd second the other poster who suggest you call Vanguard and do a transfer in kind to an account to th...
by tractorguy
Sun Aug 23, 2015 7:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is Your Plan B if Quicken dies? [Intuit selling Quicken unit]
Replies: 105
Views: 13619

Re: What is Your Plan B if Quicken dies?

I fundamentally use Quicken for 3 things: 1) Providing a single source for balances of all of my accounts. I don't need to do this but its nice to be able to see when my checking account is getting low & picking the source for funds to move to it to cover big, occasional bills (new car, real est...
by tractorguy
Tue Aug 11, 2015 8:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Garage door fine, but keypad not working
Replies: 19
Views: 1422

Re: Garage door fine, but keypad not working

Deleted duplicate
by tractorguy
Tue Aug 11, 2015 8:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Garage door fine, but keypad not working
Replies: 19
Views: 1422

Re: Garage door fine, but keypad not working

I have a liftmaster garage door opener (also sold as sears and Chamberlain). I had to replace the battery in the keypad every couple of years until it totally died last year. I replaced it with a $40.00 keypad that was in stock at Home Depot that was advertised to work for all three brands. It works...
by tractorguy
Fri Aug 07, 2015 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPad - usefulness?
Replies: 53
Views: 4535

Re: iPad - usefulness?

For two people, we have in the house: 2 PC's (one desktop and one laptop) A 14" HP chromebook A Ipad 2nd Gen A Samsung smartphone (S5 Mini) My wife has a dumb cell phone and is the primary user of the Ipad and one of the PC's. When she is at home, she much prefers to do e-mail on her desktop. S...
by tractorguy
Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Frustrated with low raise
Replies: 71
Views: 5933

Re: Frustrated with low raise

I spent the last 15 years of my career as a manager and manager of managers at a Fortune 500 company. Raises were a continuous problem as there was no way to make everybody happy. In my experience, companies will define a salary range for a particular job description. In my company, each job descrip...
by tractorguy
Thu Jul 23, 2015 6:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Index Funds May Work a Little Too Well
Replies: 19
Views: 3944

Re: Index Funds May Work a Little Too Well

IMOP, this theory could only be put forward by an academic who hasn't worked in private industry and hasn't had much (if any) interaction with top management in publicly held companies. It's been my experience that the A type personalities who make it to the executive office are hyper competitive, k...
by tractorguy
Tue Jul 21, 2015 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2007 Toyota Camry Issue
Replies: 20
Views: 1867

Re: 2007 Toyota Camry Issue

Go to an independent mechanic you trust and have them verify the problem diagnosis. Strut replacement is one of the favorite ways that less reputable mechanics use to generate business. Symptoms of bad struts are: Uneven tire wear (flat spots) and bad ride. As others have said, try bouncing the corn...
by tractorguy
Tue Jun 30, 2015 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can you simply change the music file structure in iTunes?
Replies: 13
Views: 2005

Re: Can you simply change the music file structure in iTunes?

+1 on letting Itunes manage your music for you. That's primarily what I use it for (and its smart playlists). You said: The problem arises when I try to find the file a tune is in. Or, for instance, if I want to find everything by one group or composer, but their tunes are all over the place in diff...
by tractorguy
Sun Jun 28, 2015 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smart phone data usage
Replies: 57
Views: 7023

Re: Smart phone data usage

You've got a lot of good advice here. I'm going to chime in to tell you to get one of the many providers that let you change your plan if you find out that you've bought too much or too little. My data usage varies widely. In the winter when I'm at home and mostly within range of my wireless, I use ...
by tractorguy
Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chromebooks- What is the lure?
Replies: 104
Views: 9672

Re: Chromebooks- What is the lure?

Counting my smart phone, we've got 5 computers in the house that are used by 2 people. One of them is a HP 14" chromebook that I bought 3 months ago to take on a 4 week overseas trip. We use them all but for different things. Our "workstation" PCs are a 8 year old Dell desktop and a 4...
by tractorguy
Thu Jun 11, 2015 10:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help choosing funds
Replies: 37
Views: 3913

Re: Help choosing funds

Just a word on the high percentage in your employer's stock. I'm going to join in to the group suggesting that you try to minimize this. I struggled with how much company stock to have most of my working career because I was given options and later RSU's and the stock was generally going up. I final...
by tractorguy
Thu Jun 11, 2015 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken downloads and 2 factor ID in Vanguard
Replies: 14
Views: 1527

Re: Quicken downloads and 2 factor ID in Vanguard

How? I'm not getting the request for the two-factor and quicken simply fails the import. I don't know what I'm doing that you aren't because I just tried it and it worked with no issues. I'm using Quicken Premier 2015 on a Windows 7 machine and Firefox as a web browser. I had Quicken download with ...
by tractorguy
Thu Jun 11, 2015 6:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: flip phone vs smartphone
Replies: 35
Views: 5968

Re: flip phone vs smartphone

We've got one of each in our family of two. The flip phone has better battery life and is cheaper (both initially and long term). However, we've found that at least one smart phone is very useful in the family when we are traveling. Hotel reservations on hotels.com, fuel prices on gasbuddy, being ab...
by tractorguy
Mon May 04, 2015 3:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you keep track of your investments?
Replies: 48
Views: 3906

Re: How do you keep track of your investments?

I use Quicken Premier on a Windows computer. Cost at Amazon (don't buy direct from Quicken) is $69.00 for Quicken Premier 2015 (which is the version you would need to buy). This will give you automatic downloads of all transactions from your Vanguard & other accounts for 3 years. It will also gi...
by tractorguy
Mon Apr 27, 2015 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How far away from a freight railroad track should you live?
Replies: 51
Views: 5666

Re: How far away from a freight railroad track should you li

I've been living about a 1/2 block from a 2 track freight line for 6 years and have never been bothered. However, they do not blow the horn at the crossing at night (this is common in residential areas). I very rarely hear a horn at the next crossing west of us. I sometimes am awake at odd hours &am...
by tractorguy
Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me figure out my (FIRE) number?
Replies: 8
Views: 2188

Re: Help me figure out my (FIRE) number?

What are you going to do with your time when you FIRE? Is it going to cost more money than you are spending on this activity now? I don't see that in your budget. I've found that I can use all of the time I used to spend at work in ways I hadn't dreamed of when I was working. Some of them are free o...
by tractorguy
Sat Apr 11, 2015 8:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Hypothetical End Game Scenario w/ 5M retirement account
Replies: 74
Views: 9347

Re: Hypothetical End Game Scenario w/ 5M retirement account

IMOP, your expectations are being warped by the people you are working and socializing with. 50K/yr for a 2nd home? 100K/year for a primary home? 20-30K for a vacation? Most of the people I know are happy to spend 1/10 to 1/5 of that. And I do mean happy. They are having memorable vacations and livi...
by tractorguy
Wed Apr 08, 2015 4:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: More Lump Sum vs Annuity
Replies: 5
Views: 688

Re: More Lump Sum vs Annuity

I personally preferred to take the annuity because it provided a guaranteed minimum income level that will meet 70% of my needs. It sounds like you probably have a good one. However, before accepting it, I'd look at the underlying health of the company that is paying the annuity. Worst case scenario...
by tractorguy
Fri Apr 03, 2015 5:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Considering Doing My Own Investing...but I'm not sure I shou
Replies: 49
Views: 6091

Re: Considering Doing My Own Investing...but I'm not sure I

IMOP, with a little bit of reading you can acquire the knowledge about what works and doesn't that will exceed that of most of the financial planners you might try to interview. I don't think you need to be a CFP. You do need to read the books and articles that others in this thread have already sug...
by tractorguy
Wed Apr 01, 2015 7:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Comparing tax software vs. my accountant?
Replies: 15
Views: 1686

Re: Comparing tax software vs. my accountant?

I stopped using an accountant 3 years ago and have used the Home & Business version of turbotax (because I'm doing a little consulting and have some 1099-MISC to put in). With Vanguards discount, it cost me $59.00 or so to e-file a federal and one state return. I think it took me an afternoon to...

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