Search found 569 matches

by tractorguy
Fri Jun 16, 2017 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Turbochargers
Replies: 60
Views: 3630

Re: Turbochargers

I had a Chrysler product with a turbocharger in the 80's. It was great while it lasted, gave me more power without a hit on fuel mileage. I sold it when the head gasket showed signs of leaking the second time (I had replaced it once). I've avoided turbocharged engines since then. Its not just to tur...
by tractorguy
Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trailer Towing Tidbits?
Replies: 49
Views: 2274

Re: Trailer Towing Tidbits?

I forgot to mention in my earlier post that toll roads will be an unpleasant surprise (if you have any on your route). You pay by the axle and I think a car + trailer can be double a car alone. A 2 axle trailer costs more on a toll road than a one axle. I pulled a loaded 5x8 with a 2015 ML350 and di...
by tractorguy
Wed Jun 07, 2017 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trailer Towing Tidbits?
Replies: 49
Views: 2274

Re: Trailer Towing Tidbits?

I pulled this trailer with this car from NJ to New Hampshire (about 700 miles) and a 2 axle from NJ to Chicago when we cleaned out my Mother in laws house. I think I got about 15 mpg on the highway, traveling with traffic at 70. You should not have any problems. +1 on spending some time backing up i...
by tractorguy
Mon May 29, 2017 3:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Managing My Elderly Moms Portfolio
Replies: 13
Views: 1957

Re: Managing My Elderly Moms Portfolio

Does her facility have smaller apartments that cost less? My 91 year old MIL just moved into a facility in northern NJ that I consider very upscale and it only costs her a little over $3500/month. This is after the initial buy in (which her heirs are supposed to to get mostly back). This fee include...
by tractorguy
Wed May 24, 2017 7:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity customer protection guarantee-void if you use Mint?
Replies: 39
Views: 3039

Re: Fidelity customer protection guarantee-void if you use Mint?

As nisiprius said earlier, this is probably a really grey area. However, I use Quicken to download transactions from my banks, Fidelity, and Vanguard and don't lose any sleep over the practice. My reasons are : 1 I think an aggregation gives me added security because I check all transactions on all ...
by tractorguy
Wed May 17, 2017 11:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sony a6500
Replies: 24
Views: 1597

Re: Sony a6500

I've been religious about putting a clear filter on all my lenses ever since I took a chip out of the front element of my Nikon when I was climbing a temple in Cambodia. It's cheap insurance.
by tractorguy
Tue May 16, 2017 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Take a reduction in pension?
Replies: 23
Views: 1543

Re: Take a reduction in pension?

Without specific numbers, this question is impossible to answer. Even with specific numbers, it's very hard to answer because the answer requires a lot of guesswork and the answers are going to be highly affected by your personal goals.
by tractorguy
Wed May 10, 2017 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Renting correct size car
Replies: 33
Views: 2673

Re: Renting correct size car

+1 on Hotwire or equivalent vs a corporate rate. I've compared several times and almost never have found my corporate rate to be the cheapest. I generally check Hotwire, the airline I'm flying with (usually Southwest), and Expedia. The best price among these varies (which is why I check all three). ...
by tractorguy
Thu May 04, 2017 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a luxury car (how dumb would it be to do this?)
Replies: 216
Views: 18360

Re: Buying a luxury car (how dumb would it be to do this?)

Have you sat down and thought about why you like the X5? Very few luxury cars are bought because of their features. According to a couple of people I know in the business (Cadillac regional sales manager & Jaguar regional sales manager) they're promoted and bought as jewelry. I've driven an X5 a...
by tractorguy
Tue Apr 25, 2017 3:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal Finance Software Quicken 2017 Online Version or PC based] , Personal Capital, Mint, or QuickBooks?
Replies: 13
Views: 1221

Re: Personal Finance Software Quicken 2017 Online Version or PC based] , Personal Capital, Mint, or QuickBooks?

I'm a long time Quicken user (started in the 80's) and just upgraded to 2017 Premier. Despite this, I wouldn't recommend it for a new user. Quicken in Canada is piloting a subscription based purchasing model that would essentially triple its cost. There are many rumors that it will start doing this ...
by tractorguy
Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Moving my mother's obscure funds to Vanguard
Replies: 14
Views: 1477

Re: Moving my mother's obscure funds to Vanguard

Voyager status is based on the total account. So if she transfers both, she should get it as soon as all of the money is there. When your mother gets Voyager status, Vanguard will charge you $7.00 to per transaction to sell this mess of junk if you do it through the web site. There will be no charge...
by tractorguy
Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How inefficient is it to hold Total Bond Index in a taxable account?
Replies: 40
Views: 5627

Re: How inefficient is it to hold Total Bond Index in a taxable account?

Just to make it more complicated, because municipal bonds generally have lower returns than their taxable equivalents, its not always a given that you should buy them in your taxable account. It depends on your marginal tax rate. If you are in a 35% tax rate, then almost certainly yes, you should fo...
by tractorguy
Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I tilt to Country of Birth in asset allocation?
Replies: 11
Views: 1149

Re: Should I tilt to Country of Birth in asset allocation?

I'm going to be one of the few people who will tell you to not tilt to a particular country even though you've got an expected stay and expenses there 10-15 years from now. It was my experience, living in two different countries for 5 years each, that exchange rate fluctuations can swamp any investm...
by tractorguy
Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why never speak badly about boss? [Need Bogleheads' wisdom]
Replies: 138
Views: 13118

Re: Why never speak badly about boss? [Need Bogleheads' wisdom]

In my 32 years at two megacorps, I had good and mediocre bosses. I managed to avoid the bad ones, thank goodness. I've also had a couple of overseas assignments which meant that I had ample opportunities to meat a constant parade of vice presidents and executive VP's who were checking up on their fa...
by tractorguy
Sat Apr 15, 2017 10:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My Story so far. Totally confused! Vanguard, Charles Schwab, Merrill Edge. Managing own portfolio... or NOT?
Replies: 86
Views: 6510

Re: My Story so far. Totally confused! Vanguard, Charles Schwab, Merrill Edge. Managing own portfolio... or NOT?

There was just a story on the New York Times with the headline: " Vanguard is Growing Faster Than Everybody Else Combined" https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/14/business/mutfund/vanguard-mutual-index-funds-growth.html This explains why you have a 16 day waiting period to talk to somebody at V...
by tractorguy
Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Restoration of old slides
Replies: 10
Views: 800

Re: Restoration of old slides

I've not done nuch of this myself but recently read a blog posting showing some before & after pictures of 60+ year old slides that had been adjusted. They are very impressive. There was also some discussion in the blog and comments about the process that might interest you. The blog is here: ht...
by tractorguy
Wed Apr 05, 2017 7:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Management in preparation for retirement
Replies: 29
Views: 1978

Re: Tax Management in preparation for retirement

Thanks to the OP for starting this thread and to all respondents. I thought after reading bogleheads for 6 years that I pretty much knew everything I needed to for my personal financial planning. Thanks to this thread I realized that I have looming step change in my tax situation when I start taking...
by tractorguy
Wed Apr 05, 2017 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spending beyond my means, I think..is my budget out of whack?
Replies: 81
Views: 8689

Re: Spending beyond my means, I think..is my budget out of whack?

How long have you been spending at these levels? If you've been doing it for a while (6 months or so) and if your expenditures are really greater than your income, then your emergency fund should be shrinking. If it's staying the same or growing, that means you're in the black. This of course assume...
by tractorguy
Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: fraud or BoA mistake?
Replies: 14
Views: 1640

Re: fraud or BoA mistake?

IMOP, it doesn't really matter if its a hacker or a mistake, except that BoA needs to find out what is wrong so that it doesn't happen again. If you have any other checks being sent by BoA in the same time period, I'd verify that they got sent to the correct address. Other than this, you've done all...
by tractorguy
Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Conflict of Interest at work - could I get fired?
Replies: 21
Views: 3229

Re: Conflict of Interest at work - could I get fired?

This depends on your company culture. I know of two brothers who both went to work for big agricultural/construction equipment manufacturers in the midwest that are direct competitors. (The green one and the yellow one). Both worked in their respective jobs for 30 years and both ended their careers ...
by tractorguy
Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estimated tax payment question
Replies: 4
Views: 485

Re: Estimated tax payment question

+1 on This: Simpler to do equal payments. Normally I look at prior year tax liability and estimate current year. If roughly same or more in current year I do safe harbor in 4 quarterly installments. If later in the year it looks like I have overshot, I adjust the fourth quarter payment. If I'm low, ...
by tractorguy
Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...
Replies: 62
Views: 4574

Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Are you my cousin? Seriously, your house must look like ours. Your wife has an iPhone 5, My wife upgraded her 2006 Motorola Razr (the original flip phone) about 12 months ago because our network was turning off 2G support. We got a MotoG 2nd gen for her. At least once a week she complains that she w...
by tractorguy
Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do I need an electrician? If so how much would it cost?
Replies: 32
Views: 2422

Re: Do I need an electrician? If so how much would it cost?

+1 on getting a licensed electrician to do this. Old buildings and overloaded circuits are a bad combination
by tractorguy
Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refund from IRS was $500 more than it should have been.
Replies: 9
Views: 1494

Re: Refund from IRS was $500 more than it should have been.

This: Sometimes the IRS discovers a mistake on your tax return that you made and if it is in your favor, you get a bigger refund. They will generally tell you in a letter to your mailbox though. Wait a few days. If you don't get a snail mail letter in a couple of weeks, then I'd call them. I just ha...
by tractorguy
Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Transfer from Edward Jones
Replies: 13
Views: 1406

Re: Transfer from Edward Jones

As others have said, transferring the IRA from Edward Jones to any of the major investment houses (Vanguard, Fidelity, Schwab) is falling off a log easy. They all want your business and will pull out all stops to get it. I'm a fan of both Fidelity and Vanguard but have heard good things of Schwab as...
by tractorguy
Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap, User Friendly Printer
Replies: 34
Views: 3178

Re: Cheap, User Friendly Printer

Second the recommendation to get a Brother black and white laser printer. When my last inkjet all in one died after 6 years of use, I replaced it with a Brother DCP-L2540. (Here at Amazon: https://smile.amazon.com/Brother-DCPL2540DW-Wireless-Compact-Replenishment/dp/B00MFG57ZK/ref=sr_1_1?s=electroni...
by tractorguy
Wed Mar 29, 2017 6:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to check a person's records for convictions & DWI?
Replies: 5
Views: 842

Best way to check a person's records for convictions & DWI?

My Brother in Law, who lives about 1000 miles from us, is apparently having mental issues. I say apparently because we are getting most of our information from his spouse and she has not been giving us a coherent story (This has been typical of her communication style since she married him but has b...
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: 1000

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: 68
Views: 5987

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: 3232

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: 71
Views: 5758

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: 2724

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: 1304

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: 1833

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: 1242

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: 4417

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: 5669

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: 8245

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: 408

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: 307
Views: 30895

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: 4937

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: 551

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: 650

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: 551

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: 650

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: 999

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: 2823

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: 1349

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: 585

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: 61
Views: 6931

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...

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