Search found 741 matches

by DetroitRick
Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mobile finance apps - do you use them?
Replies: 17
Views: 665

Re: Mobile finance apps - do you use them?

Yes I do - primarily finance apps for brokerage and banks. I don't use credit card apps very often, although I do have them installed for my major cards. And I have app/text alerts on all financial accounts. For Quicken, which I use extensively on our pc(s), I don't bother with the mobile app - not ...
by DetroitRick
Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance: Public-exchange ACA plans on HealthCare.gov - Do they have advantages over private plans?
Replies: 7
Views: 656

Re: Health Insurance: Public-exchange ACA plans on HealthCare.gov - Do they have advantages over private plans?

We've been on ACA since start of program, and it's been great for us. But everything is local and the devil is in the details. The breadth of choices we have where I live is much different than many other areas. Here it really works well, other places not so much. We have lots of choices, but not ev...
by DetroitRick
Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting the Cord & Live Television
Replies: 45
Views: 2866

Re: Cutting the Cord & Live Television

Dropped cable in 2004, no regrets since. We currently use ATT Internet (formerly Uverse) and mostly stream Amazon Prime stuff. OTA TV reception is quite good where we live (indoor antenna) but I don't watch much of it, while wife watches mainly local news and a few shows. For what little sports I wa...
by DetroitRick
Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbotax 2019 on Amazon
Replies: 92
Views: 6798

Re: Turbotax 2019 on Amazon

I appreciate the heads up. Decent price on Premier. Normally don't buy this early, but really need to this year. I have to laugh - got the pre-order email from Intuit a few weeks ago offering a deal on Premier for $99.99 ($10 off list). I like $69.99 a lot better. :sharebeer ... now on to debugging ...
by DetroitRick
Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit Card Fraud Question:
Replies: 16
Views: 1335

Re: Credit Card Fraud Question:

It's extremely common. Had it happen in February with MIL's card. We just called the card company (who had already flagged transactions anyway for potential fraud), verified fraud, cancelled card, ordered new one. Charges were immediately reversed. Easy to resolve. But it made me more appreciative o...
by DetroitRick
Tue Oct 29, 2019 4:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Goodbye Sheet Music, hello tablet
Replies: 9
Views: 1029

Re: Goodbye Sheet Music, hello tablet

I'm still transitioning. I use both hard copy and tablet. Can't totally swing one way or the other yet. But I have put most of my pieces into pdf, and now often buy pdf files from several musicians/composers directly too. I have the ragged binders, both spiral bound and regular loose leaf, but I do ...
by DetroitRick
Sat Oct 26, 2019 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA 2020 pricing [What's your 2020 pricing?]
Replies: 38
Views: 4014

Re: ACA 2020 pricing [What's your 2020 pricing?]

Gross premium for 2020 up 3.62%, entirely due to being 1 year older. This year's increase at last years age would have been 54 cents per month (!), wife and me combined. So for us, this is all age. No change in deductible or out-of-pocket maximum, year over year (Silver Plan). Same HMO both years. M...
by DetroitRick
Fri Oct 25, 2019 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA - Sell Dividend stocks and pay capital gains?
Replies: 11
Views: 898

Re: ACA - Sell Dividend stocks and pay capital gains?

Don't make any decision until you have fully run the numbers for your exact situation, and examined the policies available to you through ACA in your exact location. Until you've done that, it is impossible to say for sure. Especially given the magnitude of the capital gain you are entertaining - do...
by DetroitRick
Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you plan to actually spend down your portfolio?
Replies: 104
Views: 9703

Re: Do you plan to actually spend down your portfolio?

Retired here. No, we don't intend to entirely spend down the portfolio (too risky since I don't know our death dates, thankfully). But I have no problem if the balance goes down later in retirement. It would take a lot of long, bad markets for that to happen, but we'll deal with whatever. We probabl...
by DetroitRick
Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How do you get over an investing mistake?
Replies: 42
Views: 2046

Re: How do you get over an investing mistake?

Don't fixate on a single position, ever. All investors, at least those lacking ESP, will make mistakes or do things that in retrospect prove to be sub-optimal. It's part of the investing process for all mortals. Your investment strategy and tactics should be designed to prevent catastrophic mistakes...
by DetroitRick
Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help With Staying Above The ACA 138% Poverty Level
Replies: 7
Views: 1362

Re: Help With Staying Above The ACA 138% Poverty Level

averagedude - everything you stated in your post is correct. Be wary of your "rounding" though, since you are cutting it close. FPL for single for 2019 ACA coverage is $12,140. So 138% is $16,753. 200% is $24,280. We've done the same, Roth conversions to raise income some years (and deductible IRA c...
by DetroitRick
Sun Oct 20, 2019 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is there a risk to overdraft protection feature?
Replies: 23
Views: 1422

Re: Is there a risk to overdraft protection feature?

To remove money from your checking account, all a criminal needs is an account and routing number pair. Nothing more. They don't even need to know your name or address. They don't need to hack you or your bank. It can happen even if you never write checks. This is common in the US now, although I've...
by DetroitRick
Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is there a risk to overdraft protection feature?
Replies: 23
Views: 1422

Re: Is there a risk to overdraft protection feature?

There is a risk, but given otherwise good banking practices and timely reporting of fraud, you will get your money back quickly anyway. So, in my opinion it is a small risk and a very short-term risk. Unless you never check your accounts, I suppose. Why banks (at least the ones I've discussed this w...
by DetroitRick
Sat Oct 19, 2019 4:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: will tradng Slumberger (SLB) trigger foriegn taxes?
Replies: 6
Views: 729

Re: will tradng Slumberger (SLB) trigger foriegn taxes?

I've held Schlumberger for years, and coincidentally, worked for them years ago. If you are trading under the symbol SLB, this definitely is not an ADR . Assuming, of course, that you are US taxpayer and trading this exact symbol - SLB. Trading this security won't generate foreign gains/losses, nor ...
by DetroitRick
Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: In home part-time senior care options?
Replies: 13
Views: 891

Re: In home part-time senior care options?

We've retained home-based personal care services for MIL since 2010. Starting with informal help (a few hours here and there weekly), regular agency (starting with 4-hour shifts several times per week and going to, now, 22 hours per day every day), and soon-to-be live-in. Maybe each market is differ...
by DetroitRick
Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Consumer Reports
Replies: 36
Views: 3376

Re: Consumer Reports

It's often worth it to me, but not as much as it was a few decades ago. I've been digital-only for years. There are periods when I let it lapse, and then re-subscribe when they offer a deal. I find the automotive and appliance reviews most useful, and the more tech-oriented things less useful (of co...
by DetroitRick
Tue Oct 01, 2019 4:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Charles Schwab (SCHW) Eliminating Commissions for Stocks, ETFs and Options Listed on U.S. or Canadian Exchanges
Replies: 106
Views: 10025

Re: Charles Schwab (SCHW) Eliminating Commissions for Stocks, ETFs and Options Listed on U.S. or Canadian Exchanges

Any good reasons to visit these Schwab offices? I've found it helpful on occasion, but certainly not critical. Since their office just happened/happens to be 5 miles from home and 2 miles from office, even more so. The Schwab office functions that I've found most helpful over the years: - Processin...
by DetroitRick
Mon Sep 30, 2019 7:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: After temporarily unfreezing your credit report, how fast did you apply for a card......
Replies: 14
Views: 1514

Re: After temporarily unfreezing your credit report, how fast did you apply for a card......

Yes. I just did this on May 11 of this year, a Saturday, with a Synchrony card I applied for. I did the online application, tabbed over to Equifax and unfroze report, and then submitted that application. All in all it took just under 10 minutes for Synchrony to get access to my Equifax file. I only ...
by DetroitRick
Thu Sep 26, 2019 8:22 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Retirees - do you hold extra cash for a bear market?
Replies: 93
Views: 9662

Re: Retirees - do you hold extra cash for a bear market?

No. We always hold roughly 6 months of total expected spending outside of our portfolios in cash. It's mostly in online savings, and not for a bear market set of issues. Our cash holdings are just a buffer against life, and a true emergency fund. Our portfolios typically hold almost no cash except t...
by DetroitRick
Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken 2019 and forward
Replies: 141
Views: 12214

Re: Quicken 2019 and forward

Not only does Direct Connect tend to be more reliable, it offers 2-way vs. the 1-way communication of Express Web Connect. Exact capability of Direct Connect varies by institution. But, in general, it allows for account transfer and bill pay. Some institutions don't use the Direct Connect service (w...
by DetroitRick
Sat Sep 21, 2019 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Separate laptop for dealing with finances?
Replies: 39
Views: 3050

Re: Separate laptop for dealing with finances?

No, I don't use a separate machine and never will. I believe there are weaker links in the chain, anyway. But you should do whatever makes you comfortable. Instead, I: 1)keep all my equipment up-to-date - hardware and software 2)practice safe computing and use decent security tools 3)use a password ...
by DetroitRick
Wed Sep 18, 2019 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Primerica
Replies: 20
Views: 1121

Re: Primerica

They are an unusually low-integrity company. Little has changed in terms of their modus operandi and customer complaints in recent years, even though they became independent of their former parent. I just rescued some friends from this in May. Same spiel as you outlined. This was from a relative new...
by DetroitRick
Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home energy/electricity monitoring?
Replies: 56
Views: 2999

Re: Home energy/electricity monitoring?

We have the same (DTE). With a free app, we can see kWh usage by hour, although it's retroactive (i.e. I can see Monday's data late on Tuesday). I can pay for real time data if I want it, requires a $1.99 adapter that I have to plug in and use electricity! :oops: Yup, same program here, DTE Insight...
by DetroitRick
Tue Sep 17, 2019 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home energy/electricity monitoring?
Replies: 56
Views: 2999

Re: Home energy/electricity monitoring?

I've got decent monitor directly through my electric utility (wifi device connecting to my outside smart meter). I've had it for maybe 3-4 years, and they introduced it a few years after they switched us to smart meters in December 2011. It was originally free as part of a trial program, now $1/mo. ...
by DetroitRick
Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Seasoned retirees...
Replies: 52
Views: 4698

Re: Seasoned retirees...

My biggest lesson learned during retirement - respect the value of your time, or many others will not either.
by DetroitRick
Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping elderly parents manage finances - pros and cons
Replies: 62
Views: 5175

Re: Helping elderly parents manage finances - pros and cons

I've done this for both my parents and my inlaws. While my parents presented relatively fewer issues and I had no regrets or issues in helping them, my experience with inlaws is extremely similar to what you outlined. Had I known what was ahead, I probably would not have originally gotten involved. ...
by DetroitRick
Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How old is your cellphone?
Replies: 168
Views: 9362

Re: How old is your cellphone?

Nexus 6p from Feb. 2016. Running Android 8.1. I'm surprised that I'm still so happy with it, but I am. I planned on 3 to 4 year life, and now expect to replace late 2019 to mid 2020, unless I get operating issues first. Frankly, it still runs well, really well, across a wide variety of apps. Better ...
by DetroitRick
Sat Sep 07, 2019 1:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Allan Roth: Why Risk-Profile Questionnaires Don’t Work
Replies: 48
Views: 3668

Re: Allan Roth: Why Risk-Profile Questionnaires Don’t Work

I definitely agree with what he says. Two things especially hit home for me - the importance of your willingness to commit to your chosen asset allocation for a few years, and the consideration given to your NEED to take risk. The first seems like a given to me, and the second seems like pretty big ...
by DetroitRick
Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:43 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Treasuries maturing on weekend in brokerage account (E*trade)
Replies: 3
Views: 386

Re: Treasuries maturing on weekend in brokerage account (E*trade)

Yeah, I agree, since the dates are a known thing to everyone, that small effect would be (conceptually) baked into the secondary market pricing. Thinking more on the funds availability issue, if I know that principal and interest are posting today, and trade accordingly (settlement T+1 or +2 dependi...
by DetroitRick
Tue Sep 03, 2019 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Treasuries maturing on weekend in brokerage account (E*trade)
Replies: 3
Views: 386

Re: Treasuries maturing on weekend in brokerage account (E*trade)

Schwab, and likely every other broker, posts the next business day for weekend/holiday maturities. Because that's how Treasury actually pays principal and interest (from 31 CFR 356.3) "If any principal or interest payment date is a Saturday, Sunday, or other day on which the Federal Reserve System i...
by DetroitRick
Sun Sep 01, 2019 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash & Checkbook Register Reconciliation
Replies: 61
Views: 3929

Re: Cash & Checkbook Register Reconciliation

Whether manual or electronic, this process takes so little time that I would never consider skipping it. Mistakes do happen, and the reconciliation process has proven worth it for me. It really doesn't much matter whether you write physical checks anymore - electronic payments can bounce or get mess...
by DetroitRick
Fri Aug 30, 2019 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Elderly prescription refills when homebound
Replies: 8
Views: 646

Re: Elderly prescription refills when homebound

We've been dealing with this since early 2016 and our experience mirrors what other posters are saying. MIL transitioned from limited mobility in early 2016 (could get around with wheelchair early in year) to fully bed-bound by late 2016, to hospice care late last year. She went from part-time home ...
by DetroitRick
Mon Aug 26, 2019 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: American Express continues to ask for my income
Replies: 68
Views: 5689

Re: American Express continues to ask for my income

Coincidentally, I just logged in my Amex account this morning, and getting tired of that banner, finally provided the info. My own experience has been that it doesn't make any difference unless you want more credit. They ask for it for because they are supposed to, as others have mentioned. I've ign...
by DetroitRick
Sun Aug 25, 2019 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are pet-proof carpets worth the extra $$ ?
Replies: 18
Views: 1008

Re: Are pet-proof carpets worth the extra $$ ?

For us, it definitely would not be worth those several extra thousands. Our only experience is with dogs though. The key factor is that over the past 20 years, when not home, our dogs do not have run of the house anyway. So cleanup is quick (not that it happens often). They either get/got the kitche...
by DetroitRick
Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Video Movies and TV Shows
Replies: 20
Views: 1792

Re: Amazon Prime Video Movies and TV Shows

Although I would find it hard to separate the value of Prime Video from the complete range of Prime benefits, yes the video alone is definitely worth it to us. We dropped cable a long time ago, and use Prime Video a lot now. More so in the past year, but Prime Video has always given us a lot of cont...
by DetroitRick
Thu Aug 22, 2019 5:23 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio tracking tool
Replies: 3
Views: 593

Re: Portfolio tracking tool

Just one more possibility to add to your list, a piece of software I last investigated 2 years ago - Investment Account Manager Here's a link to their website: https://www.investmentaccountmanager.com/ I've not used it myself, or ever found a live individual who has, but they have been around for a ...
by DetroitRick
Thu Aug 22, 2019 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have you ever used a Power of Attorney for Health Care or Property (Financial) ? Tell me about it!
Replies: 23
Views: 1348

Re: Have you ever used a Power of Attorney for Health Care or Property (Financial) ? Tell me about it!

We've used, and are using, 3. I have a Full Power of Attorney with Schwab for inlaw/inlaws accounts since 2007. Because I used Schwab's form, it was quick and easy to file, and accepted without issue. I delivered completed form to Schwab office, and it was effective within 1 to 2 weeks (can't remem...
by DetroitRick
Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have you ever used a Power of Attorney for Health Care or Property (Financial) ? Tell me about it!
Replies: 23
Views: 1348

Re: Have you ever used a Power of Attorney for Health Care or Property (Financial) ? Tell me about it!

We've used, and are using, 3. I have a Full Power of Attorney with Schwab for inlaw/inlaws accounts since 2007. Because I used Schwab's form, it was quick and easy to file, and accepted without issue. I delivered completed form to Schwab office, and it was effective within 1 to 2 weeks (can't rememb...
by DetroitRick
Thu Aug 22, 2019 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Inverted Yield Curve - Anyone making portfolio changes?
Replies: 27
Views: 3237

Re: Inverted Yield Curve - Anyone making portfolio changes?

Nothing big, only 3 little changes. Only partially due to specific yield curve considerations. Recently changed the way I stage shorter-term portfolio withdrawal needs (for the 1 to 2 year range). Had been keeping much of this in individual 1-2 year Treasuries. Now using a bigger combination of tech...
by DetroitRick
Wed Aug 21, 2019 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quicken update headaches
Replies: 20
Views: 1520

Re: Quicken update headaches

From your description, it is not yet a foregone conclusion that your file (QDF) is corrupted. Possible, but not certain. You mentioned the sign-in after update, and your manual data entry routine. If Quicken is being used offline, at certain intervals (it's been changing, but 90 days last I looked) ...
by DetroitRick
Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dashlane Problem
Replies: 2
Views: 428

Re: Dashlane Problem

At least one quick and easy thing to try ... make sure synch function is currently turned on and that you are currently logged in. Open the Security Dashboard and look on the left-hand side towards the bottom. Look for "Synch: On". Or from the menu bar, choose "Synch" and "Synch now". Then, from sam...
by DetroitRick
Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Checking credit card statements
Replies: 52
Views: 3062

Re: Checking credit card statements

I rely on text/app alerts for fraud detection, and daily automatic Quicken downloads as a backstop for that process. 3 errors/fraud attempts in 5 years, probably only 1 before that, but there almost NO time involved for this monitoring. So to me, sure, it's clearly worth that effort. And, we charge ...
by DetroitRick
Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How many bids/estimates do you get for services
Replies: 36
Views: 1702

Re: How many bids/estimates do you get for services

I don't have any flat rules. It depends whether I am confident of the scope of the work needed, and the reputation of the contractor. And I try to identify good contractors for future use, before I have an immediate need (observe, ask, research). I just did a minor exterior carpentry job with a cont...
by DetroitRick
Tue Aug 06, 2019 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No 'Out of pocket' maximum - what does this mean?
Replies: 20
Views: 1906

Re: No 'Out of pocket' maximum - what does this mean?

Yes. I did consider both, and for me either would be fine (BCBSM vs. United Healthcare, G). My preference is very mild - I know lots of folks here using both. But I have 2 reasons for personally SLIGHTLY preferring BCBSM's G (assuming rates don't do something weird in my one-year interim before sign...
by DetroitRick
Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No 'Out of pocket' maximum - what does this mean?
Replies: 20
Views: 1906

Re: No 'Out of pocket' maximum - what does this mean?

Why they don't just explicitly say $185 out-of-pocket max for that exact policy seems odd, but I've seen same language as well on the BCBSM website and promo materials. Probably because the premium is subject to change. Also, isn't the premium subject to IRMAA and therefore dependent on your MAGI? ...
by DetroitRick
Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No 'Out of pocket' maximum - what does this mean?
Replies: 20
Views: 1906

Re: No 'Out of pocket' maximum - what does this mean?

No big deal. That language threw me too when I first saw it, because I'm just starting to look at Medicare Supplement plans myself (in Michigan). For that plan (Medicare Supplement G in general, and so of course for the BCBSM Supplement G in particular), there are no co-pays and no coinsurance for a...
by DetroitRick
Sun Aug 04, 2019 7:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For long time retirees, do you use a spreadsheet?
Replies: 37
Views: 2888

Re: For long time retirees, do you use a spreadsheet?

Yes. I use Quicken for current year income/expense/withdrawal control, and as a source of historical info for planning. I use Excel spreadsheets for both long-range planning and portfolio balancing. I've always used the Quicken tool, but spreadsheet usage has changed since initial retirement (when I...
by DetroitRick
Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:02 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Boglehead Complacency
Replies: 77
Views: 6496

Re: Boglehead Complacency

No complacency here. There's never been a time where news flow hasn't been toxic. There's never been a time where some market segment hasn't been lagging others. Market direction, especially in the shorter term, has always been uncertain. I've always paid great attention to determining my own person...
by DetroitRick
Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does your bank charge fees for personal ACH transfers to other banks?
Replies: 32
Views: 1799

Re: Does your bank charge fees for personal ACH transfers to other banks?

None of the banks I use do, or have done so in recent memory. And I do at least 1 ACH transfer from each monthly. The banks I use, where I know they are not currently charging: Chase, Flagstar, Barclays, Schwab Bank and a small credit union. In this low interest environment, I would likely pull the ...
by DetroitRick
Wed Jul 24, 2019 4:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If you are already retired.. is this true?
Replies: 49
Views: 6176

Re: If you are already retired.. is this true?

I'll bite. I'm nearly a decade and a half into my Very Brady Retirement. I'm not sure I can stop laughing long enough to even type this.... On their first point, the .3 x house value for annual expenses, there is no reason to use such an arbitrary rule of thumb. Think of the life you want to lead, w...