Search found 6851 matches

by jebmke
Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace TVs with Smart Tvs or not?
Replies: 53
Views: 3768

Re: Replace TVs with Smart Tvs or not?

I think that it makes the most sense to look at a TV as basically just a simple monitor, an output device for a set of video signals with no intelligence other than to choose what video signal comes into it. Even audio should not go to the TV, but from the analog audio outputs of the cable box or w...
by jebmke
Thu Nov 23, 2017 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Multi-State MFS Tax Filing
Replies: 2
Views: 147

Re: Multi-State MFS Tax Filing

First thing you have to do is determine if the state you are filing allows you to file anything other than MFJ if you file MFJ for Federal purposes. I have seen a couple cases of multi-state spousal and income arrangements where it paid to file separately for both Federal and State (in my state, if ...
by jebmke
Thu Nov 23, 2017 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Basic DESKTOP?
Replies: 58
Views: 3143

Re: Best Basic DESKTOP?

Sorry to be so dense about this. But I have files on my desktop. I buy a new Chromebook. What then? How do I get the hundreds of Excel and Word files onto my Chromebook? Where to they live? I'd have to look at the details on Google Docs (or Office) but I think the theory is that you upload all the ...
by jebmke
Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block Software
Replies: 62
Views: 4963

Re: H&R Block Software

neilpilot wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:45 am
I've tried it several times, and always $27.48. Very strange.
It wouldn't be the first time a company on the internet served up different prices to different customers. Probably won't be the last. On the other hand, it could be a glitch in their system.
by jebmke
Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How Does Real Estate Affect Asset Allocation?
Replies: 14
Views: 644

Re: How Does Real Estate Affect Asset Allocation?

Right or wrong I have always taken the position that RE is already reflected in my income and expense estimates so I have excluded them from the portfolio. In addition, since I can't re-balance and it is not liquid, I am more comfortable ignoring it for portfolio considerations. For estate valuation...
by jebmke
Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block Software
Replies: 62
Views: 4963

Re: H&R Block Software

livesoft wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:10 am
Ha! I tried hrblock.com twice in the past 3 minutes. Once the price was $44.95 and once it was $27.48. Go figure.
Not surprised. I normally just buy it when I am ready to use it in December. Getting close to time to true up for 2017. No ROTH conversion this year so it should be a layup.
by jebmke
Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block Software
Replies: 62
Views: 4963

Re: H&R Block Software

Yes, I know; for me it comes up $44 and change. Read my typing.

Doesn't really matter. $5-10 difference isn't a big deal. I don't chase every penny.
by jebmke
Thu Nov 23, 2017 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block Software
Replies: 62
Views: 4963

Re: H&R Block Software

Thanks for the link. Too late now as it is $44.95 https://www.hrblock.com/tax-software/ But I will watch for sale. Unless you need that AmEx credit, why not just use the OP's link? That's a decent price. PC Download price for Deluxe on Amazon is $34.99 How is that better than the $27.48 offer at OP...
by jebmke
Thu Nov 23, 2017 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block Software
Replies: 62
Views: 4963

Re: H&R Block Software

neilpilot wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 9:35 am
student wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:08 am

Thanks for the link. Too late now as it is $44.95 https://www.hrblock.com/tax-software/
But I will watch for sale.
Unless you need that AmEx credit, why not just use the OP's link? That's a decent price.
PC Download price for Deluxe on Amazon is $34.99
by jebmke
Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Supplemental Plan F High Deductible
Replies: 15
Views: 1046

Re: Medicare Supplemental Plan F High Deductible

What concerns me about plans where I need to deal with billing errors, etc. is not so much the trouble for me to stay on top of it, but the trouble for the loved one who needs to manage my affairs if and when I am no longer able to manage my own affairs. That is my thinking - and also the reason I ...
by jebmke
Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Reminder, donations and Amazon
Replies: 3
Views: 317

Re: Reminder, donations and Amazon

The link is on the main page
by jebmke
Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Beware Amazon Price Gouging
Replies: 62
Views: 6965

Re: Beware Amazon Price Gouging

Often better pricing elsewhere. On the other hand, AMZ was only about 1.5% of our total credit card spend (most of our spending outside of taxes and insurance). I usually check around but if the price is close, I often go back to AMZ because delivery is fast - we have a huge AMZ distribution center ...
by jebmke
Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 501(c)(3) Public-Charity or a Private Foundation?
Replies: 23
Views: 824

Re: 501(c)(3) Public-Charity or a Private Foundation?

Here also is a brief chart comparing DAFs and Foundations

https://www.nptrust.org/donor-advised-f ... foundation

One of the features of a DAF that we use often is the ability to donate anonymously. It would appear from this chart that one can't do that with a foundation.
by jebmke
Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any need for professional tax preparer?
Replies: 11
Views: 843

Re: Any need for professional tax preparer?

So now I wonder which profession is good at tax planning? I can't comment on individual taxes but my experience in the corporate world was that tax planning (advisory services) were usually separate lines of business from compliance (e.g. filing returns and litigation among other activities) in maj...
by jebmke
Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retention Bonus
Replies: 7
Views: 986

Re: Retention Bonus

an_asker wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:36 am
I thought payroll is part of HR!!
Typically not. Normally it is part of accounting.
by jebmke
Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Slanting International geographically or regionally
Replies: 19
Views: 741

Re: Slanting International geographically or regionally

Why would you want to tilt away from Europe? I just believe it would be more productive for my portfolio. Since nobody knows nothing there is no point in stating my reasoning because I would adding to the financial porn on this site. So you are just making up investment strategies based on gut feel...
by jebmke
Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:04 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Slanting International geographically or regionally
Replies: 19
Views: 741

Re: Slanting International geographically or regionally

Why would you want to tilt away from Europe?
by jebmke
Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you define success in your life?
Replies: 46
Views: 1775

Re: How do you define success in your life?

nisiprius wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:43 am
Why would I define "success" at all?
I don't. I just try to do the right thing, learn from my mistakes and hope for the best.
by jebmke
Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paying cash for medical care - best practice?
Replies: 27
Views: 1647

Re: Paying cash for medical care - best practice?

"Stuff" can happen quickly - even to folks who think they are in good health. Similar to your experiences, I have a friend who was very fit and in good health. He had some breathing issues and stopped to see his doctor. She misdiagnosed it but sent him to the hospital for tests anyway. After a coup...
by jebmke
Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Uber for someone who knows only taxis
Replies: 89
Views: 4571

Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

OK, I have a question. I just downloaded both Uber and Lyft. How do you pay? Neither asked for my credit card. When someone who hacked Uber's customer data installs ransomware on your computer they will ask for a credit card. Yea, the day I sign up is the day Uber gets hacked. Oh well, by this time...
by jebmke
Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Uber for someone who knows only taxis
Replies: 89
Views: 4571

Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

JMacDonald wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:21 pm
OK, I have a question. I just downloaded both Uber and Lyft. How do you pay? Neither asked for my credit card.
When someone who hacked Uber's customer data installs ransomware on your computer they will ask for a credit card.
by jebmke
Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retention Bonus
Replies: 7
Views: 986

Re: Retention Bonus

I would talk to an accountant. If you give back the after tax money, your W2s aren't going to shrink. If it were me and I did not sign the acceptance letter, I would probably wait and see how many times they asked me to pay the money back before I took action. For a contract to be valid, there has ...
by jebmke
Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Supplemental Plan F High Deductible
Replies: 15
Views: 1046

Re: Medicare Supplemental Plan F High Deductible

If I do not choose this plan now, I would enroll in Plan G. Is there any reason or evidence that I should I be more concerned about the viability of Plan F HD than any other plan? If you choose Plan F HD and it becomes unavailable, I believe that is a qualifying event for Guaranteed Issue in Maryla...
by jebmke
Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: NoScript is back
Replies: 0
Views: 387

NoScript is back

It appears that the update for Noscript for the new Firefox version has been released. My system installed the update automatically.
by jebmke
Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paying cash for medical care - best practice?
Replies: 27
Views: 1647

Re: Paying cash for medical care - best practice?

If you are paying cash, isn't your exposure unlimited? What happens in a situation where you need expensive treatment? Are your doctors going to refer you to someone in her network?
by jebmke
Tue Nov 21, 2017 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Supplemental Plan F High Deductible
Replies: 15
Views: 1046

Re: Medicare Supplemental Plan F High Deductible

If I do not choose this plan now, I would enroll in Plan G. Is there any reason or evidence that I should I be more concerned about the viability of Plan F HD than any other plan? If you choose Plan F HD and it becomes unavailable, I believe that is a qualifying event for Guaranteed Issue in Maryla...
by jebmke
Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax Basics Cheatsheet?
Replies: 8
Views: 981

Re: Tax Basics Cheatsheet?

If you look at Form 1040 and follow the instructions for lines 8, 9 and 13 you can learn a lot about taxation of non-retirement accounts.

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1040gi.pdf
by jebmke
Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Transferring $$ from Ally
Replies: 19
Views: 1170

Re: Transferring $$ from Ally

Ally has gotten pretty quick about completing transfers compared to back in the day. I'd go from Ally to your bank just for that reason. I think ACH in general has gotten faster. My transfers from AMEX Bank to my checking account typically go in one day. I wouldn't cut it that close for something c...
by jebmke
Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for Black Friday tax software deals (HRBlock)
Replies: 17
Views: 2018

Re: Looking for Black Friday tax software deals (HRBlock)

Amex has a $10 statement credit offer for HRBlock. "Get a one-time $10 statement credit by using your enrolled Card to spend a minimum of $30+ in one or more transactions online at hrblock.com by 4/30/2018. See terms for exclusions." This is found under the "offers and & benefits" section after I l...
by jebmke
Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What percentage of your annual expenditures are you targeting for travel once you are retired?
Replies: 19
Views: 1280

Re: What percentage of your annual expenditures are you targeting for travel once you are retired?

Don't have spending targets. Budget I did before I retired had about 5% but we are running below that quite a bit most years.
by jebmke
Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Current precarious equity environment for a retiree
Replies: 43
Views: 3225

Re: Current precarious equity environment for a retiree

flyingaway wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:56 am

How to adjust asset allocation? Even 100% bond allocation will keep many retirees up at night.
Probably good candidates for a SPIA.
by jebmke
Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Firefox upgrade broke my add-on, switched to Waterfox
Replies: 10
Views: 1524

Re: Firefox upgrade broke my add-on, switched to Waterfox

I installed Waterfox without porting the FF profile. On another VM, I will try porting the FF profile. VMs are a handy tool in this environment -- enabling one to try out various things before fully committing. good idea. I will do the same. I have a bunch of W7 VMs for testing and some Linux VMs I...
by jebmke
Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Returns - How Long Do you Keep?
Replies: 42
Views: 2993

Re: Tax Returns - How Long Do you Keep?

joe8d wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:04 pm
Three Years "Required" by IRS, That's all you have to do.
Until you need something off the older ones.
by jebmke
Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Firefox upgrade broke my add-on, switched to Waterfox
Replies: 10
Views: 1524

Re: Firefox upgrade broke my add-on, switched to Waterfox

Were you able to port the complete FF profile to Waterfox?
by jebmke
Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: internet browsers and free software?
Replies: 7
Views: 566

Re: internet browsers and free software?

JohnFiscal wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:56 am
Veracrypt seems to be Vera slow
By slow do you mean slow to mount the encrypted file or slow in process (while open)?
by jebmke
Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you include the sale of your home as part of your retirement planning?
Replies: 83
Views: 4018

Re: Do you include the sale of your home as part of your retirement planning?

TheTimeLord wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:21 pm
We certainly plan to transition before that point.
This makes it sound like you are going to off yourself. :P
by jebmke
Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are expensive tires worth it?
Replies: 42
Views: 2473

Re: Are expensive tires worth it?

Expensive tires don't matter. Good tires matter a lot! True. I just don't know how to tell the difference. Do you? I suppose Consumer Reports probably has an article on it. I don't get consumer reports and I don't necessarily trust the people posting on Tirerack.com etc. I used to trust CR. Now I g...
by jebmke
Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Solo 401k contribution based on K-1 received for private equity investment exit?
Replies: 8
Views: 331

Re: Solo 401k contribution based on K-1 received for private equity investment exit?

It sounds like the PE income is passive, not earned income. I couldn't really follow your post though. Who is creating the K-1 for the PE? The LLC. Essentially the LLC was created to collect money from friends and family. The LLC then invests the money into the PE. So, each investor in the LLC gets...
by jebmke
Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Solo 401k contribution based on K-1 received for private equity investment exit?
Replies: 8
Views: 331

Re: Solo 401k contribution based on K-1 received for private equity investment exit?

It sounds like the PE income is passive, not earned income. I couldn't really follow your post though. Who is creating the K-1 for the PE?
by jebmke
Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Returns - How Long Do you Keep?
Replies: 42
Views: 2993

Re: Tax Returns - How Long Do you Keep?

I keep all of mine; the older ones are PDFs, mid-range are return and forms only. Last few years are complete files.

All of my tax returns (and all my computer files, actually) are encrypted.
by jebmke
Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Syncing Family Files and Photos
Replies: 9
Views: 819

Re: Syncing Family Files and Photos

Google Drive folders can be shared to other Google accounts. Sharing can be restricted to read only or allow full access. Not sure how that interacts with the camera apps on phones but if you are just using Google drive as a repository, the shares work fine. I have several Google accounts used in my...
by jebmke
Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: is Amazon a monopoly?
Replies: 15
Views: 733

Re: is Amazon a monopoly?

Tabulator wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:29 am
One may discover that many Bogleheads, like many Americans, believe big tech companies truly care about us and intend to make our lives better. People may not stop to consider unintended consequences.
I would guess that many (most?) tech users still mistakenly believe that they are the customer.
by jebmke
Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:26 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: is Amazon a monopoly?
Replies: 15
Views: 733

Re: is Amazon a monopoly?

Out of curiosity I looked at our major credit card which is by far the majority of our spending (except for taxes and health insurance, neither of which are available via Amazon [yet]). Our Amazon spend is 1.6% of the total. Most of it is local grocery and related stores, restaurants, gas stations. ...
by jebmke
Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you include the sale of your home as part of your retirement planning?
Replies: 83
Views: 4018

Re: Do you include the sale of your home as part of your retirement planning?

This assumption seems to be unique to me in this thread. TheTimeLord wrote: ↑ Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:29 am I make the assumption that in my 80s I will either be required to or desire to move to an Independent/Assisted Living facility. Since that is the case I would no longer have a reason to continue ...
by jebmke
Sat Nov 18, 2017 6:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Smoothing out a Property Tax bill
Replies: 13
Views: 737

Re: Smoothing out a Property Tax bill

Things are lumpy in my universe. The property taxes are due quarterly, and some credit unions pay interest quarterly. Insurance bills come in annually, although I think I could pay them monthly, but I hate owing money. It is what it is. All of life is a series of (mostly) one-time events. :beer
by jebmke
Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Confused about cash and retirement - isn't this really about market timing?
Replies: 38
Views: 3007

Re: Confused about cash and retirement - isn't this really about market timing?

Dandy wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:47 pm
I would expand the term cash to include short term bond funds for at least a portion of the "safe" assets.
Using this definition, my 60% bond allocation is ~ 55% cash and 5% bonds.
by jebmke
Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Southeast Asia trip - Cash handling
Replies: 19
Views: 1278

Re: Southeast Asia trip - Cash handling

ATMs should work in many places. I have used them in Hong Kong and some quite remote places on various continents. I would advise carrying more than one credit card in case one gets frozen or lost for some reason. When I traveled alone I usually carried more than one and kept them physically separat...
by jebmke
Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is holding bonds now dangerous?
Replies: 151
Views: 11723

Re: Is holding bonds now dangerous?

Stocks are a much bigger risk for negative real return and with much bigger downside. If you want to time the market, you could hold short term bonds. Or, if you find principal loss to be unacceptable, you could hold individual bonds. Holding individual bonds sounds better Individual bonds can also...
by jebmke
Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is holding bonds now dangerous?
Replies: 151
Views: 11723

Re: Is holding bonds now dangerous?

Nobody knows... I agree that the markets are hard/impossible to predict. But with interest rates at zero, there is only one way for interest rates to go. And bonds have an extremely simple relationship with interest rates. Rates go up, bonds go down in value, and vice versa. This isn't about making...