Search found 1349 matches

by gd
Tue Aug 21, 2018 6:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Looking to provide free personal finance advice
Replies: 8
Views: 774

Re: Looking to provide free personal finance advice

I don't know how CA manages this, but look for local elder services organizations (private or public) and offer classes or consultations. Take this suggestion cautiously, as it may not be what you have in mind. This would be more dispersal than investment (depending on the community, I suppose), and...
by gd
Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit Card Fraud - $30K
Replies: 46
Views: 4021

Re: Credit Card Fraud - $30K

The labor of monitoring accounts and increased fraud risk (with a tradeoff between the two) is a less-appreciated background expense of gaming credit card accounts. File under no free lunch.
by gd
Sat Aug 18, 2018 4:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Discarding dead cell phone without purging my data
Replies: 33
Views: 2722

Re: Discarding dead cell phone without purging my data

OP here. To tie this off, I do not believe anyone's going to spend any effort extracting and reading chips from my low-end, old android phone. There were indications the problem might have been the battery or charging system, in which case it is possible an organization collecting and re-purposing o...
by gd
Fri Aug 17, 2018 11:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Elderly Relative Short on Money
Replies: 93
Views: 7413

Re: Elderly Relative Short on Money

Areas in MA vary a lot in elder services, but I think a Council on Aging is standard for towns to receive state funding. Check with the local one for services available, and check beforehand in any areas she might relocate to. Some towns have lots of housing options and-- this will be important late...
by gd
Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Discarding dead cell phone without purging my data
Replies: 33
Views: 2722

Discarding dead cell phone without purging my data

I've got a smart phone that had a dunking, and never worked again- no chance to reset. I've seen some online discussions indicating it might be a battery issue, suggesting it can be reactivated with my data intact. No SIM card in this model. I have no interest in spending further time restoring the ...
by gd
Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How often do you check your brokerage accounts
Replies: 77
Views: 4824

Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Chiming in just to note that this is one reason I don't use the download capabilities of Quicken. Used to be "frequently and compulsively". Now I check all financial accounts once a month, when I manually update month's activity in Quicken. Takes maybe 1/2 hour. During the compulsive checking era, I...
by gd
Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retire in Florida or Alabama?
Replies: 107
Views: 7322

Re: Retire in Florida or Alabama?

These "which state" discussions often drift to taxes. I've never understood why someone would structure their life based on that. I live next to a state with very different tax structures, and as far as I can tell it's a few percent difference overall- a few thousand dollars per year- for a noticeab...
by gd
Sat Aug 11, 2018 6:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension vs. TIRA paperwork
Replies: 5
Views: 484

Re: Pension vs. TIRA paperwork

The amounts are small, likely differences due to interest rates & timing, annuity costs, longevity and such are trivial. I have no experience with pensions or IRA withdrawals and am trying to decide which paperwork path I want to commit to for the duration of my and my spouse's lives. Sounds like no...
by gd
Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension vs. TIRA paperwork
Replies: 5
Views: 484

Pension vs. TIRA paperwork

After leaving a company years ago, I had a small sum in a company pension that I left in place just for the hell of it. I'm shifting our finances to payouts, and must soon decide whether to get a lump sum (probably to put in TIRA) or activate the pension (about $1k/yr). The financial impacts are tri...
by gd
Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal liability issues as a result of hiring uninsured & unlicensed handyman
Replies: 33
Views: 3584

Re: Personal liability issues as a result of hiring uninsured & unlicensed handyman

Not being sarcastic, sounds like a good match- guy without any insurance hires guy without any insurance. If your father isn't inviting your intervention into his affairs, I'd step away. BTW, my understanding is that (in my state at least) IRAs are vulnerable, 401(k)s are not. I wouldn't pay much at...
by gd
Tue Aug 07, 2018 5:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Relaxing - quieting the mind
Replies: 47
Views: 2975

Re: Relaxing - quieting the mind

Get off the internet, perhaps make it inconvenient to use-- e.g. minimal desktop computer in an undesirable location. Eliminate your social media accounts. Use a non-smart cell phone. If someone needs your attention enough to contact you, they will. The rest will stop cluttering up your life with co...
by gd
Sat Jul 21, 2018 7:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changing address for Social Security after a death
Replies: 10
Views: 719

Re: Changing address for Social Security after a death

I'd start with the executor laws in your state, which I don't think you identify, e.g. https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/if-there-s-no-will-who-s-the-executor.html It sounds like this is more a family matter, not legal. Whatever you advise your spouse, he needs to be able to accept an adverse ...
by gd
Fri Jul 20, 2018 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Possible Knob & Tube in an older home.
Replies: 29
Views: 2455

Re: Possible Knob & Tube in an older home.

Ungrounded circuits don't mean K&T. I've had several, most because of some crappy electrical work before my purchase. I would require it be corrected before purchase if I bought another house. It's a basic safety issue. Anyone who won't deal with that isn't someone I'd want to buy a house from, less...
by gd
Fri Jul 20, 2018 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changing address for Social Security after a death
Replies: 10
Views: 719

Re: Changing address for Social Security after a death

Just a wild guess that you're going to need to tell us who the executor is.
by gd
Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Possible Knob & Tube in an older home.
Replies: 29
Views: 2455

Re: Possible Knob & Tube in an older home.

Pretty useless house inspection, isn't it? What is he claiming? That there's a spot where new has been joined to old then back again, covered up by new wall and thus undetectable? Or that he's too sloppy at his job to examine all the circuits carefully? If it concerns you, get a professional electri...
by gd
Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did I get ripoff by this car mechanic?
Replies: 37
Views: 3939

Re: Did I get ripoff by this car mechanic?

I think it's worth calling the shop that did the work and asking them how many hours they spent and what their hourly rate is. I'd also call a dealership or two and ask them how much they would charge for the same work. Agree, before posting a negative online review, anyway. People do this very cas...
by gd
Sun Jul 15, 2018 7:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"
Replies: 107
Views: 13164

Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

My spouse has neither interest nor aptitude for our financial matters. I have all passwords in KeePass, periodically going over how it works and sometimes forcing her to do some online transactions for practice. I have several too-long writeups of accounts and financial planning. I am in a decade-lo...
by gd
Sun Jul 15, 2018 7:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early retirement
Replies: 145
Views: 14141

Re: Early retirement

Hadn't thought about this for a while. It was around the various high-tech crashes, so most assumed I was forced-unemployed and avoided the subject. I had a hobby job, they probably thought that was just the best I could do. The few deeper inquiries were quickly squelched by talking about the cumula...
by gd
Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: anyone working overseas? pros-cons?
Replies: 22
Views: 2440

Re: anyone working overseas? pros-cons?

Posted this in another thread recently-- Americans overseas who are there for money or some other goal-oriented reason and not into the cultural experience are a spectacularly miserable lot. More than most, I think, perhaps (personal opinion!) due to the insular culture.
by gd
Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you back up Quicken?
Replies: 15
Views: 881

Re: How do you back up Quicken?

So when my computer blows up or I get a new one, this will be the only file I'll need to make myself whole again after reinstalling the program? To make yourself whole as of the moment you made the backup file. You'll lose everything between that backup and the last time you used Quicken-- that stu...
by gd
Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Deciding how much to spend on home remodeling
Replies: 22
Views: 1965

Re: Deciding how much to spend on home remodeling

My remodeling experience has been more renovation than fundamental changes of the space but I've always tilted towards finessing vs. gutting systems, and always regretted it later. I try to use my standard estimating technique from my days in software development-- do your best honest, good faith, d...
by gd
Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate Planning and Charity
Replies: 18
Views: 1423

Re: Estate Planning and Charity

If you want to go local, look into Community Foundations. Like DAFs but may have more management services in house to distribute your estate with instructions. Mine is limited to area charities only. Doesn't sound like you have the attachment for this, so be careful. BTW, my alma maters forgot I was...
by gd
Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dad asked for my help on pension decision that I do not understand
Replies: 43
Views: 3440

Re: Dad asked for my help on pension decision that I do not understand

There is another factor which won't get much praise from others here, which is a psychological one-- checking the "pay me an annuity" box will settle the matter and provide a payment until death without further fuss. Lump sums, with or without SPIA, require more initiative and knowledge. People here...
by gd
Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Going solar?
Replies: 73
Views: 5960

Re: Going solar?

Haven't done it but am starting to consider a small (due to site limitations) installation. Don't see how you can have a useful discussion without including climate and State (for regulatory issues) in every comment.
by gd
Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate Planning and Charity
Replies: 18
Views: 1423

Re: Estate Planning and Charity

You've got an unspecified plan if you're not the last survivor, and are in your 40s. You aren't going to be the last survivor for a long time. Honestly, it doesn't really matter unless you all get hit by a meteor at a family gathering. Pick some stuff based on whims and interests, check for high-rat...
by gd
Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Article: Rich kids are counting on inheritance to pay for retirement
Replies: 31
Views: 4606

Re: Article: Rich kids are counting on inheritance to pay for retirement

Rich kids counting on inheritance is as old as the concept of property. WIthout them we'd lose a noticeable portion of both literature and history. I think the article is more interesting as an illustration of our self-absorption. I, for one, welcome our future AI overlords because I think they'll p...
by gd
Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Special Needs Trust
Replies: 31
Views: 2457

Re: Special Needs Trust

I'll pile on for specialized help (3-4k seems cheap), and an additional general point. I was pulled into being Trustee for benefit of a handicapped person with only an indirect connection to me. It is a responsibility taken reluctantly, that will likely persist long after I'm uninterested and possib...
by gd
Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: eliminating traditional IRA basis
Replies: 9
Views: 703

eliminating traditional IRA basis

I'm starting to plan IRA withdrawals, but have never made any. I'm trying to simplify my future recordkeeping. My over-60 spouse has a small amount in a traditional IRA with a basis (nondeductable contribution). It can easily be withdrawn and closed in a single year. She also has a larger amount in ...
by gd
Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to clean eyeglasses?
Replies: 59
Views: 4009

Re: Best way to clean eyeglasses?

For some reason, I think the newer non-reflective coatings, cleaning got to be a problem several years ago. That or degraded mental processes from aging. Use clean finger, lots of water and Ivory soap (no creamy stuff) to clean, rinse with hot water, tap the top and bottom frame on the towel next to...
by gd
Tue Jun 26, 2018 6:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap simple tablets?
Replies: 28
Views: 2807

Re: Cheap simple tablets?

... For an older person who is tech illiterate and doesn't even own a cell phone. ... Has to be super easy for anyone to use. I question the premise that someone who is so tech illiterate that they can't figure out a tablet wants to browse the web. Pretend the tablet UI is a web page to click aroun...
by gd
Mon Jun 25, 2018 6:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: As time goes on, will total market investing become more perfect, and tilting strategies less?
Replies: 18
Views: 1533

Re: As time goes on, will total market investing become more perfect, and tilting strategies less?

What is it people are "figuring out"? Economics as an accurate predictive science? The impact of the latest bonehead CEO decision, corporate numbers shuffling, Apple toy, venal politician, technological breakthrough, Chinese politics? Edit- imagine two farmers trying to optimize their harvests, each...
by gd
Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is this all investing is?
Replies: 38
Views: 3875

Re: Is this all investing is?

My advice, live. If spending a bit more enables you to feel alive, then that is simply the price of admission to happiness. +1 "You're just a young kid. What are you doin' here? You oughta be out in a convertible, why – bird-doggin' chicks . . ." R. P. McMurphy - Cuckoo's Nest. He needs the car fir...
by gd
Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Variable Annuity question
Replies: 5
Views: 706

Re: Variable Annuity question

I'd be interested in knowing the details of a variable annuity that hasn't increased in value over the last 10 years. I understand unscrupulous products have high fees, but that's pretty spectacular. A Vanguard VA with 50/50 bond/stock index funds has roughly doubled.
by gd
Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap simple tablets?
Replies: 28
Views: 2807

Re: Cheap simple tablets?

... For an older person who is tech illiterate and doesn't even own a cell phone. ... Has to be super easy for anyone to use. Good luck with this, I'm not sure it's realistic. Sounds like not, but if they have prior PC exposure (keyboard / mouse) I'd go with a chromebook. It seemed like a great ide...
by gd
Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inherited house turning into a money pit
Replies: 17
Views: 3076

Re: Inherited house turning into a money pit

... I do have a sentimental attachment to the house... I interpret your post as at least partly a stress-relief rant; I've no problem with that, do it myself, it's part of the internet posting game. But note that there are several paragraphs of problems against the house and this single phrase for....
by gd
Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Morgan Stanley Target date portfolios?
Replies: 23
Views: 1335

Re: Morgan Stanley Target date portfolios?

Morgan Stanley is good at obfuscation. I've dealt with them off and on for 40 years, and never figured out if it's deliberate. Just my opinion, I wouldn't go crazy trying to get an exact AA over all investments. Keep in mind your 90/10 is based partly on the fact that we've happened to evolve 10 dig...
by gd
Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Complain or Negative Review for Rip-off Plumber?
Replies: 29
Views: 3031

Re: Complain or Negative Review for Rip-off Plumber?

Angie's List and Nextdoor. I got my life messed up for a year and counting by a top-rated Angie's List contractor whose main business strategy, I now see, was a good AL rating. I gave him a bad but precise review, focusing on very specific points that I'd be willing to repeat in small claims court (...
by gd
Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I-bonds look pretty bad right now
Replies: 92
Views: 10956

Re: I-bonds look pretty bad right now

Have the angels fallen far enough to make them a good buying opportunity? I've heard buying into fallen angels is generally a good opportunity-- but only short term. I have noticed that when dramatic changes occur around me, it generally feels different from past experiences and both circumstances ...
by gd
Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Prime Fund Yield reached 1.99% today
Replies: 18
Views: 3870

Re: Vanguard Prime Fund Yield reached 1.99% today

Paul Romano wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:59 pm
Next stop 3% in xx/xx/201x
Hm. Meaning interest rates will climb 50% within 1.5 years. Things probably work differently at the bottom peg.
by gd
Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sherwin Williams paint
Replies: 52
Views: 3735

Re: Sherwin Williams paint

Under some circumstances I've had good results from Behr interior paint, I believe because they formulate it for DIYers- easy to use, covers well. I wouldn't use it for outside. My local lumber yard with a knowledgeable paint guy sells Benjamin Moore, so that's what I use. I learn the price when I l...
by gd
Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Which boglehead rule do you break--and are ok with
Replies: 152
Views: 12360

Re: Which boglehead rule do you break--and are ok with

I have no formal investment plan. I haven't rebalanced in a decade. As stocks increase, my risk tolerance increases, so it's fine. In any case, I weight accuracy with meaningfulness- AAs are based on mostly arbitrary goals, so don't require precision. I have assumed responsibility for someone else's...
by gd
Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Oh my! Cardone says we need $10m net worth
Replies: 104
Views: 14108

Re: Oh my! Cardone says we need $10m net worth

Quite a reaction to mediocre click-bait that says nothing particularly remarkable. He's good. A decade ago I gave some specialized adult-toy training to a guy who had gotten 1.5M from the loss of a few fingers in a workplace injury. It was an unfathomable amount of money for him, and he had already ...
by gd
Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Living Abroad - Who's done it?
Replies: 52
Views: 5039

Re: Living Abroad - Who's done it?

Some excellent comments. One piece of advice tucked into the replies I'd reiterate is to be wary of getting sucked too deeply into the American expat community. Don't know about nowadays, but decades past it was easy (for me, at least) to find Americans unhappy and with an attitude. They're poison t...
by gd
Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I take possession of a certified mail?
Replies: 151
Views: 17115

Re: Should I take possession of a certified mail?

I'm okay with going forward with smaller projects (<$200-300 worth) This would be a really bad idea. The reason to take possession of the letter is to ensure you have no loose ends when ending your relationship. Either he's a manipulative kook or you've misunderstood the commitments implied in your...
by gd
Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best case to convert a Bogle skeptic?
Replies: 56
Views: 5068

Re: Best case to convert a Bogle skeptic?

I have not been able to do this. They receive value, in a broad sense, from having a professional investments salesman and account manager to deal with. It's still his money. Unless you can provide a very obvious comparison-- e.g. all investments are long-term in active funds that can be replaced on...
by gd
Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need advice on 1st international vacation
Replies: 106
Views: 6505

Re: Need advice on 1st international vacation

As evidenced by the responses that are, well, all over the map, not enough information. You need to give preferences or figure out if you're looking for bustling big cities, rural and bucolic, historic, museums, churchy, arty, multicultural, monocultural, obscure and subtle novelties, world-famous t...
by gd
Mon May 28, 2018 6:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering iPad to replace failing Nexus tablet
Replies: 44
Views: 2733

Re: Considering iPad to replace failing Nexus tablet

I have two iPad 3s that still look like new and work ok, mostly, as long as I restart it at least every day or two and I am patient with the increasing performance lag in all the apps I still use. That's the good news. The bad news is it slowly doesn't matter, because Apple won't run iOS 10 on them,...
by gd
Mon May 28, 2018 6:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Remote temperature monitoring
Replies: 22
Views: 1852

Re: Remote temperature monitoring

Yup.
https://www.lacrossetechnology.com/temp ... rt-system/
They've got a water sensor also, works in same system.
by gd
Thu May 24, 2018 7:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Firecalc and sims - skewed against more current years?
Replies: 3
Views: 451

Re: Firecalc and sims - skewed against more current years?

Why not run Firecalc for 100% success? Or at least compare with the 95% level to give an indication of sensitivity. I find the difference is within my ability to forecast my financial needs until I die.
by gd
Thu May 24, 2018 6:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy an old farmhouse?
Replies: 52
Views: 5223

Re: Buy an old farmhouse?

Sounds great, provided you're looking for a new hobby that will consume all your time and lots of your money. About that 1000' driveway and 2-hour school delays... you going to use your plow truck or your tractor? Pretty much totally OT, but I'm procrastinating about painting window grilles today......