Search found 1265 matches

by gd
Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What has been your most important skill in achieving financial independence?
Replies: 164
Views: 10666

Re: What has been your most important skill in achieving financial independence?

Easy, definitive answer in my case. Not following my professional coworkers and upgrading my lifestyle significantly from when I was a minimalist student. Not sure this is so meaningful any more; the few college students I've followed in subsequent generations didn't live like I did. Not passing jud...
by gd
Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax Prices
Replies: 171
Views: 21242

Re: TurboTax Prices

I returned my online Turbotax CD for free Federal / state file.... Because ofcourse on the back of the CD it says "Federal only file, State $37.99.... Good ol Turbotax. Returned that crap so quick and filed online for free through esmarttax.com. I'll never go back to Turbotax If you bought a CD to ...
by gd
Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Using cFiresim
Replies: 14
Views: 1558

Re: Using cFiresim

Compare FIRECalc's 100% small cap value and 100% SP500 results. Look at the down side. More volatile investments give bigger up, bigger down. Isn't that all that's going on here?
by gd
Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Folding bicycles
Replies: 29
Views: 1869

Folding bicycles

I'm looking at folding bicycles good enough for recreational use-- easy to unfold/fold, and ride 10-20 miles on easy terrain, 7-8 speed probably ok. Never tried them, but I'm wary of 20" wheels. I've got a good area store that carries Tern and Montague, so eyeing Tern Node D8 or Montague Crosstown o...
by gd
Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Washer/Dryer longevity ?
Replies: 69
Views: 5798

Re: Washer/Dryer longevity ?

Curious if the HE washer complaints are referring to front or top loaders. I've got a 15-year-old mid-quality (Privileg, roughly what Kenmore used to be) front loader in Germany that cleans clothes vastly better than my US non-HE top loader. It uses a small fraction of the water, needs only cold wat...
by gd
Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My Mac Pro has gotten gigantically slow online: meltdown $ spectre?
Replies: 19
Views: 2249

Re: My Mac Pro has gotten gigantically slow online: meltdown $ spectre?

gretah wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:58 am
Malware could be doing nasty things to your computer and taking speed down.

I've had that happen to my Mac, twice.

Take the computer into the shop ASAP. Last time, I had to replace the hard drive.
Experts had to replace the hard drive because of malicious software? Why?
by gd
Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scrapping old computer parts
Replies: 24
Views: 1354

Re: Scraping old computer parts

It's best a local recycling issue, and you don't give your location. Contact whatever local, regional or state authorities deal with waste disposal. They're generally interested enough in keeping it out of the landfills to give some assistance. You can try area electronics stores like Best Buy, but ...
by gd
Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [Vanguard Health Care Fund vs. Health Care ETF]
Replies: 4
Views: 337

Re: [Vanguard Health Care Fund vs. Health Care ETF]

When the numbers look bad, find better numbers :D . The difference in 10-year annual total return after taxes seems to be more like .1%. I've no complaints about VGHAX over 2 decades, but switched recently because the cg distributions were disrupting other planning.
by gd
Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Comcast Modem Rental
Replies: 41
Views: 2622

Re: Comcast Modem Rental

As I understand it, the problem with buying used is that there's a reasonable chance it's a rental that was never returned, and thus Comcast's stolen property. Buy new, it'll pay for itself within a year or two. As above, if you have phone through Comcast (digital voice) you'll need a more specific ...
by gd
Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Healthcare Fund
Replies: 8
Views: 914

Re: Vanguard Healthcare Fund

Not sure exactly what you're
WhiteMaxima wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:49 pm
VHT lower fee
And I believe lower cg distributions, with negligible performance differences. It's a sector, it does its thing while others do theirs. As much as any can, anyway.
by gd
Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?
Replies: 117
Views: 8715

Re: WHY do wireless routers need periodic reboots?

The state of software engineering is currently similar to the state of engineering 100 years ago when boilers would explode, bridges would collapse, etc. Interesting analogy, but I'd say more like post-classic dark ages Gothic cathedrals that collapsed until they happened to get the walls thick eno...
by gd
Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frequent Flier Miles 101
Replies: 53
Views: 4554

Re: Frequent Flier Miles 101

So... do you want a new hobby? :D
by gd
Wed Jan 31, 2018 7:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I join Linkedin?
Replies: 48
Views: 3532

Re: Should I join Linkedin?

Slow morning, piling on. I joined it for a year a long time ago for a hobby career, particularly to give potential customers (lots of tech people) a credible means for reviewing my background. There was an unending stream of suggestions for connections with people I could see no reason to connect to...
by gd
Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax glitch w/Form 1116 when e-filing
Replies: 13
Views: 981

Re: TurboTax glitch w/Form 1116 when e-filing

I also don't think the printout reflects the e-filing submission directly. Can you print (or create a pdf to save) the missing page or entire 1116 separately?
by gd
Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:50 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Starting to feel like the late 1990s?
Replies: 145
Views: 12650

Re: Starting to feel like the late 1990s?

The point I'd be more concerned about with respect to 1990s is the overall increase of spending with respect to disposable income, and decrease in savings. Regarding pundits, I pay attention to their overall, long term accuracy and perception, and their behavior when mistaken. The one in question op...
by gd
Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card with chip - fraud. How?
Replies: 7
Views: 801

Re: Credit card with chip - fraud. How?

You haven't given enough information about the false charges. I've had several experiences where a small charge is made, either followed by large charges or by a fraud detection shutdown. CC company said likely automated random card # generation program does online purchase tests until a small charg...
by gd
Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House water detection and alert system?
Replies: 41
Views: 2622

Re: House water detection and alert system?

I put these things all over my house and yard to investigate everything from crawlspace humidity to beehive temperatures. You'll need the base station set and the additional water monitor. email alerts are subscription. Their web-based long term graphical displays are weak, they have rebuilt the sys...
by gd
Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate planning for non-citizen
Replies: 15
Views: 758

Re: Estate planning for non-citizen

In my state (MA) the marital exemption for a non-citizen spouse is $1M. This is not a job for the internet.
by gd
Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: wild bird feed
Replies: 43
Views: 1918

Re: wild bird feed

Every time I watch my neighborhood squirrels it occurs to me that my childhood fantasy of stuffed animals coming to life actually happened. Every time I consider a wildlife viewing trip to Africa, I realize I've got a bunch of profoundly wild charismatic mammals running around in my back yard. I've ...
by gd
Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are land line phones still being supported?
Replies: 60
Views: 3816

Re: Are land line phones still being supported?

The twisted pair copper wires (a.k.a. POTS, plain old telephone service) might start to fade in densely populated areas in a few decades, but more because everyone will already have better service through cable or fiber-to-the-home. There used to be lots of regulatory service mandates on the bell sy...
by gd
Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling to Germany (Bavaria) in April/May - Itinerary Help Needed
Replies: 41
Views: 2054

Re: Traveling to Germany (Bavaria) in April/May - Itinerary Help Needed

My one concern is traveling on 5/1 (May Day) since it's a public holiday, any confirmation that this might be a problem or hassle or other advice re: the same? Yes, absolutely. It's not much of a holiday- worker's rights day, no less- if lots of people still have to work, is it? Train schedules wil...
by gd
Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trying to downsize but still too much stuff
Replies: 59
Views: 5880

Re: Trying to downsize but still too much stuff

, two boxes are family heirlooms, containing things like two musical instruments with a great deal of family history that someone younger in the family might want some day. Perhaps it's time for someone else in the family to safeguard them. If no one will, you should consider revising your expectat...
by gd
Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling to Germany (Bavaria) in April/May - Itinerary Help Needed
Replies: 41
Views: 2054

Re: Traveling to Germany (Bavaria) in April/May - Itinerary Help Needed

FYI I think the Deutsches Museum (Munich main facility) is undergoing rolling renovations, a few sections will be closed. They have other facilities, a car & train museum downtown and an aviation annex in Oberschleißheim (S-Bahn & walk). Both those will have cars & airplanes you'll never have seen b...
by gd
Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: protecting future inheritance
Replies: 31
Views: 2950

Re: protecting future inheritance

It's your business in so far as you may feel morally obligated to rescue him after the inevitable disaster, but his wife should be the main force at this point. And absolutely seek a lawyer expert in elder affairs. One possible piece of the solution-- this is a good example of what annuities can be ...
by gd
Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: checking accounts for Trusts
Replies: 2
Views: 199

checking accounts for Trusts

I am assuming primary responsibility for an existing special needs trust. Beneficiary has no say in funds. There are several other trustees, all of us legally equal and, well, trustworthy. My activities will involve routine cash management, and require a full-featured checking account. Are there any...
by gd
Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18
Replies: 45
Views: 4996

Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

I'd be more irritated if I'd ever been able to enter a single $10k I-Bond, rather than having to break it into two 5ks. This might actually be an improvement, even when the method for saving your bond info in the alternative seems to be saving and recalling your HTML page-- as long as you don't use ...
by gd
Sun Dec 31, 2017 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Checked bag to HI, worth cost and trouble?
Replies: 36
Views: 2440

Re: Checked bag to HI, worth cost and trouble?

What's going in that suitcase, and how much does it cost at home? What percentage of the total trip costs is $75? Do you like to travel light, or like to have stuff with you? If moving around, how are you going to carry it there? What is your time there worth to you? Do you like to shop? Are you pic...
by gd
Sun Dec 31, 2017 8:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate planning for green card parents who are citizens of India
Replies: 29
Views: 2145

Re: Estate planning for green card parents who are citizens of India

I'll pile on the estate lawyer recommendation. Make sure state issues are addressed; in my state non-citizen spousal exemptions are much lower than federal. Yearly limits on gift taxes also might apply to simply re-titling assets such as house or bank accounts to a non-citizen spouse. I'd suspect on...
by gd
Sun Dec 31, 2017 7:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Form 1116: Allocating State Taxes (TurboTax)
Replies: 27
Views: 1077

Re: Form 1116: Allocating State Taxes (TurboTax)

The state tax thing is beyond what I do with this form, so I can't help other than to note as I do in every thread on 1116 I see-- I do not assume that any of the tax prep software deals with this form correctly. I figure out what needs to be done by working through the IRS instructions sentence by ...
by gd
Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Growing Peril of Index Funds: Too Much Tech
Replies: 67
Views: 5906

Re: The Growing Peril of Index Funds: Too Much Tech

Can't read the original article, but I'd be more concerned if my index fund was heavily weighted to steel manufacturers.
by gd
Mon Dec 25, 2017 7:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Charitable Deduction Question
Replies: 21
Views: 1796

Re: Charitable Deduction Question

Curious, we've never known about or been offered the Certificate of Mailing despite numerous discussions about such things at my local post office. We sometimes buy the postage on a specific letter, which (at least in our PO) produces a receipt mentioning the zip code it goes to. I believe that'd be...
by gd
Sun Dec 24, 2017 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Has anyone here purchased a home for cash (no mortgages)?
Replies: 39
Views: 3944

Re: Has anyone here purchased a home for cash (no mortgages)?

It was psychologically nice to not make a rent or mortgage payment. I have a preference for no debt, and the luxury of being able to indulge that if I choose to arrange my life so. It allowed me to structure my finances to minimize my regular cash flow, and in my state placed my housing out of reach...
by gd
Sun Dec 24, 2017 7:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are Roth IRAs overrated?
Replies: 77
Views: 7459

Re: Are Roth IRAs overrated?

I use them for tax diversity first. I am not going into retirement with a high income being chopped to nothing, but even considering that, I'm not sure how anyone could follow current events and believe they know what their tax circumstances will be in the mid to far future.
by gd
Sun Dec 24, 2017 7:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will you donate less to Charity?
Replies: 109
Views: 7768

Re: Will you donate less to Charity?

Yes. Charitable deductions only benefited me in a few years, where I set up unusually large donations and then bunched other factors such as property taxes. But that will not happen now.
by gd
Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: unstoppable TransUnion spam
Replies: 6
Views: 628

unstoppable TransUnion spam

When setting up the usual credit freezes so popular recently, I ended up with a "TrueIdentity" account with TransUnion; don't recall if it was even avoidable, possibly they told me it was necessary to manage the freeze. They now send me a low volume of unstoppable spam, including such gems as ads fo...
by gd
Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Window Selection and Shopping
Replies: 18
Views: 1310

Re: Window Selection and Shopping

I recently fired a contractor that was the highest-rated Angie's List contractor in our area with the job half finished, to avoid him screwing up my house any further. FWIW. I do not plan to use it any more. I've put in a few full-frame Andersen and Harvey, a regional alternative I was told was as g...
by gd
Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbo tax and overseas bank accounts
Replies: 10
Views: 1037

Re: Turbo tax and overseas bank accounts

This is a hairy situation for me. My Vanguard 1099-DIV tends to have about $200+ in foreign taxes paid, for which I want to take a credit. I also have an overseas bank account (no 1099-INT) for which I usually report a tiny amount of interest (like $20) with no foreign taxes paid. Form 1116 implies...
by gd
Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric Energy Usage
Replies: 86
Views: 5586

Re: Electric Energy Usage

For non-financial reasons, I replaced a conventional natural gas hot water heater with a hybrid electric. As best as I can determine, electricity in my house is about 3-4 times gas per energy unit. It may be more expensive in the winter operating in a cold basement, but last summer the heat pump wat...
by gd
Mon Dec 18, 2017 7:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chromebooks- What is the lure?
Replies: 157
Views: 18341

Re: Chromebooks- What is the lure?

They are cheap for a reason — you are the product. Google mines your data in the form of ads and other stuff. That is 90% of their revenue. Apparently Windows licensing only runs $10-15/unit, so the OS is not where the cost of a PC comes from. Chromebooks do less so require less hardware, and- gues...
by gd
Mon Dec 18, 2017 6:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbo tax and overseas bank accounts
Replies: 10
Views: 1037

Re: Turbo tax and overseas bank accounts

To enter foreign interest income for Schedule B in TurboTax, pretend you have a 1099. You don't, but there is no other way to do it in the interview. It does not allow entering interest without a 1099 (edited this line after first post). As the posts above say, TurboTax handles the Form 8938 include...
by gd
Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax gain harvesting
Replies: 29
Views: 3246

Re: Tax gain harvesting

I view cg gain harvesting compared with likely future activity, not with this year's taxes if I don't. I expect I'll be paying that state cg tax regardless, but harvesting now up to the top of the 15% bracket at least gives me the 0 federal rate. I prefer to reduce future liability as much as reason...
by gd
Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax Prices
Replies: 171
Views: 21242

Re: TurboTax Prices

I was searching for cheapest sources, then slowly started realizing I was spending time and delaying valuable cg harvesting decisions to save.... maybe $10 on a once/year, extremely important purchase. Better way to save $10/year: skip one fast food meal when you'll be home in an hour anyway.
by gd
Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why should I donate to my alma mater?
Replies: 133
Views: 9933

Re: Why should I donate to my alma matter?

By the way, college admissions officers pay big fees to consultants who use econometric methods to predict which applicants will be most likely to donate generously after college graduation. I got a laugh out of this. I went to two very well-known universities, both well funded. Received no aid I d...
by gd
Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The annoying insistence on frivolous credit checks/pulls
Replies: 35
Views: 3446

Re: The annoying insistence on frivolous credit checks/pulls

I had to mail in paper ID when my state's ACA program tried to confirm my identity with a credit check one web screen sooner than I expected when setting up an account. It's not just about credit cards, it's about people setting up accounts of any type, possibly to use as leverage for other activity...
by gd
Sun Nov 26, 2017 6:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Didn't buy Bitcoin at $4600
Replies: 138
Views: 11688

Re: Didn't buy Bitcoin at $4600

If this is the only investment or speculation you've ever considered but not executed that has doubled in price, you haven't been doing this much.
by gd
Sun Nov 26, 2017 6:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The fallacy of spending money on "experiences" vs hard assets
Replies: 336
Views: 19266

Re: The fallacy of spending money on "experiences" vs hard assets

Vacation is not a synonym for experiences. Hard asset is not a synonym for things.
by gd
Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chromebook/Similar for Elderly Dad
Replies: 30
Views: 2168

Re: Chromebook/Similar for Elderly Dad

Been there, done that with great success, worked much better than a windows laptop. I suggest the largest screen he can fit on his work surface and, in this case, travel with. I went with the biggest I could find, 15.6" (probably Acer but it didn't matter to me) and a wireless mouse. Don't think I w...
by gd
Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fuel treatments for small engines
Replies: 32
Views: 2375

Re: Fuel treatments for small engines

Find a hobbyist pilot who can get 100LL (100 octane low lead) aviation gas. I don't think vendors are allowed to sell it to the public for non-aviation use.
by gd
Sun Oct 29, 2017 6:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sunscreen: use it all the time? (And what's a good one w/o sting?)
Replies: 58
Views: 3961

Re: Sunscreen: use it all the time? (And what's a good one w/o sting?)

Anything with zinc oxide (for localized condition). Goes on a little white and greasy when very thick as I need to use it, but that fades after a minute or two. Some brands are very expensive, I've never noticed a difference.