Search found 514 matches

by crefwatch
Fri Aug 07, 2020 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cooling HVAC options for loft/attic room
Replies: 19
Views: 1273

Re: Cooling HVAC options for loft/attic room

Because I have a Honda generator (with not perfect sinusoidal output), I suggest you be very certain that whatever you buy will run on the generator output. Will your generator run all night on one tank of gas? Does the HOA allow portable generators?
by crefwatch
Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:13 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Selling an index fund (VTSAX)
Replies: 8
Views: 909

Re: Selling an index fund (VTSAX)

Pebbles, note that you have a correct answer for your question, when the question is asked in a vacuum. All I mean is that (for example) a retiree whose Asset Allocation includes a cash cushion (to prevent having to sell during a market downturn (!) might "need" to sell some equities when their cash...
by crefwatch
Fri Aug 07, 2020 6:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ding in stainless steel Refrigerator door
Replies: 16
Views: 1287

Re: Ding in stainless steel Refrigerator door

It’s an appliance, not an investment. If it were an asset, it’s a “wasting asset” anyway. As the salesperson in the appliance store said to me, right upfront, “This isn’t your mother’s [insert name of appliance category]. It won’t last 30 years.”
by crefwatch
Thu Aug 06, 2020 4:02 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: What is the equivalent of Vanguard in the EU?
Replies: 10
Views: 547

Re: What is the equivalent of Vanguard in the EU?

Source? Well, if you are going to be snippy about it, how about: https://www.mba.org/news-research-and-resources/research-and-economics/research-institute-for-housing-america/published-reports/2011-2009/international-comparison-of-mortgage-product-offerings See page 18 for a high-altitude view. Als...
by crefwatch
Thu Aug 06, 2020 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: GEICO Umbrella: Significant Increase in Premium
Replies: 25
Views: 2073

Re: GEICO Umbrella: Significant Increase in Premium

Is your umbrella really separated for the cars? I simply must have the policy maximum liability ($300K or so, I forget) for each car, and for the house ($500k). After that, the umbrella price is the umbrella price. Can you quote us the bill, with the dollars disguised? I don't use GEICO, but I recal...
by crefwatch
Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:52 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: What is the equivalent of Vanguard in the EU?
Replies: 10
Views: 547

Re: What is the equivalent of Vanguard in the EU?

Of course there are plenty of investors in the EU. But it's unwise to expect financial options to be the same over there as they are here. For example, 30-year mortgages are almost unheard of in most of Europe. High taxes (and beneficent government services in return .... ) cause individuals to have...
by crefwatch
Thu Aug 06, 2020 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: VEA instead of VXUS? [Vanguard Developed instead of Total international]
Replies: 44
Views: 2466

Re: VEA instead of VXUS? [Vanguard Developed instead of Total international]

It's a peripheral issue for some, but VEA and VXUS have different proportions of Qualified Dividends. I am slightly troubled by the 22% Japan in VEA, as by 10% China in VXUS. I generally agree with the Boglehead idea of selecting a low-cost, diversified Index product. But is it worth a moment's refl...
by crefwatch
Thu Aug 06, 2020 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Groundhog in crawl space
Replies: 15
Views: 1055

Re: Groundhog in crawl space

I live in a fully-developed suburb. I was annoyed to find someone releasing trapped chipmunks in the Public Library parking lot, as if that solved his problem, with no regard for neighbors of the Library. (I have no idea of chipmunks are smart enough to find their way home.)
by crefwatch
Thu Aug 06, 2020 5:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cooling HVAC options for loft/attic room
Replies: 19
Views: 1273

Re: Cooling HVAC options for loft/attic room

Additional idea from Costco mentioned in this thread (look for photo by “vasaver”.)

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=322042

Might require rugged outdoor “shelf”.
by crefwatch
Thu Aug 06, 2020 5:20 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Taxes Capital Gains
Replies: 5
Views: 648

Re: Taxes Capital Gains

Most brokerages have a page called something like “”Realized/Unrealized Capital Gains.” But it can be hard to find the first time. And it may not exist until your first sale of the year. Sometimes it’s under “Taxes | Your YTD Tax Information.” Have you found the “Tax Basis” page for the contemplated...
by crefwatch
Wed Aug 05, 2020 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Portable AC/dehumidifier
Replies: 9
Views: 735

Re: Portable AC/dehumidifier

It would be really helpful to know your state and the form of heating and/or cooling in the house upstairs. Zones? Have you been in the house long enough to fully understand what the actual needs are for the basement? I live in Northern NJ, and my basement needs dehumidification in the summer months...
by crefwatch
Wed Aug 05, 2020 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA Question
Replies: 21
Views: 1217

Re: TIAA Question

Although it has a number of off-topic posts, you might want to wade through this recent discussion about whether to delay annuitizing TIAA Traditional, over at Morningstar TIAA-CREF:

https://community.morningstar.com/t5/TI ... 4756#M7717
by crefwatch
Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Speed up old computer
Replies: 61
Views: 2978

Re: Speed up old computer

Windows is famous for bloated OS page swapping to run anything. It is not true that task software loads into RAM and sits there until you run another task. Everything the task does calls system software that calls other system software. I put in an SSD and did a clean reinstall of Windows. The machi...
by crefwatch
Tue Aug 04, 2020 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA Question
Replies: 21
Views: 1217

Re: TIAA Question

I do have a few questions still on RA account only. -If I have money in equities I can choose to annuitize them. I can pick a Variable Annuity, OR I could transfer that money to Traditional and get in the 10 year pay out or life time payout. -If instead of equities I put money into Traditional, I c...
by crefwatch
Tue Aug 04, 2020 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Can a small company offer decent 401k options?
Replies: 26
Views: 1238

Re: Can a small company offer decent 401k options?

My wife worked for a small company (less than 75 employees) and they had access to all Vanguard Admiral shares. She also got hit for a quarterly "account management fee" which was about $100. On a $50k balance that works out to an additional 0.80% expense ratio on everything you own. I don't disagr...
by crefwatch
Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good quality face mask recommendation, please
Replies: 34
Views: 3253

Re: Good quality face mask recommendation, please

It is not actionable, but I have often wondered about what I perceive as the poor facial tightness of the average "blue surgical mask". They seem "gappy" on the ends. I would like to know more about why they are rated better than cloth masks. For example, a recent (non-medical) newspaper article des...
by crefwatch
Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA Question
Replies: 21
Views: 1217

Re: TIAA Question

I am aware of the different types. I say aware, but of course I find it confusing. Ha! I mainly am addressing the RA type. That is what I was confused about. It is weird that the RA account functions like the others, except when you are dealing with Traditional. That's why I was trying to make a de...
by crefwatch
Tue Aug 04, 2020 7:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Adobe PDF - "copy as table" - cheapest way to do this
Replies: 6
Views: 447

Re: Adobe PDF - "copy as table" - cheapest way to do this

Sometimes I’ve been able to parse the text paste to insert commas. Then I rename the .txt file as .csv and open as a spreadsheet.
by crefwatch
Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cooling HVAC options for loft/attic room
Replies: 19
Views: 1273

Re: Cooling HVAC options for loft/attic room

Please make clear whether the loft room is enclosed or entirely open. I've never bought a two-hose units, but many people have been disappointed by them. Whenever I've seen them in small retail stores, their performance has seemed poor when I hold my hand in front of the output hose. I DON'T recomme...
by crefwatch
Sun Aug 02, 2020 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Handling lumpy expenses in retirement Roth conversions?
Replies: 12
Views: 919

Re: Handling lumpy expenses in retirement Roth conversions?

I recommend that you read this entire, excellent thread: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=320854 [Kitces on Roth Conversions vs. Harvesting Capital Gains] It will help you to understand the interaction of ordinary income, Social Security, Qualified Dividends, and Capital Gains. ...
by crefwatch
Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Reducing Non-Qualified Dividends for tax optimization
Replies: 5
Views: 652

Re: Reducing Non-Qualified Dividends for tax optimization

I don't intend to make specific suggestions for anyone else, but I was able to find 2019 Qualified Dividend percentages on the Vanguard and IShares websites. Among the substitute international products I'm considering are: VGK Vanguard FTSE Europe ETF 82%QD VEA Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF 76...
by crefwatch
Sun Aug 02, 2020 6:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing Toilet Stop Valve
Replies: 93
Views: 3687

Re: Replacing Toilet Stop Valve

It’s possible that the valve has a bit of grit on the seat that is causing it to leak. Many modern valves can be flushed (just the valve body, that is) by turning them 1/8 turn while pressing down. They have tabs that prevent the top from being blown off until they are turned 1/4 turn or more. If yo...
by crefwatch
Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Trying to Understand ETF Buy/Sell
Replies: 8
Views: 344

Re: Trying to Understand ETF Buy/Sell

You're not wrong, but the warnings you have absorbed are mainly related to CEFs, which can have, for weeks on end, massive discounts or premiums. Most premiums/discounts for ETFs tend to be self-correcting, because of the open market and creation of shares upon demand. (Not by you, but by big buyers...
by crefwatch
Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wasp nest
Replies: 90
Views: 4376

Re: Wasp nest

Just saying "Raid" covers a multitude of bug products. You need any of the 10-20 foot range solid (not mist ... ) spray devices, with the word Wasp or Hornet on the side of the can. The name often includes the word Bomb. These are pretty safe to use, especially if you prepare a refuge route. (I've n...
by crefwatch
Wed Jul 29, 2020 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Poor service at Vanguard making me re-think my decision
Replies: 96
Views: 7998

Re: Poor service at Vanguard making me re-think my decision

I consider Fidelity to be a higher-cost provider than Vanguard. But they do have a lot of branch offices, where you could file POAs and do other things that work better in person. All companies are trying to shave personnel costs. I'd expect Fidelity service to decline over the years as well. I forg...
by crefwatch
Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: utility company appliance coverage
Replies: 7
Views: 1345

Re: utility company appliance coverage

Do they promise that a utility company employee will come to do the repair? Or is there fine print saying a third-party repair contractor will be doing the work? Can they raise the price every year or two? The fact remains that most problems with modern appliances appear during the warranty period. ...
by crefwatch
Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Variable Speed HVACs
Replies: 31
Views: 2168

Re: Variable Speed HVACs

Just to be clear, is it the fan or the AC/heatpump compressor that runs at more than one speed? We have a ten-year old UHE (2" PVC air inlets and exhaust) Lennox Dimension gas hot-air furnace from that has four fan speeds. They are strictly: Lowest: "'Fan On' physical switch on thermostat" Next High...
by crefwatch
Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need to destroy old external Hard Drives
Replies: 103
Views: 5449

Re: Need to destroy old external Hard Drives

I have always relied upon my 16 oz. claw hammer. I can take the bent case to my town's "Electronics disposal container", but I don't feel confident on how "sustainable" or "underdeveloped country-friendly" that process actually is.
by crefwatch
Wed Jul 29, 2020 6:08 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Sell mutual fund in taxable account to buy ETF?
Replies: 4
Views: 421

Re: Sell mutual fund in taxable account to buy ETF?

What rate are you paying on capital gains now? I only used Google, which is not reliable enough, but the MF has 3% turnover and the ETF has 4% turnover. (I.e. no difference.) Turnover and distributed CG can be affected by market conditions. 4% is low enough to ignore. More active funds tend to distr...
by crefwatch
Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Charitable Annuity for Home
Replies: 2
Views: 277

Re: Charitable Annuity for Home

There is a good entry in the Wiki for Charitable Gift Annuities. You need to evaluate what YOUR objectives are - such as 1)Income 2)Safety 3)Charitable giving to a favored charity 4)Harvesting a usable tax deduction in a "bunched" deduction year 5)Stream of (smaller) capital gains reported in the fu...
by crefwatch
Mon Jul 27, 2020 6:40 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: IRA for 6 Months, 401k for 6 Months
Replies: 10
Views: 958

Re: IRA for 6 Months, 401k for 6 Months

Side issue: For ease of book-keeping and paperwork, don’t mix deductible and non-deductible contributions in any type of account. Open a second account if you want both.
by crefwatch
Sun Jul 26, 2020 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Social Security Office Unresponsive 14 weeks
Replies: 9
Views: 1435

Re: Social Security Office Unresponsive 14 weeks

It seems odd that you do not report receiving any paperwork echoing your contacts with personnel. I thought they would not pay anything by check anymore. Did you mean Direct Deposit? When I filed for benefits (by phone, not online) in May, I learned the name of the person I worked with, but I did no...
by crefwatch
Sat Jul 25, 2020 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Reducing Non-Qualified Dividends for tax optimization
Replies: 5
Views: 652

Reducing Non-Qualified Dividends for tax optimization

This question derives from the recent excellent discussion, Kitces on Roth Conversions vs. Harvesting Capital Gains https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=320854 Thinking ahead to 2021, I would like to reduce our Non-Qualified Dividends (NQD). This is with an eye to shifting some of o...
by crefwatch
Fri Jul 24, 2020 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Refrigerator Thermometer
Replies: 22
Views: 1219

Re: Refrigerator Thermometer

I think that's the best accuracy you can expect from an analog, bimetal thermometer. If you had a digital thermometer, it may be less precise than it looks. After all, it's not a lab instrument, it doesn't have a Calibration screw, and you don't have plans (or do you) to immerse it in ice water and ...
by crefwatch
Fri Jul 24, 2020 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How dead is dead? (USPS mail)
Replies: 60
Views: 6578

Re: How dead is dead? (USPS mail)

I had some success with this organization:
http://www.dmaconsumers.org/consumerassistance.html

I found that charities and catalogs that my mother had repeated $$ contact with weren't as easy to stop. I've actually written a couple of first-class letters to those companies.
by crefwatch
Fri Jul 24, 2020 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NYL Long Term Care questions
Replies: 5
Views: 425

Re: NYL Long Term Care questions

Other important factors could be: 1)Their history of class-wide annual premium increases, especially in this time of LTC price increases as companies discover they are losing money on a product. 2)Their history of denying claims, if you can learn anything about that. 3)You don't mention important is...
by crefwatch
Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prime Membership Question/Prime Video
Replies: 11
Views: 1307

Re: Prime Membership Question/Prime Video

I agree that shipping quality has declined. I think I noticed that even before the Covid-19 pandemic. But I find the streaming options pretty good. It's annoying to find that so many things cost extra, but we manage to watch 20 hours a week with no extra charges. And I don't mean that we watch "bad"...
by crefwatch
Thu Jul 23, 2020 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annuity in IRA for 85yr old
Replies: 10
Views: 992

Re: Annuity in IRA for 85yr old

Regina00, is this product an " annuity " or is it something like " Universal Life Insurance? " There's a big difference. And we'd like to know how the premiums have been getting paid in the past. I am aware than ULI often has a single, purchase premium that produces (internal) income against which a...
by crefwatch
Thu Jul 23, 2020 10:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Kitces on Roth Conversions vs. Harvesting Capital Gains
Replies: 49
Views: 3540

Re: Kitces on Roth Conversions vs. Harvesting Capital Gains

I found the article linked in the OP very useful. As I read about the topic on Bogleheads, I came across this article: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Traditional_versus_Roth_examples#Worth_pushing_through_the_Social_Security_hump_and.2For_IRMAA_cliffs.3F It seems to me that it contributes to the fe...
by crefwatch
Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Top Load Washer Dry Time
Replies: 20
Views: 1081

Re: Top Load Washer Dry Time

You can't make factual decisions on anecdotal evidence! Having used both types of washed, I might suggest that the larger capacity of the average front-loader may have produced larger dryer loads, increasing drying time? (This is like adjusting medical measurements for biases in the selection of peo...
by crefwatch
Wed Jul 22, 2020 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medigap Insurance Premium Increase
Replies: 22
Views: 1346

Re: Medigap Insurance Premium Increase

You should do a little research before you talk to an agent. This is simply the first site I found with Google, I'm not saying it's the best: https://www.medicareresources.org/states/ In my state, a salesman from United Healthcare is posted in my Walgreens every December. You may have a lot of optio...
by crefwatch
Tue Jul 21, 2020 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Duct Cleaning- Your Thoughts
Replies: 37
Views: 2247

Re: Duct Cleaning- Your Thoughts

In fairness, my 4" or 5" HEPA-like filter was designed into the system when it was installed ten years ago. I have no reason to believe that it is destroying the blower motor. I also agree that the OP must have meant a dryer duct. They certainly need annual cleaning, especially if they are more than...
by crefwatch
Tue Jul 21, 2020 5:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bank temporary closed - safety deposit box
Replies: 48
Views: 3301

Re: Bank temporary closed - safety deposit box

I’m very reluctant to stay (masked) in small indoor spaces with no windows, especially if there are other people there. How about you?
by crefwatch
Mon Jul 20, 2020 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Does it make sense to convert Trad to Roth at this point?
Replies: 14
Views: 1113

Re: Does it make sense to convert Trad to Roth at this point?

I'll add that you want to do this as much as you can before you start Social Security. It's even an argument (as if you didn't need more than the 8% annual increase in payout) for a healthy person to delay to age 70. Because there is a 5-year difference in my wife's and my age, that can affect the r...
by crefwatch
Mon Jul 20, 2020 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Electrical upgrades for a new build home
Replies: 48
Views: 2799

Re: Electrical upgrades for a new build home

It seems unlikely that these jobs can be done for the same amount of labor hours AFTER the walls are framed and closed in. Of course, it depends on details like whether there is a basement, whether it's finished, and details of local construction codes and practices. (I mean, for example, if horizon...
by crefwatch
Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best fire alarm for young children
Replies: 17
Views: 626

Re: Best fire alarm for young children

Yes, you're worried about the wrong thing. Added to the list of good practices, Do you have a regular routine for replacing the service or backup batteries, as applicable? Do you have at least one Carbon Monoxide detector? Before you can even consider saying you don't need one, you would have to say...
by crefwatch
Sat Jul 18, 2020 6:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bosch dishwasher control board - repair or buy new dishwasher?
Replies: 13
Views: 908

Re: Bosch dishwasher control board - repair or buy new dishwasher?

My Bosch water supply attachment style is not like the generic copper tube beneath the machine I had before. It required extensive soldering beneath the sink and a new hole in the base cabinet bulkhead to pass the proprietary “snake.”. Just FYI.
by crefwatch
Thu Jul 16, 2020 6:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advise required on Dehumidifier for unfinished basement
Replies: 32
Views: 1315

Re: Advise required on Dehumidifier for unfinished basement

Our dehumidifiers last five years at best. (As the sales woman at the appliance store reminded me once, “This isn’t your mother’s washing machine. It won’t last 25 years.”) I have a $100 condensate pump beside my dehumidifier that had outlasted 4 dehumidifiers. But most of the units I saw at Lowes t...
by crefwatch
Thu Jul 16, 2020 6:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Forbes article: "This 5-Fund Portfolio Pays A Monthly 8.9% Dividend"
Replies: 25
Views: 3642

Re: Forbes article: "This 5-Fund Portfolio Pays A Monthly 8.9% Dividend"

FAX has a “managed distributions” policy. That means they give you your own money back and call it a dividend if this month’s income isn’t enough. Some magic! But it attracts dividend chasers.
by crefwatch
Thu Jul 16, 2020 6:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ancient/slow ipad 2
Replies: 22
Views: 1192

Re: Ancient/slow ipad 2

One factor we don’t know is if you, for example, leave many apps open on the machine all the time. Your performance might improve if you close idle apps. You could also prevent apps from working in the background. We have an even older Ipad which is mounted on the wall in our kitchen. All it does is...