Search found 644 matches

by tractorguy
Sun Mar 31, 2019 11:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How can I get a handle on income taxes in retirement?
Replies: 33
Views: 2973

Re: How can I get a handle on income taxes in retirement?

At your income and savings level, you are probably going to not have any problems. However, several lottery winners and entertainment industry stars have proven that it is possible to burn through astonishing amounts of money in a short time so it is best to have a plan. As others have said, the bes...
by tractorguy
Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job
Replies: 55
Views: 5565

Re: Passed Over For Promotion for Being too Good at My Job

+1 on Tamarind's reply. Some of the happiest people I worked with self limited their career's to what was called a project engineer in our company. This was a high performing technical expert who led projects, would mentor one or two people, but who was not expected to manage people. Our company off...
by tractorguy
Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need some help with slow folders in Windows
Replies: 33
Views: 1717

Re: Need some help with slow folders in Windows

I had a problem a year or so back with windows 10 that took forever to open some folders, including the quick view. I found that these folders had their type set as "pictures" which was forcing the operating system to scan the full folder and generate thumbnails of every file. When I reset the type ...
by tractorguy
Thu Mar 07, 2019 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Claiming New Jersey Homestead Benefit
Replies: 2
Views: 311

Claiming New Jersey Homestead Benefit

I'm just done helping my 93 year old MIL complete her income tax forms for 2018. In years past, she has claimed a homestead benefit that gives her a few hundred dollars back on her real estate taxes. This is a separate form from her income tax forms. This year, I can't find any of the forms on line....
by tractorguy
Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dilemma: Upgrade primary residence vs. 3-fund
Replies: 24
Views: 1800

Re: Dilemma: Upgrade primary residence vs. 3-fund

I had a similar first world problem when we moved back to the states from a series of overseas assignments. I constrained myself to a 30 minute commute from my office in the Chicago west suburbs but had still had a 4x range of house prices in that area. It ranged from houses closer to Chicago with h...
by tractorguy
Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Client From Hell Is Driving Me Insane!
Replies: 60
Views: 7845

Re: Client From Hell Is Driving Me Insane!

I've never worked in marketing but I've seen plenty of situations where the head of a department is driving terrible decisions because that's the way he or she thinks it should be. Their attitude typically is "Don't bother me with facts, my gut is always right." When that head has got high level spo...
by tractorguy
Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I want a new Audi A6 2018 (50k) - Can I afford it? Or is this just a really dumb decision...
Replies: 136
Views: 7634

Re: I want a new Audi A6 2018 (50k) - Can I afford it? Or is this just a really dumb decision...

Would you pay $50K for a wristwatch or some other kind of bling? If you look at the ads for luxury cars and compare them with the ads for expensive jewelry, you'll see a striking similarity. They are all about trying to convince you that you'll stand out from the crowd and everyone will look up to y...
by tractorguy
Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another "Is it worth it to fix" question [2002 Nissan Sentra]
Replies: 66
Views: 4128

Re: Another "Is it worth it to fix" question [2002 Nissan Sentra]

You've got your money's worth out of this car. Unless you absolutely can't afford it, I'd get a newer used car that you can use as a daily driver. IMOP, if you do due diligence while shopping and get anything you want to buy inspected by a good mechanic, a newer car is going to be safer, more reliab...
by tractorguy
Fri Feb 15, 2019 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice Needed - Options for Commuting to Work
Replies: 37
Views: 1484

Re: Advice Needed - Options for Commuting to Work

The longest commute I have had is a 1 3/4 hour each way on a train. Comparing this to my 30 minute each way commute when I worked other jobs, my experience was: 1) Having a fixed arrival and leave time drove me to get the work done and get out of the office. When I drove by myself, It was tempting t...
by tractorguy
Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buyer's Remorse on purchasing a Mercedes
Replies: 82
Views: 7004

Re: Buyer's Remorse on purchasing a Mercedes

You've got two issues to deal with. 1) You can't afford this car. You don't say what your degree is and what job your going to get with but there are very few careers where a starting salary can cover the owning costs of a AMG Mercedes. 2) Your father is going to be hurt when you go to him and refus...
by tractorguy
Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Certified Used BMW, Audi or Mercedes
Replies: 101
Views: 11608

Re: Certified Used BMW, Audi or Mercedes

As I write this, I'm sitting in a Kia dealer waiting for my new Stinger Gt2 and am going to go to Carmax to drop off my 2007BMW 328 cause they offered more than Kia for it. The Stinger and the new Genesis models were designed in Germany by a team that Hondai hired away from MB and BMW performance di...
by tractorguy
Fri Nov 23, 2018 9:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Renting car in Chicago - Christmas - what to expect?
Replies: 14
Views: 1335

Re: Renting car in Chicago - Christmas - what to expect?

Be aware that most of the highways around Chicago are toll roads and many exits are ez pass only. This includes the exit to OHare airport. If you have a transponder, wrap it in aluminum foil, bring it with you, and unwrap it and throw it on the dashboard of the rental. This assumes that the state yo...
by tractorguy
Sun Nov 18, 2018 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New job concerns
Replies: 52
Views: 5607

Re: New job concerns

I’m a retired Assistant Chief Engineer from a megacorp. My advice to you is to start looking for a new job immediately. You’ve blown the first impression of your managers at this one and it likely isn’t salvageable. You’ve labeled yourself as a non team player and as someone who isn’t willing to put...
by tractorguy
Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lowest Cost GPS-Capable Device for Senior Citizen
Replies: 18
Views: 1103

Re: Lowest Cost GPS-Capable Device for Senior Citizen

+1 on a Garmin. This is the only recognizable brand name sold on Amazon. I'd be hesitant to buy the off brands. Advantages over a cell phone mapping system are : 1. It does not need a cell signal to plot a route. Cell phone maps can be used outside of a service area but they require that you have th...
by tractorguy
Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lowest Cost GPS-Capable Device for Senior Citizen
Replies: 18
Views: 1103

Re: Lowest Cost GPS-Capable Device for Senior Citizen

+1 on a Garmin. This is the only recognizable brand name sold on Amazon. I'd be hesitant to buy the off brands. Advantages over a cell phone mapping system are : 1. It does not need a cell signal to plot a route. Cell phone maps can be used outside of a service area but they require that you have th...
by tractorguy
Sat Sep 22, 2018 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Mom's Estate: Can you help please?
Replies: 44
Views: 2188

Re: Mom's Estate: Can you help please?

At 86 and in a split level your Mom is only one fall away from a forced move out of the the house or worse. Have you considered an upper end retirement apartment for her? She can afford a pretty nice one. Last year we moved my 92 year old MIL into one in NJ. It was the best thing we could have done ...
by tractorguy
Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 6 figure sum to Vanguard Money Market or Savings account?
Replies: 12
Views: 1588

Re: 6 figure sum to Vanguard Money Market or Savings account?

I have my and my MIL's emergency funds in savings and short term (1-2 year) CD's at Ally and Synchrony bank. According to bank rate Synchrony has a 13 month CD that yields 2.65%, Ally has a 18 month that yields 2.55%. The savings accounts at these banks are the same or slightly higher than the 1.73%...
by tractorguy
Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Device to listen to while exercising?
Replies: 23
Views: 1869

Re: Device to listen to while exercising?

If you have an unlimited data plan or there is free wifi at your gym, I'd consider setting up a Spotify account and playing music through earbuds plugged into my phone. My children are all paying the $10.00/month for the higher quality, ad free account. I've looked at the free account and tried it a...
by tractorguy
Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Response from boss re: market analysis
Replies: 71
Views: 7883

Re: Rude response from boss re: market adjustment

I was a manager at a megacorp and one of my peers gave a very similar response to one of his staff who wanted a raise. We discussed this in our staff meeting after the fact. The background was; 1) The company was going through a downturn and money was tight. Nobody was getting raises. 2) The employe...
by tractorguy
Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it worth getting BA after 16 years? Or should I go for certificate programs?
Replies: 10
Views: 1255

Re: Is it worth getting BA after 16 years? Or should I go for certificate programs?

Based on my experience at a megacorp in the U.S., I would say almost certainly worth it if you ever want to get promoted past the lowest level management or work somewhere else. I worked with several highly qualified people who hit a promotion ceiling because they didn't have a Bachelor's degree. Al...
by tractorguy
Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: One handed Android phone?
Replies: 38
Views: 2201

Re: One handed Android phone?

I have the Sony Xperia X Compact (predecessor to the XZ2 Compact mentioned by another poster) and like it a lot. I got it for the same reason you are looking at smaller phones. I don't want to carry a huge phablet but want decent performance. I bought it about a year after it came out and just befor...
by tractorguy
Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:26 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investing Help for my Mom - She's 86
Replies: 10
Views: 1072

Re: Investing Help for my Mom - She's 86

When my Father in Law passed 2 years ago, I helped my Mother In Law untangle the investments he set up and arranged it so that it pretty much manages itself. She was 91 at the time so she, her daughters, and I all agreed that we should minimize risk. I ended up doing the following. 1. Moved all of h...
by tractorguy
Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Light Camping Trailer
Replies: 42
Views: 4417

Re: Light Camping Trailer

Be warned that the 3000 pound towing capacity may or may not be a meaningful number. You really need to look at the maximum allowable load on the hitch and the maximum allowable load on each axle of the car. You should put a minimum of 10% of the trailer weight on the hitch. (15% is better). That me...
by tractorguy
Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard -Data Concerns
Replies: 29
Views: 2551

Re: Vanguard -Data Concerns

Why are you checking your accounts daily? What are you going to do with the information? I check my accounts at Vanguard weekly but only because I use Quicken to remind me when to pay bills and the automatic download is part of my process. If I didn't have my investments and payment accounts in one ...
by tractorguy
Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using PersonalCapital, Mint, etc.... - and fraud concerns
Replies: 46
Views: 10971

Re: Using PersonalCapital, Mint, etc.... - and fraud concerns

I have been using an aggregator (Quicken) for decades and have never heard of a case where customer's accounts were hacked as a result of data being leaked out of any aggregator. It sounds to me that with some aggregators and some login methods, the potential exists but I'm cynical and believe that ...
by tractorguy
Sat May 26, 2018 9:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Brick pavers on the edge of my porch are already falling off
Replies: 31
Views: 2721

Re: Brick pavers on the edge of my porch are already falling off

They should not be falling off after 4 years. What was the weather when the porch was done? Reading the instructions for the glue, it needs to be kept above freezing and dry for 48 hours. For what its worth, I have a front stoop that is a concrete base covered on top with decorative stone and faced ...
by tractorguy
Sat May 19, 2018 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Wife Retiring hesitant to roll-over funds to Vanguard
Replies: 36
Views: 3519

Re: Wife Retiring hesitant to roll-over funds to Vanguard

As others have said, you can get equivalent returns if you pick the right funds at Fidelity or Vanguard. If your wife has concerns, why fight it and just give in to her and move her money to one of them. It doesn't sound like her company plan is worth staying with.
by tractorguy
Sat May 19, 2018 8:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chromebook or Windows 10 for donated laptop
Replies: 5
Views: 730

Re: Chromebook or Windows 10 for donated laptop

Check Windows 10 compatibility, I'll bet that the Atom with 2Gb memory is not on the list. I've got a 2010 vintage Dell laptop with and I3 processor and 8 GB memory and am regretting upgrading it to W10. It was fine when I did it a year ago but it slows down with every major update. I just ordered a...
by tractorguy
Sat May 19, 2018 7:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: central extractor fan instead of A/C?
Replies: 15
Views: 1568

Re: central extractor fan instead of A/C?

In my last house in central Illinois, I installed a whole house fan in the attached garage. This was a ranch with the bedrooms on the opposite end of the house. In the evening, we turned on the fan, left the connecting door open (there was a screen door that let air through), and opened the windows ...
by tractorguy
Tue May 15, 2018 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental Car : Paying Toll tax in Texas for a CA resident
Replies: 15
Views: 1823

Re: Rental Car : Paying Toll tax in Texas for a CA resident

When I was in San Francisco a similar thing happened to me crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. There you can login online and pay the toll using the license plate of the rental card and your credit card. Doing that you avoid the surcharge from the car rental company and the toll authority. +1 on this....
by tractorguy
Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Paperless Life
Replies: 45
Views: 4985

Re: The Paperless Life

Don't rely on institutions to hold onto your statements forever - they won't. Even if they do (though they rarely do)....you might not stick with the same institutions for 40 years. If you decide to leave Vanguard 20 years from now -- even if all their statements are online and available -- it won'...
by tractorguy
Wed Apr 04, 2018 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Changing cost basis method from Average to Actual Cost
Replies: 18
Views: 2166

Re: Changing cost basis method from Average to Actual Cost

I prefer to use actual cost because it increases the ability to tax loss harvest but it increases the book keeping burden on both you and your broker. Since 2012, your broker is required to keep track of your actual cost and if you sell shares, you can specify which lots. They will match up your sal...
by tractorguy
Mon Apr 02, 2018 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for a some good computer speakers to listen to southern gospel music on would like high quality under $100
Replies: 12
Views: 1565

Re: Looking for a some good computer speakers to listen to southern gospel music on would like high quality under $100

I have a set of Bose Companion 20 multimedia speakers https://www.crutchfield.com/p_018COMP20/Bose-Companion-20-multimedia-speaker-system.html that I'm very happy with but at $250, they are way out of your target price range. Bose also sells a $99.00 speaker pair that I've not heard. Audiophiles wil...
by tractorguy
Mon Apr 02, 2018 12:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is Lockheed Martin about to become the biggest company in history?
Replies: 66
Views: 8633

Re: Is Lockheed Martin about to become the biggest company in history?

IMOP the comic xkcd did is appropriate here. https://xkcd.com/678/ Even after someone does a proof of concept test (which I've not heard of), it will be decades before the engineering and regulatory problems get solved and we have a working generating plant.
by tractorguy
Sat Mar 31, 2018 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recruiter from competitor
Replies: 20
Views: 3326

Re: Recruiter from competitor

How healthy is your company? If its a leader in its market & generally profitable, then they will be surveying what other employers in your business and region are paying and will generally be paying market rates to retain people. If they are small, struggling, or have very small market share, then ...
by tractorguy
Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tailoring a SuitSupply Suit: Is a non SS tailor okay?
Replies: 6
Views: 2497

Re: Tailoring a SuitSupply Suit: Is a non SS tailor okay?

Find a local tailor. My local dry cleaner offers this service for trousers and they do a fine job.
by tractorguy
Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:45 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Nice tax problem to have – Please Advise
Replies: 14
Views: 3062

Re: Nice tax problem to have – Please Advise

When I was working, I was able to cover the additional taxes on dividends by adjusting my W4. I am mostly in index funds which have small, predictable dividends. They didn't change much from year to year so it was easy to figure the W4 adjustment. I did not discover estimated taxes until I retired. ...
by tractorguy
Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Vanguard Security Code Requirement [2FA: Two-factor authentication]
Replies: 198
Views: 17689

Re: Two- Factor Authentication at Vanguard - Update

FWIW, I've been using 2FA authorization on my Vanguard account since it was offered and Quicken desktop has no problems with it. I can't remember what I did the first time I downloaded after I set it up, I do remember that I had to do something different. Since then, its been fine.
by tractorguy
Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I’m looking for a word...
Replies: 114
Views: 11274

Re: I’m looking for a word...

I'm also going to vote for the Butterfly effect. From the wikipedia article on Chaos Theory. "The butterfly effect describes how a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state, e.g. a butterfly flapping its wings in China can cause a ...
by tractorguy
Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block vs TurboTax (spoiler: HRB is awful)
Replies: 88
Views: 10240

Re: H&R Block vs TurboTax (spoiler: HRB is awful)

I had been using Turbotax but got tired of their price increases and IMOP bait & switch marketing strategy about 3 years ago. I did a trial version of my taxes online with all 3 major companies and ended up picking HRBlock to use going forward. My assesment was; HR Block & Turbotax interfaces are ab...
by tractorguy
Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Job Expenses for contract job. Should I take W2 or 1099
Replies: 24
Views: 1730

Re: Job Expenses for contract job. Should I take W2 or 1099

If pay is the same W 2 is almost always a better deal. The employer pays half of social security and Medicare. This is 7.65 % on the first $128,000 and 1.45% on income above that. This is in addition to the social security and Medicare tax you pay as an employee. You also usually get access to other...
by tractorguy
Thu Mar 15, 2018 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: First Post: Fees question
Replies: 10
Views: 1020

Re: First Post: Fees question

You may be able to transfer your American funds to Vanguard, Fidelity, or Schwabb "in kind." If you do that, it isn't a sale and you don't pay any capital gains tax. On any of the brokerage sites, type the ticker symbol into their search box and it will give a page which tells you if they handle the...
by tractorguy
Thu Mar 15, 2018 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is anyone using a bill paying service?
Replies: 38
Views: 4212

Re: Is anyone using a bill paying service?

I helped my 93 year old mother in law set up all her bills as direct debit from the bank or her credit card and her credit card as autopay from the bank account. The only checks she writes now are her church donation (which she doesn't want to automate because she wants the physical act of putting i...
by tractorguy
Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filing Taxes myself in the future
Replies: 19
Views: 2209

Re: Filing Taxes myself in the future

While it is fresh in your mind, you may want to consider running this year's data through one of the tax software packages to verify that you get the same answer as HR Block. I think that you can start an online return with any of them and not pay until you actually file. I did this when I was compa...
by tractorguy
Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Income as part of the bond position
Replies: 14
Views: 1044

Re: Income as part of the bond position

I wouldn't include future income from stocks and bonds when figuring my net worth and asset allocation because it is not guaranteed and a totally different kind of measure of your situation. Also, the studies of safe withdrawal rate are all based on a traditional measure of your investments value.
by tractorguy
Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investing spreadsheet or software?
Replies: 17
Views: 1953

Re: Investing spreadsheet or software?

I have Quicken Premier 2017 which still uses a local file and does not require a subscription. You can still buy it from some vendors, but not Amazon or Quicken. It requires a login to the New Quicken server to download balance and entries but not if you are doing everything manually. I think 2018 m...
by tractorguy
Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Samsung Chromebook vs Tablet for Travel?
Replies: 15
Views: 1827

Re: Samsung Chromebook vs Tablet for Travel?

I have a laptop, chromebook, tablet & smart phone. I tend to use a laptop & smart phone when I'm on a road trip, the chromebook & phone when I'm flying. I use the tablet at home to play games if my spouse has a TV show on that I don't want to spend 100% of my attention on. When I'm traveling, I rare...
by tractorguy
Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to delete/diminish/replace Quicken and minimize time tracking finances?
Replies: 45
Views: 3214

Re: How to delete/diminish/replace Quicken and minimize time tracking finances?

I've been using Quicken for 20 years and have been using the auto download feature for that long as well. Its a great time saver. I've got bank accounts at two banks, several brokerage accounts at Vanguard, & 2 credit card accounts that I'm tracking in Quicken. It took me 30 minutes (I timed it) tod...