Search found 629 matches

by tractorguy
Sat Sep 22, 2018 4:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Mom's Estate: Can you help please?
Replies: 44
Views: 2100

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: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 6 figure sum to Vanguard Money Market or Savings account?
Replies: 12
Views: 1289

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: 1787

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: 7727

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: 1208

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: 2020

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: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing Help for my Mom - She's 86
Replies: 10
Views: 1017

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: 3853

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: 2472

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: 36
Views: 6780

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: 2493

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: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wife Retiring hesitant to roll-over funds to Vanguard
Replies: 36
Views: 2899

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: 637

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: 1455

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: 1672

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: 4531

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: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Changing cost basis method from Average to Actual Cost
Replies: 18
Views: 1822

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: 1453

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: 8235

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: 3247

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: 1925

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: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Nice tax problem to have – Please Advise
Replies: 14
Views: 2977

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: 185
Views: 13334

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: 10633

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: 70
Views: 7475

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: 1608

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: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: First Post: Fees question
Replies: 10
Views: 973

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: 3963

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: 2119

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: 1016

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: 1833

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: 1581

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: 3076

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...
by tractorguy
Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Another Early Retirement Thread...
Replies: 15
Views: 2035

Re: Another Early Retirement Thread...

Does your position allow for sabbatical? I know several professors who took a year off and came back totally recharged. One of them spent a year in Australia teaching and traveling. I would also ask about a two or three unpaid leave of absence to travel with your spouse. Those are years you won't be...
by tractorguy
Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VWIUX vs VBTLX in 24% tax bracket
Replies: 19
Views: 3397

Re: VWIUX vs VBTLX in 24% tax bracket

I too have a 24% marginal Federal tax rate and struggle with this question every time that I re-allocate. I've got all of my tax free space filled with bond funds, and am now growing bonds in my taxable space. Historically, I've done the same calculation as the OP and found that the two funds, after...
by tractorguy
Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Evidence that retirement account ID theft is increasing
Replies: 31
Views: 4970

Re: Evidence that retirement account ID theft is increasing

I read the original article and it strikes me as click bait with a goal of getting people to sign up for a newsletter and eventually buy books. I'm not sure where the 7% of non credit card fraud number comes from and I don't believe it. I think we'd be hearing a lot more about these kinds of fraud e...
by tractorguy
Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Safe to file taxes now?
Replies: 57
Views: 5422

Re: Safe to file taxes now?

I filed with H&R Block Deluxe last week the day after the brokerage forms were available on Vanguard's website. I was in a rush because I have a significant refund, because I'm traveling for the next few weeks and wanted this out of the way, and because my information was in the Equifax leak. HR Blo...
by tractorguy
Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:10 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How many of you use the "4% rule" during retirement?
Replies: 68
Views: 10062

Re: How many of you use the "4% rule" during retirement?

I used it as a planning tool prior to retirement and as a way to get comfortable with retiring early. I've checked my withdrawal rate the first few years and found it to be in the 2.5% range even before taking social security. I've not run out to buy a Ferrari to up my spending rate but we've schedu...
by tractorguy
Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Going Paperless Issues
Replies: 68
Views: 4826

Re: Going Paperless Issues

I also have been paperless for years and it has been working flawlessly. Over the last 3 years, I've moved from a mode of logging on to each web site to pay bills to having everything set up to pay balance due automatically. It's a mix of pulls from my bank, pushes from my bank, and pulls from my cr...
by tractorguy
Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No 1099-MISC yet
Replies: 9
Views: 810

Re: No 1099-MISC yet

I vaguely remember that turbotax wouldn't let me efile without an employer EIN when I had a similar issue 3 years ago. This year I used H&R Blocks software to do my taxes and it had no complaints about a $400 income without a 1099 or an employer EIN. I'm not sure if the difference is the lower incom...
by tractorguy
Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Reasons to underweight foreign stocks?
Replies: 42
Views: 2550

Re: Reasons to underweight foreign stocks?

Some of these have been articulated by but my reasons to underweight international to 20% are: 1) I've lived and worked in industry in the UK & Japan for 5 years each and have seen first hand the regulatory burden in the EU and Japan. It is much more restrictive to innovation than anything I've seen...
by tractorguy
Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What backup service to use?
Replies: 74
Views: 8058

Re: What backup service to use?

I too am attempting to find a replacement for Crashplan. This is a summary of a work in progress. I'm putting it here and will add to it as I find out stuff. My situation: I have 2 Windows 10 machines. Each one has a 1Tbyte drive in it but they are greatly under used. I have about 700 Gbyte between ...
by tractorguy
Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Total Bond Market Index Fund vs. CDs?
Replies: 33
Views: 7609

Re: Total Bond Market Index Fund vs. CDs?

For me the answer (and the answer that I use for any allocation decision whenever it's close to a wash) is to put some money in both. I've got about 3 years of expenses in CD's and the rest of my non-stock allocation in bonds. I was setting up a CD ladder but IMOP, the higher interest rates for long...
by tractorguy
Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Compensation for vehicle travel
Replies: 8
Views: 913

Re: Compensation for vehicle travel

As others have said, it depends. You should get whatever you want to be paid for agreed to BEFORE you agree to the job. Coming back to your customer afterwards and submitting a bill that includes unexpected charges is a good way to shrink a business. Typically, as a hiring manager, I'd expect to pay...
by tractorguy
Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling to Germany (Bavaria) in April/May - Itinerary Help Needed
Replies: 49
Views: 3431

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

I can’t comment on the itinerary but do have a suggestion re cell phones. I was in Germany last fall and was planning to buy a local SIM card for my unlocked GSM phone so I could call local friends, hotels, and use Google maps while driving. Until recently, you could buy a pay as you go SIM card alm...
by tractorguy
Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Longtime AT&T customer looking for MVNO cell provider
Replies: 30
Views: 3649

Re: Longtime AT&T customer looking for MVNO cell provider

I’ve been using consumer cellular for a couple of years and will be switching as soon as I go home. It’s been fine at my home but is typically terrible if I’m traveling anywhere except on a highway or in a major city. Ive found that I frequently have nothing or voice with no data. I’ll be looking at...
by tractorguy
Sun Dec 24, 2017 8:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Photos dark because of sunlight..what free software to enhance
Replies: 27
Views: 2174

Re: Photos dark because of sunlight..what free software to enhane

Google Picasa will also let you lighten dark parts of your picture if you want to edit them on a Windows PC. It's no longer supported but you can still download and install it for free. I've not yet found another PC tool that is as easy to use. One feature is that it doesn't really modify the origin...
by tractorguy
Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: ~100k sole proprietor income. Better to take business deductions or contribute more to solo 401k?
Replies: 18
Views: 1430

Re: ~100k sole proprietor income. Better to take business deductions or contribute more to solo 401k?

I've found that carrying a smart phone makes it easy to create a travel log at any time. I volunteer at a museum about 30 miles from my house and could not discipline myself to keep a log on the days I drove out there. I go on Wednesdays and Saturdays but not every week because of other comittments....