Search found 124 matches

by AstroJohn
Wed Dec 16, 2020 9:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Replacement for Quicken
Replies: 24
Views: 1256

Re: Replacement for Quicken

Moneydance if you are willing to pay the small cost. It's solid, stable, and non-subscription. GnuCash will also do everything you want for free. I gave up on Quicken years ago.
by AstroJohn
Sat Sep 26, 2020 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is a Trust really needed today?
Replies: 18
Views: 1969

Re: Is a Trust really needed today?

My wife and I have dealt with end of life issues for two relatives. One had a trust the other did not. For the most part everything was easy for both. The only bothersome problem we had was taking over some of the finances for the non-trust relative. Powers of attorney and banks and investment firms...
by AstroJohn
Tue Sep 22, 2020 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quicken Disaster!
Replies: 185
Views: 10100

Re: Quicken Disaster!

Gave up on quicken and went to moneydance years ago. In my view much better than quicken. Transaction reminders are fantastic and I think may be able to generate automatic entries that would help with cash flow. Tech support is superb. I'm also used gnucash for years, but it is not for the faint of ...
by AstroJohn
Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:22 am
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2020!
Replies: 303
Views: 38984

Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2020!

Retired from the Civil Service at the end of 2011, but then immediately went to work half time at a local university. When covid-19 came along, shifted to working from home. Now have no interest in setting foot on campus again. College students think they are invincible. Fully pulled the plug on 24 ...
by AstroJohn
Fri Sep 11, 2020 7:54 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is it Possible to Opt-out of Fidelity Premium Services?
Replies: 37
Views: 4133

Re: Is it Possible to Opt-out of Fidelity Premium Services?

I've been a Premium Services client for many years. Now on my 4th advisor. The second one saw that I was in indexer and pretty much left me alone, except when I had a question. Then she was very helpful. When she retired, she told me that Fidelity would assign me to a new advisor, but that if I wish...
by AstroJohn
Wed Sep 02, 2020 12:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is your age and asset allocation ?
Replies: 356
Views: 29559

Re: What is your age and asset allocation ?

An interesting series of posts. Out of curiosity, I've taken all the posted percentages, binned them by the stated age of the poster into decadal bins and plotted the resulting averages. On average, we Bogleheads seem to be consistently following a 120-Age equity distribution. https://i.postimg.cc/9...
by AstroJohn
Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:51 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is your age and asset allocation ?
Replies: 356
Views: 29559

Re: What is your age and asset allocation ?

Ages: Both of us are 70 and fully retired.

50% stocks, 7% of which is international, 48% bonds, 2% cash. More or less following Otar's advice that at 50/50 you can't go too far wrong. Pensions and Social Security meet all our expenses.
by AstroJohn
Sun Aug 23, 2020 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: move from Microsoft Office to Libre Office - any advantages or disadvantages for those that have done so?
Replies: 45
Views: 3501

Re: move from Microsoft Office to Libre Office - any advantages or disadvantages for those that have done so?

I've been using LibreOffice at home for years. All my financial spreadsheets use it with no problems. But, sadly, MS Office rules the business world. All my attempts to use the product for work related activity have always run into minor to major formatting issues. It is simply not an effective use ...
by AstroJohn
Sun Aug 23, 2020 1:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Data in the cloud?
Replies: 27
Views: 1449

Re: Data in the cloud?

Big fan of sync.com here as well. Has worked flawlessly across two laptops and two desktops. I'm under 6 GB, so cost is zero.
by AstroJohn
Mon Aug 10, 2020 8:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What did you do when you won the game? Edited
Replies: 53
Views: 6772

Re: What did you do when you won the game? Edited

Reached a comfortable state about eight years ago and partially retired. Will be fully retired two weeks from now. No changes in lifestyle. To me that was the whole idea. We will just continue to live the way we always have--some travel, when it is safe again, regular dinning out, when it is safe ag...
by AstroJohn
Sat Jul 25, 2020 8:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Astronomy Buffs Out There?
Replies: 81
Views: 5843

Re: Any Astronomy Buffs Out There?

I became hooked on astronomy in junior high school and made it a career while still keeping one foot on the amateur side in that I have two telescopes of my own and a lovely weekend cabin in the woods with dark skies in the Shenandoah Valley. When people ask me for advice, I always point them to Tur...
by AstroJohn
Sat Jul 25, 2020 8:13 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is federal long term care insurance worth it?
Replies: 25
Views: 1965

Re: Is federal long term care insurance worth it?

We will be the same at your age. Just curious how do you self insure? Wouldn’t you want higher coverage to LTC to protect your assets? My understanding is that Medicare does not cover LTC and Medicaid will require your assets are liquidated prior to coverage. In our view, the assets are there to sp...
by AstroJohn
Sat Jul 25, 2020 7:41 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is federal long term care insurance worth it?
Replies: 25
Views: 1965

Re: Is federal long term care insurance worth it?

My wife and I signed up when the Federal program was first offered and thus have been through multiple premium increases. At 70 we are now comfortably in the two comma club and could probably drop the LTC insurance. Instead, when the last big premium increase came along, we kept the premium close to...
by AstroJohn
Tue Dec 17, 2019 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changes to 401(k) and IRAs, SECURE Act - It's signed
Replies: 292
Views: 23777

RMD date change in spending bill

It looks like the spending bill that is through the House and is pretty certain to pass the Senate and be signed by the president will increase the age for RMDs from 70.5 to 72. This has been floating around for quite some time, but appears about to come true.
by AstroJohn
Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Managing money near death of a spouse
Replies: 60
Views: 4022

Re: Managing money near death of a spouse

All the responses to my initial post have been fascinating. Clearly, this is a serious issue that we all need to be more aware of. It can be challenging to discuss this sort of thing with a spouse, and even more so with children and their spouses. Often my wife just says she expect to die first, so ...
by AstroJohn
Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Managing money near death of a spouse
Replies: 60
Views: 4022

Re: Managing money near death of a spouse

Our two checking account are “tenants by the entirety” so we are covered there. The scary part of the story for me is that with a joint account, the ill spouse can just walk into the bank and take everything. This seems to me to argue for at least some significant amount of money in separate accoun...
by AstroJohn
Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Managing money near death of a spouse
Replies: 60
Views: 4022

Re: Managing money near death of a spouse

Our two checking account are “tenants by the entirety” so we are covered there. The scary part of the story for me is that with a joint account, the ill spouse can just walk into the bank and take everything. This seems to me to argue for at least some significant amount of money in separate accoun...
by AstroJohn
Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Managing money near death of a spouse
Replies: 60
Views: 4022

Managing money near death of a spouse

At Thanksgiving along with one of our children and her husband, we hosted his widowed mother. Her husband died recently of Alzheimer's disease and she had quiet a story to tell about some of the financial issues she faced near the end. Her experience gave us a lot to think about in terms of how we s...
by AstroJohn
Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience/cost MLB spring training?
Replies: 29
Views: 2278

Re: Experience/cost MLB spring training?

My wife and I go to Nationals spring training every year, usually about the second or third week in March. By that time the regular players are getting substantial playing time. Tickets are likely to be expensive this year, but we will be going. One thing my wife discovered a few years ago is that y...
by AstroJohn
Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trust to avoid Probate
Replies: 21
Views: 2139

Re: Trust to avoid Probate

I have always read that a significant advantage of a trust is the possibility of a successor trustee taking over in the event of disability. In my experience that has been easy compared to things like durable powers of attorney. Is that not the case?
by AstroJohn
Wed Jun 19, 2019 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how do you manage your cash flow in retirement
Replies: 28
Views: 3890

Re: how do you manage your cash flow in retirement

BTW, I want to mention that while I pay most bills, but my spouse is responsible for paying some bills. The idea is that she knows how to do financial things if I die. And I know how to do financial things if she dies. I think the ability of either spouse to take care of things when the other spous...
by AstroJohn
Sun Mar 31, 2019 8:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead Approach to Home Tech? Looking for Home Security Cameras
Replies: 19
Views: 1923

Re: Boglehead Approach to Home Tech? Looking for Home Security Cameras

For our weekend home, I started with a game camera that I could review whenever we were at the home. Inexpensive, but died after a few years. Now we have an Arlo, which is fantastic. It is battery powered, so can be placed anywhere near the house. I get an email notification and a ten second video c...
by AstroJohn
Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How often do you check your net worth?
Replies: 257
Views: 17918

Re: How often do you check your net worth?

I update ours twice a year and will probably cut that back to once a year. But then at 69 and with plenty of assets for the rest of my life, there is not much to worry about. Scanning all the answers, I think it would be great if someone could put together a scatter plot of how often Bogleheads chec...
by AstroJohn
Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:49 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should I keep money in TSP long term?
Replies: 66
Views: 3508

Re: Should I keep money in TSP long term?

Finally, I have always been somewhat annoyed/worried by TSPs statements that if someone manages to get access to your account and figure out a way to drain it, you are on your own. My guess is that Fidelity would make me whole. Whoa. Those are pretty big assumptions on which to base a decision. I w...
by AstroJohn
Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should I keep money in TSP long term?
Replies: 66
Views: 3508

Re: Should I keep money in TSP long term?

Finally, I have always been somewhat annoyed/worried by TSPs statements that if someone manages to get access to your account and figure out a way to drain it, you are on your own. My guess is that Fidelity would make me whole. Fidelity does have a Customer Protection Guarantee, but you have to not...
by AstroJohn
Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should I keep money in TSP long term?
Replies: 66
Views: 3508

Re: Should I keep money in TSP long term?

Finally, I have always been somewhat annoyed/worried by TSPs statements that if someone manages to get access to your account and figure out a way to drain it, you are on your own. My guess is that Fidelity would make me whole. Whoa. Those are pretty big assumptions on which to base a decision. I w...
by AstroJohn
Thu Feb 21, 2019 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should I keep money in TSP long term?
Replies: 66
Views: 3508

Re: Should I keep money in TSP long term?

I am just turning 69 and ahead of RMDs have transferred my TSP (all G fund) into my IRA. While I know changes are coming that provide more withdrawal options, I decided that having everything in one place would be easier for DW if I go first. Also, you have to consider the next generation and their ...
by AstroJohn
Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Eliminate my emergency fund?
Replies: 90
Views: 8710

Re: Eliminate my emergency fund?

We have never had a separate emergency fund. And now that we are into retirement there is really no need. But a portion of the fixed income side of our investments is in a money market account. My asset allocation spreadsheet lists the value of that account minus $20,000. The message there to DW and...
by AstroJohn
Sat Feb 16, 2019 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block tax preparation software and Form 1116
Replies: 15
Views: 1445

Re: H&R Block tax preparation software and Form 1116

I have been doing a Form 1116 for several years now using H&R Block Basic. At first I was intimidated by the IRS instructions. Then I followed a suggestion posted by someone here. The instructions have to cover a very wide range of income sources, and that makes them look intimidating. The solut...
by AstroJohn
Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why I Own a Total Market Index Fund
Replies: 43
Views: 6944

Re: Why I Own a Total Market Index Fund

Occasionally, I get a little too involved in overthinking how my money should be invested. And then Taylor comes along and reminds me that this really isn't rocket science. Thanks Taylor.
by AstroJohn
Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thoreau Simplify
Replies: 64
Views: 7487

Re: Thoreau Simplify

Cleaning up and simplifying has been a lifelong struggle between me and my wonderful spouse. She likes "things." While I have read and taken much of Thoreau to heart, my favorite quote is in the other direction.

"Clutter and mess show us that life is being lived."
--Anne Lamott
by AstroJohn
Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "3 Tips For Streamlining Your Portfolio"
Replies: 11
Views: 1903

Re: "3 Tips For Streamlining Your Portfolio"

Good, simple, make sense tips. I'm wondering about reasons to simplify and consolidate. I've just crossed the threshold of being able to claim early social security, so maybe am thinking more about the future. Of course, having a simpler portfolio in less locations would make things easier for my w...
by AstroJohn
Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?
Replies: 77
Views: 5448

Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Both my iMac and my wife's PC are shut off at night. I feel that the less time they are on the internet the less time there is for bad actors to get into them.
by AstroJohn
Thu Jan 24, 2019 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: External Hard Drive?
Replies: 71
Views: 4684

Re: External Hard Drive?

I recently bought a 4TB Western Digital drive for a ridiculously small price. But that is just my first line of defense. I also have three 16 GB thumb drives that important files get backed up to in a monthly rotation. Finally, the same files are backed up to sync.com regularly. I can't say enough g...
by AstroJohn
Thu Jan 24, 2019 5:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken Alternatives
Replies: 125
Views: 10006

Re: Quicken alternatives?

Gnucash has a pretty steep learning curve, but does a good job once you master it.

Moneydance is the best alternative to Quicken I have found. Works great on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Reasonable cost and upgrade cycle, and so far no talk of an annual subscription approach.
by AstroJohn
Fri Dec 28, 2018 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block Deluxe 2018 doesn't include Schedule D?
Replies: 34
Views: 4038

Re: H&R Block Deluxs 2018 doesn't include Schedule D?

Every year I buy and download H&R Block Basic. Every year, including this year, it includes Schedule D (as well as the dreaded Form 1116). I just fired up the copy I bought and it indicates the final version Schedule D will not be available until 1/16/2019. It has always baffled me that the fol...
by AstroJohn
Fri Dec 28, 2018 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block Deluxe 2018 doesn't include Schedule D?
Replies: 34
Views: 4038

Re: H&R Block Deluxs 2018 doesn't include Schedule D?

Every year I buy and download H&R Block Basic. Every year, including this year, it includes Schedule D (as well as the dreaded Form 1116). I just fired up the copy I bought and it indicates the final version Schedule D will not be available until 1/16/2019. It has always baffled me that the fol...
by AstroJohn
Fri Dec 28, 2018 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block Deluxe 2018 doesn't include Schedule D?
Replies: 34
Views: 4038

Re: H&R Block Deluxs 2018 doesn't include Schedule D?

Every year I buy and download H&R Block Basic. Every year, including this year, it includes Schedule D (as well as the dreaded Form 1116). I just fired up the copy I bought and it indicates the final version Schedule D will not be available until 1/16/2019. It has always baffled me that the folk...
by AstroJohn
Tue Nov 20, 2018 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Clark Howard - Sign Up For USPS Informed Delivery
Replies: 17
Views: 3248

Re: Clark Howard - Sign Up For USPS Informed Delivery

The questions you were asked were generated by whatever credit bureau the USPS uses. If your credit was frozen like mine is, you would not be able to get past that stage. Instead you would have to print some docs and go to the post office. The same applies to setting up a SSA account online. My cre...
by AstroJohn
Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Clark Howard - Sign Up For USPS Informed Delivery
Replies: 17
Views: 3248

Re: Clark Howard - Sign Up For USPS Informed Delivery

I just signed up for this last week. No credit check was required. After myUSPS account was created, signing up for informed deliver was a separate process. To verify my ID I had the option of answering questions on-line which were just like the questions asked to verify ID for my on-line SSA accou...
by AstroJohn
Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Clark Howard - Sign Up For USPS Informed Delivery
Replies: 17
Views: 3248

Re: Clark Howard - Sign Up For USPS Informed Delivery

Not sure this makes any sense. Part of the signup procedure involves a credit check. Mine Is frozen and I had to appear in person at the post office to prove identity and complete the process. Unless the imposter already has access to your credit info, this seems pretty far fetched.
by AstroJohn
Sun Oct 14, 2018 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Maui - Ka'anapali Beach Hotel
Replies: 15
Views: 2214

Re: Maui - Ka'anapali Beach Hotel

A few years ago, we stayed at the Westin Maui just down the beach. Walked by the Ka'anapali Beach Hotel every morning on my daily walk. It looked fine, but perhaps a little more spartan than the Westin and the others.
by AstroJohn
Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Charitable Tax Deductions
Replies: 46
Views: 4084

Re: Charitable Tax Deductions

The tax code changes have been something of a wash for me. Federal tax will go down. State tax here in Virginia will go up because we must now also take the VA standard deduction. I am not planning on either reducing or increasing charitable donations. We don't give for tax reasons. One small plus h...
by AstroJohn
Sat Sep 01, 2018 7:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital One 360 no beneficiary option
Replies: 41
Views: 9852

Re: Capital One 360 no beneficiary option

Our Capital One savings accounts are in the name of our living trust. I would think that makes this less of problem as the successor trustee can manage/distribute funds as needed. Moving the accounts from joint to trust was easy. "Moving the accounts from joint to trust was easy" - maybe ...
by AstroJohn
Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital One 360 no beneficiary option
Replies: 41
Views: 9852

Re: Capital One 360 no beneficiary option

Our Capital One savings accounts are in the name of our living trust. I would think that makes this less of problem as the successor trustee can manage/distribute funds as needed. Moving the accounts from joint to trust was easy.
by AstroJohn
Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping lawn service and trash pickup
Replies: 48
Views: 4528

Re: Tipping lawn service and trash pickup

The person who mows at my weekend home bills for each mowing. I always put something extra in the check I send him. People doing that sort of work are often working multiple part time gigs and need every dollar they can get. And he responds by occasionally doing a little extra for me, like helping t...
by AstroJohn
Sun May 27, 2018 5:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Available 2018 tax estimator
Replies: 44
Views: 14406

Re: Best Available 2018 tax estimator

Very happy with dinkytown.net estimators as well. Have used them for several years for doing estimated taxes.
by AstroJohn
Wed May 23, 2018 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken - Do you use it?
Replies: 59
Views: 5873

Re: Quicken - Do you use it?

No one will die and national security won’t be threatened if Quicken disappears.
Sadly, we might see some posts on this site that would make us think otherwise.
by AstroJohn
Wed May 23, 2018 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken - Do you use it?
Replies: 59
Views: 5873

Re: Quicken - Do you use it?

Used Quicken for many years, but grew tired of the ever increasing chart-junk on each page and moved to Moneydance. Runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux. No subscription model. Reasonable cost. Usually every other update is free or reduced price for current users. Small enough company that support reques...
by AstroJohn
Tue May 22, 2018 7:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Millionaire Next Door and civil servants
Replies: 99
Views: 16970

Re: The Millionaire Next Door and civil servants

Tell you what. We will survey the net worth of 10000 1989 mazda owners and the net worth of 10000 2018 911 owners. How much money would you bet on the 1989 Mazda owners having a higher average net worth? :) People that look rich tend to be rich. There are exceptions at both ends. But those are the ...