Search found 5115 matches

by stan1
Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House water detection and alert system?
Replies: 41
Views: 2428

Re: House water detection and alert system?

A few months ago I started hearing a weird intermittent beep. I thought "what is this?" and spent 15 minutes walking around the house trying to localize it with my bad ears. Finally realized it was coming from under my kitchen sink and remembered that I put in a leak detection sensor. Come to find o...
by stan1
Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: London/Paris Trip Questions
Replies: 41
Views: 1448

Re: London/Paris Trip Questions

Definitely no need for a travel agent. Book yourself. Choose well located lodging (very close to a major interchange station if you are going to use public transit and central if you are going to use taxis). It will cost more but very much worth it especially if the six year old will do best with a ...
by stan1
Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal pension Vs Higher salary + 401k savings plan
Replies: 22
Views: 1805

Re: Federal pension Vs Higher salary + 401k savings plan

Stan I’ve yet to see ANY changes to the benefit of those in civil service— but sure have seen many that were to their detriment Yes, there have been improvements. One example was letting FERS employees credit unused sick leave to service completion date. In 2017 Congress authorized additional withd...
by stan1
Thu Jan 18, 2018 8:27 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TSP's F Fund outperforms the G Fund, so why is the G Fund favored?
Replies: 17
Views: 894

Re: TSP's F Fund outperforms the G Fund, so why is the G Fund favored?

In fixed income I look for risk compensated return not broadest market diversification as I would in equities. I use TSP G Fund, CDs, muni bond funds, and intermediate corporate bond funds for my fixed income allocation. I hold some of each almost all the time in at least one of my accounts but I do...
by stan1
Thu Jan 18, 2018 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Short Commute or Nicer House?
Replies: 68
Views: 2434

Re: Short Commute or Nicer House?

I'd easily choose the short commute but plenty of people happily make long commute because they want a lot of space. You might want to think a little more about what "nicer house" means to you. Focus first on the things you can't change (location) or can't change without a lot of money (# of bedroom...
by stan1
Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal pension Vs Higher salary + 401k savings plan
Replies: 22
Views: 1805

Re: Federal pension Vs Higher salary + 401k savings plan

I don't think anyone should take a job just because it has a pension. You should be good at the job and at least get satisfaction from a job well done. You don't want to spend decades in a job you dislike. Very hard to be unhappy at work and then flip a switch during your drive home and be happy the...
by stan1
Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AJ Madison?
Replies: 11
Views: 1021

Re: AJ Madison?

Very few fast and reliable ways to get appliance repairs these days. If you have a fast and responsive local repair person you'd want to stick to brands they service. It's not a job people can make a living at and provide for their families long term plus they are usually dealing with angry customer...
by stan1
Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are we in an Index fund bubble? Are we irrationally overlooking individual stock analysis?
Replies: 18
Views: 2572

Re: Are we in an Index fund bubble? Are we irrationally overlooking individual stock analysis?

I was not investing entirely in index funds 20 years ago. Strategy then was a mix of active and passive and that was often recommend by "experts". I don't know whether I will be investing in index funds 20 years from now. I generally don't use indexed bond funds. Can't predict the future but for now...
by stan1
Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where do you get your auto loans?
Replies: 14
Views: 711

Re: Where do you get your auto loans?

If interest rate arbitrage is your goal the manufacturer 0.0% to 1.9% loan may be the way to go. Most credit unions won't have rates that low. A few years ago manufacturers were doing 0% OR $1,000-2000 back so it might have been better to get the rebate and a loan at a credit union. More recently I'...
by stan1
Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are you finding any good values at Amazon anymore?
Replies: 169
Views: 18217

Re: Are you finding any good values at Amazon anymore?

I’ve about had it with Amazon. My latest frustration involves a typical order placed Jan 6. Amazon shows today the order has not even been shipped yet (Jan 15 today) and an estimated delivery date of Jan 26. This is not unusual of late. Is this with a third party seller? I try to stay away from tho...
by stan1
Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is Fidelity's FFNOX OK for taxable?
Replies: 3
Views: 260

Re: Is Fidelity's FFNOX OK for taxable?

It is an index based asset allocation fund and has a history of capital gains distributions. I would not use it.

Here's fund information.
https://fundresearch.fidelity.com/mutua ... /31634R109
by stan1
Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Diversification/Allocating between TSP and Roth IRA
Replies: 2
Views: 195

Re: Diversification/Allocating between TSP and Roth IRA

The FRTIB Executive Director has announced his recommendation to change the I Fund from an EAFE index to the MSCI All World Ex US Investable index which will add Emerging Markets, Canada, and smaller capitalizations. Their timeline is sometime in 2019 assuming all the approvals fall into place. Unfo...
by stan1
Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budgeting Vs Savings Rate
Replies: 65
Views: 4246

Re: Budgeting Vs Savings Rate

I'm wanting to get some feedback about budgeting. Currently, we save 50% of our combined gross pay and I track spending in Quicken so I can look up how much we spend on different categories. My spouse suggested that we start a budget, but I don't see a need to do so when we can save 50% and still b...
by stan1
Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I'm hooked
Replies: 22
Views: 3835

Re: I'm hooked

Welcome, feel free to post asking for advice (even if you aren't a millionaire or making six figures -- everyone is welcome).

Guidance for advice posts is here:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6212
by stan1
Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Gone All the Way with LastPass?
Replies: 25
Views: 1309

Re: Anyone Gone All the Way with LastPass?

Easy to get into gray areas with Vanguard: Never share your user name, password, or other account-related information with anyone. Never store your user name, password, or answers to security questions in your browser. Note the use of the word "anyone". Is that a person or an entity? It leaves open ...
by stan1
Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Prime or Municipal MM?
Replies: 3
Views: 258

Re: Prime or Municipal MM?

It's probably going to go back and forth. I tend to go with the tax exempt fund as there's been a few years where at the end of the year I've been close to a bump in tax rate. I also have FDIC insured CDs and money market savings accounts which are not tax advantaged so I balance that fully taxable ...
by stan1
Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Gone All the Way with LastPass?
Replies: 25
Views: 1309

Re: Anyone Gone All the Way with LastPass?

Change your LastPass master password at least once per year. Enable two factor authentication through a phone app (such as Google Authenticator or LastPass Authenticator). What's interesting... NIST (National Institute for Standards and Technology) not too long ago recommended against changing of p...
by stan1
Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taxable Investment Advice - ETF vs. Admiral Shares?
Replies: 15
Views: 1147

Re: Taxable Investment Advice - ETF vs. Admiral Shares?

One advantage of ETFs: If you ever decide you want to move your holdings to another brokerage you can easily do so. Not true with Admiral shares of a mutual fund which must be held at Vanguard although you can convert to ETFs later. WIth tax advantaged accounts you can easily liquidate and buy somet...
by stan1
Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Gone All the Way with LastPass?
Replies: 25
Views: 1309

Re: Anyone Gone All the Way with LastPass?

What I would do is change your most important passwords (such as Vanguard, 401K, Google/email) every 3-6 months. [...] Change your LastPass master password at least once per year. Enable two factor authentication through a phone app (such as Google Authenticator or LastPass Authenticator). Regularl...
by stan1
Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any high-end skincare products worth it?
Replies: 37
Views: 2809

Re: Any high-end skincare products worth it?

I don't think there are magic ingredients, but some products definitely feel better on my skin than others that are greasy or run into my eyes.
by stan1
Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2.5 days Frankfurt/Cologne?
Replies: 8
Views: 425

Re: 2.5 days Frankfurt/Cologne?

I like the idea of driving around in a car. Gives me flexibility. Any idea on how is the parking situation there? I can't read or speak German. So I am not sure it will be easier to an English only speaking person. Would the trains and public transportation work efficiently? Last year I was in Pari...
by stan1
Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Gone All the Way with LastPass?
Replies: 25
Views: 1309

Re: Anyone Gone All the Way with LastPass?

I have no concern putting passwords into LastPass right now if you ARE NOT an individual likely to be targeted by foreign intelligence, organized crime (to include cyber crime syndicates), or domestic law enforcement. If you put your name in Google and it comes back with lots of hits associating you...
by stan1
Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?
Replies: 39
Views: 4428

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

I have been considering Merrill Edge to get the platinum level rewards. My concern is if I transfer too much money to them; they might uncover my existence to a local Merrill broker and I might be a target of his/hers phone and marketing tactics. On this matter even if it did happen I think a polit...
by stan1
Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?
Replies: 39
Views: 4428

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Just remember the free trades and perks are marketing schemes and they can change at any time. I left Schwab in 2003 because they started charging an annual fee on accounts under $100K. Today I have a lot more than that but I still don't have any money at Schwab because they basically told me I was ...
by stan1
Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Firing real estate agent after offer made?
Replies: 29
Views: 3161

Re: Firing real estate agent after offer made?

Respond to my inquiries within 24 hours and guide me through a complicated real estate process such as a short sale. I'm 100% with you on the response time. I only select agents that sell at least 30-50 houses per year (e.g. are successful at their career). They work 15 hours a day 6 days a week, a...
by stan1
Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Firing real estate agent after offer made?
Replies: 29
Views: 3161

Re: Firing real estate agent after offer made?

I did all the work - obtained the preapproval, hired a lawyer, set up inspection, gathering paperwork. There may be a misunderstanding. Buyer's always do those things (at least in my part of the US) and the buyer works directly with the lender and escrow company. We don't use attorneys to buy and s...
by stan1
Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renting in NYC for a new college grad. Best practices?
Replies: 23
Views: 1867

Re: Renting in NYC for a new college grad. Best practices?

livesoft wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:53 pm
Find roommates, preferably friends who already have a place rented.
Yep, rent a room from someone else to start. If you decide to stay for awhile learn all you can about rent stabilized apartments.
by stan1
Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Firing real estate agent after offer made?
Replies: 29
Views: 3161

Re: Firing real estate agent after offer made?

Calling your agent's broker with specific concerns seems like a good idea. I'd want a good explanation for the delays and a commitment to fix if it's the agent's fault. Some lenders discount the agent's commissions in a short sale so there can be an incentive for agents to minimize their effort. Was...
by stan1
Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone have a home elevator?
Replies: 5
Views: 834

Re: Anyone have a home elevator?

I'd suggest asking on the Gardenweb "Building a Home" forum. Answer there will be "yes". Plus you can find some existing threads.
https://www.houzz.com/discussions/building-a-home
by stan1
Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What information should my heirs have just in case
Replies: 12
Views: 612

Re: What information should my heirs have just in case

I forgot one: How you want your services and remains to be handled, if you have a preference. People often don't like to talk about this. Recently a co-worker lost his wife of over 30 years while she was in her 50s. They had never discussed this topic so he wasn't sure what to do. The family figured...
by stan1
Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What information should my heirs have just in case
Replies: 12
Views: 612

Re: What information should my heirs have just in case

- Estate plans including will, trust information, power of attorney, healthcare directives. Yes the financial institution may require the POA be on its own form. - Financial institutions with account numbers and how POD designations are made - Insurance policies (life, long term care, health) includ...
by stan1
Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Will never not upgrade Business travel again
Replies: 21
Views: 2860

Re: Will never not upgrade Business travel again

Relatively small dollars but when I fly Southwest for business travel I always pay for EarlyBird. I am 5'7" & slim build so I don't pay for extra leg room on other business flights but if I was tall and large I am pretty sure I would. My boss is about 6'4" and 250 pounds. He pays out of pocket to si...
by stan1
Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Storing Important Documents Online
Replies: 27
Views: 1199

Re: Storing Important Documents Online

A person might say the risk of being killed in a car accident while driving to the grocery store is too high and choose to walk instead but then jaywalk across a busy road. I do put a copy of my passport in Dropbox so that I can access it if needed while I'm out of the US. I do the same for proof of...
by stan1
Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Account Fraud
Replies: 7
Views: 1068

Re: Account Fraud

"This protection does not apply to unauthorized activity caused in whole or in part by your fraudulent, intentional, or negligent acts or omissions, including activity by a person whom you have intentionally or negligently permitted to transact in your account, or to whom you have intentionally or ...
by stan1
Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paid mortgage: Now what do I do?
Replies: 21
Views: 2591

Re: Paid mortgage: Now what do I do?

Congratulations! Now what do you do with the income each month you were putting into paying off the mortgage? Well of course save it in retirement and then taxable investing accounts but I'd also add consider knocking a few items off your deferred enjoyment list. By that if you've told yourself "som...
by stan1
Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacement Suggestions For Microwave Oven
Replies: 22
Views: 1231

Re: Replacement Suggestions For Microwave Oven

We got a $109 LG at Lowes. Does what we need. Had to pay a little more because it sits on a shelf and I wanted to 100OW minimum with a small stature. Works fine. These days microwaves are very inexpensive. When you think about it an Instapot costs almost as much as a microwave.
by stan1
Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Men's MUST iron dress shirt recommendations
Replies: 37
Views: 2199

Re: Men's MUST iron dress shirt recommendations

I don't use them but most of the online tailors (e.g. Indochino, Proper Cloth) primarily use "must iron" fabrics for their shirts. Not sure if that's what you are looking for but may be something to consider (especially if you are finding it hard to get a good fit). There are many online reviews of ...
by stan1
Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket
Replies: 49
Views: 2854

Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

The drug is Dexilant, a premium PPI for GERD. The drug plan dropped all PPIs because there are now OTC PPIs available which is true, but the OTC ones are lower dosage than I need. There is no generic or OTC for Dexilant. I have appt next week with my doctor to discuss options. This website may be o...
by stan1
Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buffett on bonds
Replies: 34
Views: 4928

Re: Buffett on bonds

It always surprises me when people with 5, 6, or 7 digit portfolios look to people with 9, 10, or 11 digit portfolios for specific investment advice. That's left of the decimal point. Very successful, well respected and wealthy individuals do have good insight and perspective but sometimes its hard ...
by stan1
Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket
Replies: 49
Views: 2854

Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

There is no generic for the specific drug I take. I tried several others before taking this premium drug, so not sure there will be any other drug options. Check the pharmaceutical company's website to see if there is a financial assistance program. Sometimes they have registered a URL with the nam...
by stan1
Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trying to downsize but still too much stuff
Replies: 59
Views: 5281

Re: Trying to downsize but still too much stuff

Is your objective to keep downsizing practical (you are trying to get everything into a small car) or more emotional (you want a new start in your new location with a very simple life)? Either way I think you have done a lot, especially since you have the boxes with research papers and personal meme...
by stan1
Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Executive Assistant
Replies: 8
Views: 853

Re: Executive Assistant

It would be a good entry point into a local government job. If this county is like many you'll find that there are lateral movement opportunities available to people who are already county employees. They may also have good training and education programs (for example, will they pay for a master's d...
by stan1
Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lowball offer on a home
Replies: 82
Views: 6883

Re: Lowball offer on a home

Yes I think some people misinterpret me. I do like the house. But I’m not being emotional about it. If fixed up houses are worth $525k in that area then this house is worth $525k minus the upgrade costs. Let the owner reject it...there will be other homes when they come on the market. Home improvem...
by stan1
Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken's future direction - a cause for concern
Replies: 491
Views: 63068

Re: Quicken's future direction - a cause for concern

I've done some pretty complicated things that have worked well without any bugs. I was dreading merging my legacy Vanguard mutual fund account into a new platform brokerage account with 20 years of cost basis data including back when I had dividends reinvested. I noticed there was a "shares transfer...
by stan1
Sat Jan 06, 2018 7:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard site: can't pick destination fund for Roth conversion
Replies: 16
Views: 1047

Re: Vanguard site: can't pick destination fund for Roth conversion

Vanguard’s processes and website are quite bad. For some reason when I did my conversion VG opened up new federal money market accounts. Typical VG clunkiness. I've have had problems like that before. Back when Prime Money Market fund was usable as a settlement account I ended up with three differe...
by stan1
Sat Jan 06, 2018 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken's future direction - a cause for concern
Replies: 491
Views: 63068

Re: Quicken's future direction - a cause for concern

I don't mind a reasonable subscription fee (say $30-50/year) but I know I'm in a minority with that especially when Mint is no cost. There is also the perception that Quicken spends resources on fluff such as the color of the displays, but not on improving the functionality of the program, despite ...
by stan1
Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken's future direction - a cause for concern
Replies: 491
Views: 63068

Re: Quicken's future direction - a cause for concern

I took a break from Quicken in 2017 after 22 years of use. I updated my records once in Feb and again in July otherwise ignored it other than updating some cost basis information. Decided a few weeks ago I needed to invest time in data cleansing or stop all together. Decided to do the data cleansing...
by stan1
Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: National Park with baby
Replies: 2
Views: 207

Re: National Park with baby

Moab, Utah? Arches and Canyonlands plus Dead Horse State Park. They all have good vehicle access and Arches has plenty of short hikes.
by stan1
Sat Jan 06, 2018 3:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard site: can't pick destination fund for Roth conversion
Replies: 16
Views: 1047

Re: Vanguard site: can't pick destination fund for Roth conversion

If you select the "Convert to Roth IRA" option, my understanding is that it merely moves the position(s) chosen to the chosen Roth account and reports the conversion at the end-of-day value. There is no sale or exchange. It certainly doesn't give me the option to choose a destination fund, just a d...