Search found 221 matches

by PugetSoundguy
Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Return lost in mail, do I simply refile?
Replies: 29
Views: 2466

Re: Tax Return lost in mail, do I simply refile?

Certified mail provides proof of mailing, and, if you have requested a return receipt, proof of delivery. This service should suffice for you to establish that you timely mailed your return... As we've pointed out in other threads, certified mail proves that you mailed *something* to the IRS, most ...
by PugetSoundguy
Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Return lost in mail, do I simply refile?
Replies: 29
Views: 2466

Re: Tax Return lost in mail, do I simply refile?

Certified mail provides proof of mailing, and, if you have requested a return receipt, proof of delivery. This service should suffice for you to establish that you timely mailed your return. In mailing important items in the future, you might consider what I do which is to use registered instead of ...
by PugetSoundguy
Thu Mar 28, 2019 4:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Upgrading iPhone 5S to SE
Replies: 18
Views: 795

Re: Upgrading iPhone 5S to SE

After more than five years, I finally upgraded from an Apple 5 to a refurbished 7 directly from Apple. My old 5 couldn't take system updates anymore and some new apps wouldn't work. The refurbished 7 from Apple was unlocked; I just backed up the 5 on my desktop, moved the SIM from the 5 to 7, then ...
by PugetSoundguy
Thu Mar 28, 2019 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Upgrading iPhone 5S to SE
Replies: 18
Views: 795

Re: Upgrading iPhone 5S to SE

After more than five years, I finally upgraded from an Apple 5 to a refurbished 7 directly from Apple. My old 5 couldn't take system updates anymore and some new apps wouldn't work. The refurbished 7 from Apple was unlocked; I just backed up the 5 on my desktop, moved the SIM from the 5 to 7, then r...
by PugetSoundguy
Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bright daughter wants to work for nonprofit
Replies: 103
Views: 7831

Re: Bright daughter wants to work for nonprofit

As a parent myself, I understand that you worry. But when I graduated from college, I took a relatively low paying job as a newspaper reporter because it's what I wanted to do. I loved it. I am so glad my parents did not try to manage my life at that point. I can't imagine them doing so when I was t...
by PugetSoundguy
Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard is Discontinuing their VanguardAdvantage Accounts
Replies: 613
Views: 50740

Re: Vanguard is Discontinuing their VanguardAdvantage Accounts

Also ACH transfers to Schwab Bank take four days to clear, which seems a bit long. Direct deposits are credited the same day. For some reason, ACH transfers to the brokerage account seems to take only three days to clear (and then you can transfer the cleared funds to your Schwab Bank account the s...
by PugetSoundguy
Tue Mar 05, 2019 4:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard is Discontinuing their VanguardAdvantage Accounts
Replies: 613
Views: 50740

Re: Vanguard is Discontinuing their VanguardAdvantage Accounts

Looks like Fidelity CMA is the best option as a replacement. Fidelity can automatically liquidate MM for BillPay. Schwab cannot do this. I have the impression (perhaps erroneous) that there is a overdraft protection on the Schwab bank account that would go to the brokerage account and liquidate fun...
by PugetSoundguy
Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard is Discontinuing their VanguardAdvantage Accounts
Replies: 613
Views: 50740

Re: Vanguard is Discontinuing their VanguardAdvantage Accounts

You are partially correct. For overseas use, the Fidelity CMA card has a 1% fee if used as debit card in a purchase transaction. But there is no fee if used in an ATM to withdraw cash. This is generally not a concern for most people because it is much better to use a credit card for purchases anywa...
by PugetSoundguy
Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard is Discontinuing their VanguardAdvantage Accounts
Replies: 613
Views: 50740

Re: Vanguard is Discontinuing their VanguardAdvantage Accounts

I created the following to compare Fidelity, Schwab and Vanguard Advantage. https://i.ibb.co/wpRxZ59/P20190305-141252.png Thank you for an excellent chart! Just the right amount of information. One very minor footnote: I believe Fidelity CMA ATM users could pay a 1% fee on foreign withdrawals where...
by PugetSoundguy
Tue Mar 05, 2019 1:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard is Discontinuing their VanguardAdvantage Accounts
Replies: 613
Views: 50740

Re: Vanguard is Discontinuing their VanguardAdvantage Accounts

I am considering opening up my replacement VanguardAdvantage at Schwab. Can anyone else be as eloquent and describe the operation of their account at Schwab Bank? Do they have a automatic liquidation of the MM to satisfy banking withdrawals? Not sure about the eloquence, but here goes: I opened a S...
by PugetSoundguy
Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard is Discontinuing their VanguardAdvantage Accounts
Replies: 613
Views: 50740

Re: Vanguard is Discontinuing their VanguardAdvantage Accounts]

My guess is that the way financial institutions can offer free bill pay etc. is by paying no or low interest on the underlying account. That's why I just signed up for VanguardAdvantage and was setting up bill pay; it seemed like a much better deal. :oops: The underlying account (federal money marke...
by PugetSoundguy
Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Sell or Rent in Seattle
Replies: 17
Views: 1223

Re: Sell or Rent in Seattle

Seattle homeowner here. As you know, house prices presently are dropping in Seattle. Of course no way to know if that will continue, but at least if you sell now you can still get a decent price. You are right that continuing to own a house is the perfect hedge against higher house prices if you do ...
by PugetSoundguy
Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Family member duped into life insurance -- any recourse?
Replies: 84
Views: 7397

Re: Family member duped into life insurance -- any recourse?

Check out the FINRA website for any record of complaints against the broker. You can also look into filing a complaint through FINRA. Details at www.finra.org.
by PugetSoundguy
Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it ever worth purchasing an extended warranty for a vehicle?
Replies: 90
Views: 5002

Re: Is it ever worth purchasing an extended warranty for a vehicle?

Normally I think extended warranties for vehicles are a bad deal and I don't buy them -- with one exception. I did buy an eight-year plan (covered five years beyond the standard three-year warranty) for our Toyota Sienna minivan. I was concerned about all the motorized doors and electronics includin...
by PugetSoundguy
Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: diagnostic fee for car under warranty?
Replies: 15
Views: 1245

Re: diagnostic fee for car under warranty?

When dealing with a local Toyota dealership I skipped all the service advisor nonsense, looked up the owner, and contacted him directly. I politely explained the problem and said if I were owner I would want to know about the issue. He turned out to be a very nice guy and he took care of the problem...
by PugetSoundguy
Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much house can I afford (really)?
Replies: 129
Views: 7508

Re: How much house can I afford (really)?

Hey there, CPA! You seem like a good sport, taking all the remarks here with good humor. You have way more saved at 40 than I did at that age. I think you're doing pretty well. And I'm not going to give you the business about spending -- we have two kids as well, and it's amazing how the expenses cr...
by PugetSoundguy
Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me pick a retirement date. Or enough is enough?
Replies: 33
Views: 4270

Re: Help me pick a retirement date. Or enough is enough?

This one seems easy to me. You obviously have done a great job of planning and saving and you will have enough funds to retire at 62.5. I sure wouldn't give up two years of retirement in your situation given the uncertainties we all face about our health and mortality. You have permission to retire!...
by PugetSoundguy
Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Desktop Computer. All in one or separate? And which one?
Replies: 34
Views: 2059

Re: Desktop Computer. All in one or separate? And which one?

I splurged on a 27" iMac. Love it. But maybe not optimal for gaming... I use it primarily for photos (Lightroom). Display quality is unbelievable.. and silent.
by PugetSoundguy
Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: California 8 days road trip LA-SFO
Replies: 40
Views: 2253

Re: California 8 days road trip LA-SFO

Former San Francisco resident here and parent of two active boys. Good suggestions above. When we last visited San Francisco (a December trip), our two boys loved visiting the various abandoned military batteries and fortifications. (Mom and Dad liked it too.) They all overlook the Pacific, of cours...
by PugetSoundguy
Wed Nov 21, 2018 6:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What financial advice have you been most grateful for?
Replies: 60
Views: 5778

Re: What financial advice have you been most grateful for?

I am especially grateful for these three pieces of advice:

Figure our your risk tolerance.
Simplify with just a few low cost index funds.
And then stay the course, i.e., don't try to time the market.

In other words, what Taylor says.
by PugetSoundguy
Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Diversifying term life insurance providers
Replies: 12
Views: 872

Re: Diversifying term life insurance providers

I have never heard of a company defaulting on payment of a valid death claim. Can you provide a source? A very good question, and I don't yet have a complete and satisfactory answer. In my earlier post, I should have differentiated between insurance company "defaults" and "failures," with an actual...
by PugetSoundguy
Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 20th Anniversary vacation ideas wanted
Replies: 29
Views: 2022

Re: 20th Anniversary vacation ideas wanted

Thank you all. These are great ideas! Will post when we finally figure it out!
Hey Kimota! We have our 20th coming up next year as well. Looking forward to hearing about your decision!
by PugetSoundguy
Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Diversifying term life insurance providers
Replies: 12
Views: 872

Re: Diversifying term life insurance providers

I think it would be unwise to have this much coverage depend on the solvency of one insurance company. Life insurance defaults are rare, but they do happen. Quasi-insurance coverage by various "pools" can vary. In my state it is $500,000.
by PugetSoundguy
Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Revisiting Earthquake Insurance Deductible
Replies: 1
Views: 204

Re: Revisiting Earthquake Insurance Deductible

You might want to check around to see if you can get better "Loss of Use" coverage. Our "Loss of Use" covers "actual loss sustained" (no deductible) for up to 24 months. Otherwise our deductible is 10%. If there is a big earthquake, it could take forever for our house to be repaired, and meanwhile w...
by PugetSoundguy
Sun Nov 11, 2018 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Point and shoot camera
Replies: 130
Views: 6462

Re: Point and shoot camera

I've had three Canon point and shoots over the years (in addition to other cameras :beer ) and have been very happy with them. Above I suggested the super tough and waterproof Olympus point and shoots for travel. I have the TG-4. But those are $400+ and that might be more than you want to spend. I w...
by PugetSoundguy
Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity
Replies: 86
Views: 3837

Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

The problem is that you don't know if you are going to have an easy baby like Obgraham's or one (like one of mine) who sucks every last bit of energy out of you, mind, body and spirit. An infant/baby/toddler who cries all day long and sleeps poorly can turn a "vacation" into a living hell due to la...
by PugetSoundguy
Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Point and shoot camera
Replies: 130
Views: 6462

Re: Point and shoot camera

I have too many cameras, but accumulating them is kind of a hobby. Here is one decent point and shoot: https://www.amazon.com/Olympus-Waterpro ... 73ea7b9899 The cool thing -- water proof. But yeah, $400. I bought an Olympus TG-4 a few years ago and it is great for travel. It is waterproof and tough...
by PugetSoundguy
Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:37 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: IRA rollover vs. transfer
Replies: 9
Views: 476

Re: IRA rollover vs. transfer

Thanks everybody, I think I'll take one more stab at getting Union Bank to approve the paperwork I send to Vanguard for a transfer; if there is friction, I'll try to get Union Bank to make out a check as described above and then do the rollover myself by sending that check to Vanguard. Just to be fa...
by PugetSoundguy
Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: IRA rollover vs. transfer
Replies: 9
Views: 476

Re: IRA rollover vs. transfer

Just because the Vanguard form has a place for a Medallion Signature, doesn't mean that it is required. The firm that is giving up the money is the one to decide if it's required. I think you should follow Vanguard's directions and don't worry about the MS. If Union Bank objects to completed Vangua...
by PugetSoundguy
Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: IRA rollover vs. transfer
Replies: 9
Views: 476

Re: IRA rollover vs. transfer

I believe such transfers are limited to one per year for all your IRA accounts. So, you would not be able to do another one for a year.
Didn't know that, thank you!
by PugetSoundguy
Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: IRA rollover vs. transfer
Replies: 9
Views: 476

IRA rollover vs. transfer

We have been attempting to transfer a relatively small IRA from Union Bank to Vanguard. The funds are in a Union Bank IRA money market. They were automatically transferred from a prior employer because the amount was relatively small ($10,000 or so). My question is whether there is any significant d...
by PugetSoundguy
Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite "free stuff"?
Replies: 137
Views: 11190

Re: Favorite "free stuff"?

Bananas from Amazon. For some reason, Amazon gives away bananas every morning outside one of their office buildings that I walk past on my way to work. You don't have to be an Amazon employee (I'm not). I'm very suspicious and am still looking for the catch. Maybe an implanted mircrochip to monitor ...
by PugetSoundguy
Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Harvesting 529 gains
Replies: 8
Views: 727

Re: Harvesting 529 gains

It looks like distributions from 529 accounts with earnings (such as yours) are characterized as part earnings, part contribution per IRS rules. In other words, you don't get to characterize a partial withdrawal as 100% earnings, even if there would be enough earnings in the account to cover such a ...
by PugetSoundguy
Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are we in trouble?
Replies: 122
Views: 18567

Re: Are we in trouble?

I never understand when someone is moving to a new state...why on earth they do not rent for a year? I agree in many, maybe most, situations that makes sense. In fact it is what my wife and I did (pre-kids) when we moved to a new state. Another move may be in our future. But now we have kids in sch...
by PugetSoundguy
Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Bond alternative to balance portfolio?
Replies: 25
Views: 2462

Re: Bond alternative to balance portfolio?

Is it the interest rate risk that concerns you about bonds?

If so, you may consider short duration treasury bills, money market funds, CDs, online savings accounts, or I-bonds (up to $10,000 per year) if immediate liquidity is not required since there is a one-year holding period for I-bonds.
by PugetSoundguy
Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Duration matching with TIPS funds instead of buying individual TIPs
Replies: 16
Views: 1398

Re: Duration matching with TIPS funds instead of buying individual TIPs

Or you could buy a 10-year TIPS and put the interest payments into Vanguard's short-term TIPS fund. A bonus of this approach is that the expense ratio would be 0 for a large part of your investment, although simplicity is what would drive me to this approach.
by PugetSoundguy
Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help...90-10, 80-10-10, HELOC?
Replies: 11
Views: 800

Re: Help...90-10, 80-10-10, HELOC?

Our current home is for sale Maybe my understanding is incorrect, but I though many (most?) lenders are reluctant to write new HELOCs on houses that are listed for sale. If you have an established line already, then no problem. We used the 80/15 with 5 percent down back in the go-go days (2006) and...
by PugetSoundguy
Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:37 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Deferred Compensation Program?
Replies: 18
Views: 1347

Re: Deferred Compensation Program?

Good discussion here and a helpful, succinct presentation of your situation. We struggled with similar issues and my wife has participated in her company's deferred compensation plan. It can provide useful additional tax-deferred space, but some features make us nervous. As noted above, in case of i...
by PugetSoundguy
Fri Nov 02, 2018 4:42 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Does a 529 plan make sense for single 37-year-old with no children?
Replies: 6
Views: 709

Re: Does a 529 plan make sense for single 37-year-old with no children?

IRS Publication 970 provides very clear and succinct background on the issues you raise.
by PugetSoundguy
Fri Nov 02, 2018 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Term life insurance question
Replies: 4
Views: 347

Re: Term life insurance question

You could also look in to Costco’s life insurance which has a similar feature and (at least for the initial term) was the lowest priced option on the market when I looked. Great suggestion, thanks. I will check with Costco. I assume you are accounting for inflation (but mentioning it just in case)....
by PugetSoundguy
Fri Nov 02, 2018 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Term life insurance question
Replies: 4
Views: 347

Term life insurance question

I am wondering if anyone has purchased a term life insurance policy or policies where declining coverage is desired. My wife and I are looking to replace our existing policies. Ideally, we are looking for $1 million coverage each for 10 years, with maybe $250,000 coverage for five years after that. ...
by PugetSoundguy
Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: ROTH IRA - Bonds or Equities
Replies: 13
Views: 1300

Re: ROTH IRA - Bonds or Equities

The conventional approach is to put mostly equities in a Roth due to the greater potential for long-term tax-free gains. Hard to argue with that. But for me, I am about 60-40 in the Roth with the 40 percent bonds being TIPS because inflation-adjusted bonds are not an option in my other tax-advantage...
by PugetSoundguy
Thu Nov 01, 2018 6:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How many of you have cut the cord?
Replies: 244
Views: 30121

Re: How many of you have cut the cord?

is there a service yet that you can pay a low monthly or on demand fee to stream sports events on national networks, espn, and local networks in full HD? If I can do this Im cancelling my cable without hesitation. The local sports networks seem to be the problem, at least here in Seattle. I would p...
by PugetSoundguy
Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I Bond fixed rate = 0.5%
Replies: 90
Views: 9595

Re: I Bond fixed rate = 0.5%

The tax deferral aspect is huge for people like me who are in a very high tax bracket and who plan on retiring early in a no tax state at a much lower tax bracket. Being in a lower federal income tax bracket will help when you redeem the bonds, but being in a no tax state does not matter because in...
by PugetSoundguy
Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?
Replies: 58
Views: 6692

Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Yes, car rental agencies are hard core criminals for the most part and I have plenty of experience to back that up. But, once in a great while, they are OK so I have to tell this quick story. It was the early 1990s and I flew into Dulles to visit my youngest brother and his family in Charlottesville...
by PugetSoundguy
Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How important is it that dentist is member of ADA?
Replies: 13
Views: 1325

Re: How important is it that dentist is member of ADA?

If dentistry is at all like medicine then not at all. My wife is a family physician and gets almost as many spam mailings from the AMA trying to get her to join as I now get from AARP and AAA since turning 50. None of her colleagues in the HMO she works with are AMA members. She says it's more for ...
by PugetSoundguy
Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Short Term Bond yield over 3%
Replies: 74
Views: 10963

Re: Short Term Bond yield over 3%

KlangFool wrote: ↑Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:06 pm OP, Please explain to me why folks are paying off the fixed-rate low-interest mortgage when the interest rate is going up. At the rate of interest rate increases, cash in the money market fund may pay a higher interest rate than their mortgages in the futu...
by PugetSoundguy
Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Equity in house / Do you use it?
Replies: 56
Views: 3782

Re: Equity in house / Do you use it?

If by using home equity you mean a home equity loan, aren't you really just asking: Do you borrow a bunch of money and agree to give up your house if you can't pay it back?
by PugetSoundguy
Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Side Hustle Options/Suggestions.
Replies: 99
Views: 11462

Re: Side Hustle Options/Suggestions.

sports referee. basketball, volleyball, and lacrosse are good. get exercise etc... the money is made on the weekends though. b-ball on the weekends in the winter is o.k. here in chicago though. gets you off the couch on cold winter days. a lot of people don't claim this income as long as you don't ...
by PugetSoundguy
Sat Sep 08, 2018 8:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good photo book printer for image quality
Replies: 24
Views: 1714

Re: Good photo book printer for image quality

LifeIsGood wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 1:43 am
I’ve been using Adoramapix for quite a few years and really like them.

Lay flat books
Nice quality thick paper
Easy web based design interface
Reasonable prices
Good customer service
Another vote for Adoramapix. Great results over the years. They are real pros.