Search found 1040 matches

by fposte
Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What can I do to fight this ridiculous medical bill?
Replies: 86
Views: 3952

Re: What can I do to fight this ridiculous medical bill?

Can't vouch for the accuracy, but here is an interesting overview of various states' laws on balance billing.
by fposte
Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: why emergency savings?
Replies: 42
Views: 3645

Re: why emergency savings?

Except I wouldn't need funds in cash in the event of a sudden layoff. I'd just need funds I can get to within the next couple of weeks. Sheepdog's 2008 panic and survival thread is a slightly more relevant scenario to me; not so much that it would need to be immediately liquid as that having a first...
by fposte
Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How can I become a better consumer?
Replies: 18
Views: 1534

Re: How can I become a better consumer?

Can you look at how you purchased the things you regret and the things you don't and see if any patterns appear? It could be that your perceived "fun" reward is a bad predictor, or that you buy on impulse, or that you buy because of what other people have. I actually find a lot of enduring satisfact...
by fposte
Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement Critique for my Father
Replies: 16
Views: 1947

Re: Retirement Critique for my Father

Your mother will be eligible for a spousal benefit from your father’s Social Security. She could get as much as 1/2 of his benefit at full retirement age. She will also get a survivor’s benefit equal to his benefit should she outlive him. Just in case it's relevant--if the Windfall Elimination Prov...
by fposte
Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Free market Takes care of itself. EJ loses
Replies: 14
Views: 1473

Re: The Free market Takes care of itself. EJ loses

I'd say market penetration and active sales. The EJ website says, "With more than 12,000 offices in all 50 states, Edward Jones has more branch offices than any other brokerage firm in the country." They mail like crazy and go door-to-door. People are scared of making a mistake with their money, and...
by fposte
Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement Critique for my Father
Replies: 16
Views: 1947

Re: Retirement Critique for my Father

If he's receiving a pension, he may not be eligible for full Social Security due to the Windfall Elimination Provision--is that being factored in?
by fposte
Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the best home exercise equipment?
Replies: 106
Views: 8555

Re: What is the best home exercise equipment?

If I bought equipment that I want to use for my workout, it would exceed 50k. When I visit small towns that do not have a national gym or local gym, I run outside and do body weight workout on yoga mat at home. Personally, I just can't have a comprehensive training with an elliptical. Yes, I can se...
by fposte
Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the best home exercise equipment?
Replies: 106
Views: 8555

Re: What is the best home exercise equipment?

Umm... If you think about buying home exercise equipment, don't. It's not a good financial decision. With $20 gym membership, you'll get an environment that you can focus on working out and getting the most out of your time. I would happily pay more than that to avoid the gym. I loathe gyms. The fl...
by fposte
Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the best home exercise equipment?
Replies: 106
Views: 8555

Re: What is the best home exercise equipment?

Umm... If you think about buying home exercise equipment, don't. It's not a good financial decision. With $20 gym membership, you'll get an environment that you can focus on working out and getting the most out of your time. I would happily pay more than that to avoid the gym. I loathe gyms. The fl...
by fposte
Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Unwinding Stocks - Where to Start?
Replies: 21
Views: 1312

Re: Unwinding Stocks - Where to Start?

I was in a similar situation (and to some extent still am); I've cut the individual stock part of the portfolio down by about 50% over the last three or four years and done much of what livesoft suggests; I also cut my AGI down by contributing the max to my 403b and my 457b, making more room for cap...
by fposte
Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you add someone to a will if you don't know their Social?
Replies: 19
Views: 2245

Re: How do you add someone to a will if you don't know their Social?

Lots of people have beneficiaries outside of the U.S., too, who don't have SSNs.
by fposte
Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can you please help me find a good concierge service?
Replies: 6
Views: 611

Re: Can you please help me find a good concierge service?

I'm not familiar with the business role you're describing as "concierge" here. You can buy scalped tickets to New York Fashion Week for around $1k, though, which seems like a more reasonable outlay.
by fposte
Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Implications of top 1% owning 40% of the Stock Market?
Replies: 16
Views: 1226

Re: Implications of top 1% owning 40% of the Stock Market?

This NPR article suggests that the percentage of Americans who own stocks or mutual funds has actually dropped significantly since the housing crash and that it's at a low point for the last 20 years; apparently millennials really aren't investing in the market.
by fposte
Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Donating appreciated securities to charity
Replies: 8
Views: 351

Re: Donating appreciated securities to charity

You are doing well to plan ahead like this. Vanguard Brokerage moves at a snail's pace, so maybe they'll have your donation done by December 31, 2018. I was pleasantly surprised that Vanguard received my request on Tuesday, 12/26 and the stock was out of my account by Thursday, 12/28. (Then it got ...
by fposte
Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: If you could live off your taxable account is it wise to put all your work money in a 401k?
Replies: 18
Views: 2134

Re: If you could live off your taxable account is it wise to put all your work money in a 401k?

I pretty much have done this for several years. Due to having a 403b and a 457b I have lots of tax-advantaged space (and both plans offer really good options), and I also had a bunch of individual equities with unrealized gains that I wanted to "convert." My pension means I'm not going to have the c...
by fposte
Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ID theft and check cashing fraud
Replies: 87
Views: 4484

Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Actually they told us to file the police report ourselves online. Which we did. But I think this is less than helpful. Yeah, my theft involved two jurisdictions; one I had to file in person and one I filed on line, and neither felt it worthy of investigation. I can accept that your average local co...
by fposte
Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ID theft and check cashing fraud
Replies: 87
Views: 4484

Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the police were civil servants, whose sworn duty it is to enforce the law. I don't recall any mention of ROI in their job description. There's nothing in their job description that says they have to visit the home of everybody who reports a crime, eithe...
by fposte
Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ID theft and check cashing fraud
Replies: 87
Views: 4484

Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

This happens a few thousand times a day in the USA. If you think you are going to ask the local police department to assign an investigator to something this small you are mistaken. At which point and in which amount does it become worthy of investigation, in your estimation, and who should make th...
by fposte
Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Assisted Living cost > person's pension
Replies: 24
Views: 1902

Re: Assisted Living cost > person's pension

Might also be helpful to contact your state's senior health insurance program (info is here).
by fposte
Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Effects of extreme cold weather
Replies: 107
Views: 9621

Re: Effects of extreme cold weather

I had to bring the garage door remote into the house; in my unheated garage, it got too cold to work, presumably because of the batteries. Also, my breezeway light (probably a CFL, can't remember) has given up on the coldest nights only to wake up again when the sun comes back. Because that's when I...
by fposte
Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off mortgage?
Replies: 12
Views: 1122

Re: Pay off mortgage?

Yes, exactly. And I've already trimmed this old portfolio of the easier ones to cash out, so the whole individual equities section of my portfolio is swollen with unrealized gains. (Hence the DAF just opened as well.) If your overall asset allocation has gotten stock heavy then it might be time to ...
by fposte
Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off mortgage?
Replies: 12
Views: 1122

Re: Pay off mortgage?

A big question is if you will ever be able to sell the stocks while you have space in the 0% capital gains tax bracket. If you have started Social Security by the time you sell the stocks then the extra capital gains income could also mean that you will end up having more of your Social Security ta...
by fposte
Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off mortgage?
Replies: 12
Views: 1122

Re: Pay off mortgage?

How much do you have in taxable accounts? Would paying off greatly affect your liquidity? About $400k in appreciated individual equities and another $400k or so in mutual funds, so I'm okay with that part of it. The reason I can't just direct new cash flow is that I'm fortunate enough to have both ...
by fposte
Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off mortgage?
Replies: 12
Views: 1122

Pay off mortgage?

I'm wondering if it makes sense to cash in taxable assets to pay off my mortgage given the change in standard deduction (well, really, given everything, but that would be the proximal event). Payoff amount would be $47k. The mortgage is at 3.875% and it has 6 years left; the house is probably worth ...
by fposte
Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lost about $100 due to shipping issue?
Replies: 24
Views: 1779

Re: Lost about $100 due to shipping issue?

I think the info is usually on the website or on the instructions for returns; some merchants outright state insurance is covered, some don't.
by fposte
Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does donation count for 2017 if donated fund shares do not settle until 2018?
Replies: 35
Views: 1656

Re: Does donation count for 2017 if donated fund shares do not settle until 2018?

Thanks. Looks like mine isn't close enough to document in there yet. We'll see what date they come up with when it finally processes.
by fposte
Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lost about $100 due to shipping issue?
Replies: 24
Views: 1779

Re: Lost about $100 due to shipping issue?

Did the pre-printed label or the instructions state the extent of the insurance coverage? I think I've had a few that did.

I might call Guess by the end of the week just to see if it might have returned untracked or if you can get more info about procedure.
by fposte
Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does donation count for 2017 if donated fund shares do not settle until 2018?
Replies: 35
Views: 1656

Re: Does donation count for 2017 if donated fund shares do not settle until 2018?

Earl, where on the Fidelity site are you getting that information? I'd love to find that for mine.
by fposte
Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: residential gas furnace/air conditioner recommendations
Replies: 15
Views: 879

Re: residential gas furnace/air conditioner recommendations

In my area, each local installer/servicer is tied to a particular brand, so choosing the installer would take care of choosing the brand. I have a Lennox now and I had a Carrier before; my impression is they're both decent brands. I ended up with Lennox because that was the brand with the HVAC folks...
by fposte
Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does donation count for 2017 if donated fund shares do not settle until 2018?
Replies: 35
Views: 1656

Re: Does donation count for 2017 if donated fund shares do not settle until 2018?

I'm in a similar position, and the Fidelity rep said it counts as received when it's entered the house, as it were, so that if they received my appreciated stock in 2017 it would be dated then even if they didn't sort it into my account until 2018. I'm hoping that turns out to be true.
by fposte
Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Individual Stocks That Went Bust
Replies: 90
Views: 5281

Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

For sheer as-it-happens drama, GTAT. Here is the thread on The Contrarian Investor starting with the trading halt.
by fposte
Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Economics of a new Puppy
Replies: 113
Views: 7116

Re: The Economics of a new Puppy

FWIW, Cesar Millan has a pretty bad rep in dog training circles, and the behavioral theory he ascribes to has been long debunked. Seems lots of new "dog trainers" have embraced the "positive only" training methods. Reward positive behavior and simply ignore anything else. They believe that you shou...
by fposte
Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Economics of a new Puppy
Replies: 113
Views: 7116

Re: The Economics of a new Puppy

FWIW, Cesar Millan has a pretty bad rep in dog training circles, and the behavioral theory he ascribes to has been long debunked.
by fposte
Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donor Advised Fund if your tax circumstances will change in the future
Replies: 75
Views: 4988

Re: Donor Advised Fund if your tax circumstances will change in the future

Had a half hour wait on the phone with Fidelity Charitable and then got disconnected before I could get to a human. Does anybody know if their additional open hours this weekend means more processing time for a transfer or is it just phone access?
by fposte
Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Plow Guy Raised Rates
Replies: 112
Views: 9302

Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

I'm with you that I'd be unhappy to find out that a service that had already been rendered was not being charged at the agreed-upon rate. However, it is also my experience that a lot of people who contract for handy physical services, ranging from mowing to plowing to cleaning, are good at that thin...
by fposte
Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A Year of Extreme Frugality
Replies: 48
Views: 4637

Re: A Year of Extreme Frugality

Mine's imaginatively called "Best Budget," so good luck Googling for reviews. It's not one of the big players, and there may be a reason for that, but it works for me. I prefer running a budget off my phone because I already spend too much time on my computer and in spreadsheets; I have a pleasant ...
by fposte
Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Think Home might have Asbestos (what to do?)
Replies: 20
Views: 1146

Re: Think Home might have Asbestos (what to do?)

State laws will matter a lot here--what state are we talking about?
by fposte
Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A Year of Extreme Frugality
Replies: 48
Views: 4637

Re: A Year of Extreme Frugality

Mine's imaginatively called "Best Budget," so good luck Googling for reviews. It's not one of the big players, and there may be a reason for that, but it works for me. I prefer running a budget off my phone because I already spend too much time on my computer and in spreadsheets; I have a pleasant w...
by fposte
Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A Year of Extreme Frugality
Replies: 48
Views: 4637

Re: A Year of Extreme Frugality

I still think it's a tough question--a lot of people's "short period of mass saving" is other people's adult life standard. However, the areas I see people have the most frequent ability to cut back easily are food and drink (dinner out, bought lunches, etc.), phone plans, internet/cable, and gym me...
by fposte
Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Tax Bill -- Should we open a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) before the end of the year?
Replies: 67
Views: 2771

Re: New Tax Bill -- Should we open a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) before the end of the year?

I was told by a Fidelity DAF rep that you can open a Fidelity DAF account with a zero balance to be funded later, and then you ask Vanguard Charitable to make a donation to Fidelity Charitable (which itself is a 501 (c)(3) and hence eligible to receive amounts from Vanguard Charitable) for 100% of ...
by fposte
Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donor Advised Fund if your tax circumstances will change in the future
Replies: 75
Views: 4988

Re: Donor Advised Fund if your tax circumstances will change in the future

Also, if you're still interested in creating an account and funding it.. I set up my DAF w/ Fidelity in about 10 minutes today, and initiated the transfer of appreciated ETF assets (mutual funds will take too long) from Vanguard via Fax. Vanguard does not require a wet signature if you are gifting ...
by fposte
Sun Dec 24, 2017 5:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will you donate less to Charity?
Replies: 108
Views: 7112

Re: Will you donate less to Charity?

I will probably end up with a standard deduction. I therefore just opened a DAF and will probably add another charity to my pretax payroll donations next year. How do payroll deductions help the situation? Are the donations coming off the company accounts instead? It's quite possible the new tax ch...
by fposte
Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Worked to death [A preview of the US without pensions]
Replies: 15
Views: 2486

Re: Worked to death

That article shows the need to take charge of your retirement finances at an early age. And if pensions were closer to being linearly accrued, there would be less of a problem when laid off after 25 years... I wish the article had been clearer on what they actually ended up receiving and how the pe...
by fposte
Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will you donate less to Charity?
Replies: 108
Views: 7112

Re: Will you donate less to Charity?

I will probably end up with a standard deduction. I therefore just opened a DAF and will probably add another charity to my pretax payroll donations next year.
by fposte
Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ford Fusion under Safety Recall for 2 Years - Ford Can't Fix - help
Replies: 47
Views: 3473

Re: Ford Fusion under Safety Recall for 2 Years - Ford Can't Fix - help

mouses wrote:
Sat Dec 23, 2017 7:48 am
That's really incredible. Why is there not a class action lawsuit?

There are several.
by fposte
Sun Dec 17, 2017 6:08 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Is (or might) diehards be subject to ADA accessibilty lawsuits?
Replies: 4
Views: 848

Re: Is (or might) diehards be subject to ADA accessibilty lawsuits?

There have actually been quite a few lawsuits against non-governmental entities over the years, but they all seem to be big companies.
by fposte
Sun Dec 17, 2017 6:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lunch Ideas
Replies: 44
Views: 4350

Re: Lunch Ideas

I have a microwave, so I either do premade frozen soup (that's why I've got a chest freezer) or take a bento approach in my Lock and Lock plastic containers. The bento takes a little more planning to get the variety, but I eat stuff that's better for me when I do it (I have a spreadsheet with drop-d...
by fposte
Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Edward Jones Guided Solutions - Spouse is Employee
Replies: 37
Views: 2792

Re: Edward Jones Guided Solutions - Spouse is Employee

I guess i have a hard time how an employer could legally prohibit an employee’s spouse from going and buying an index fund somewhere else. There's no law that would stop them, if that's what you mean; your right to invest with Vanguard is not legally protected. I don't know the FINRA side of things...
by fposte
Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Edward Jones Guided Solutions - Spouse is Employee
Replies: 37
Views: 2792

Re: Edward Jones Guided Solutions - Spouse is Employee

I guess i have a hard time how an employer could legally prohibit an employee’s spouse from going and buying an index fund somewhere else. There's no law that would stop them, if that's what you mean; your right to invest with Vanguard is not legally protected. I don't know the FINRA side of things...
by fposte
Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who is Right Me or Spouse
Replies: 51
Views: 3164

Re: WHO IS RIGHT ME or SPOUSE

You can give presents to anybody you want to, so there's no right or wrong here. You don't want to; your wife does. How do you usually resolve things when one of you wants something the other doesn't?