Search found 93 matches

by ikowik
Tue Oct 03, 2017 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Account Stolen by Identity theft
Replies: 190
Views: 21844

Re: Identity theft

The puzzling part is how the thief knew about the IRA account. The Equifax breach, for example, could have revealed the name, date of birth, SSN etc' of OP's father. But not the IRA account and the security questions. So there must have been access to financial information on a computer that OP's fa...
by ikowik
Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Equifax customer information leak
Replies: 711
Views: 47007

Re: Equifax customer information leak

My credit reports have been frozen for a while. This morning I tried to see if I was affected at Equifax by clicking on the link at their website. Brought me to a page asking for name and SSN; Mozilla Firefox brought up a warning that this site might be fraudulent!! Phishing attack??!! I just closed...
by ikowik
Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Moshe Milevsky on Tontines"
Replies: 61
Views: 8215

Re: "Moshe Milevsky on Tontines"

This thread reminded me of the story "The Wrong Box" by R L Stevenson, about two brothers who are the last surviving members of a tontine. Gives you some idea why these schemes fell out of favor!
by ikowik
Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If I died today, what would my spouse do?
Replies: 69
Views: 14009

Re: If I died today, what would my spouse do?

Have not gone through all the posts in detail, so what I say might have already been posted. I have a large envelope right by the side of the computer in the office room marked "Start Here". It has typed directions on how to access further files on the desktop computer (encrypted), immediate steps o...
by ikowik
Wed Aug 16, 2017 7:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Prevent mail theft; sign for USPS Informed Delivery]
Replies: 179
Views: 11268

Re: Postal Service -- "informed delivery"

Does the service require a photo ID to verify identity and address before signing up? When I signed up online for the "my usps" account which seems to be required, I was presented with four nexus (?) type questions similar to those to identify yourself to receive your credit reports online. Same ex...
by ikowik
Wed Aug 16, 2017 5:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paying directly for damage caused to someone else's car
Replies: 17
Views: 1392

Re: Paying directly for damage caused to someone else's car

This is not about your question, but that is good behavior on your daughter's part to accept responsibility and leave a note. Many would try to get away hoping no one noticed. My car was recently scraped badly by someone in the parking lot and he just left; fortunately someone saw the incident and r...
by ikowik
Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life insurance policy on toddler
Replies: 19
Views: 2143

Re: Life insurance policy on toddler

My sister and brother-in-law, bought a life insurance policy on their now 3 yo approx 2 years ago. They admittedly don't have a lot of interest in personal finance and investing and asked that I look into the policy after I raised some skepticism. They are not and cannot contribute to a Roth due to...
by ikowik
Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Stable Value Funds vs Bond Funds
Replies: 33
Views: 2321

Re: Stable Value Funds vs Bond Funds

student wrote:I don't know enough to give advice but I can tell you that my fixed income allocation consists essentially all stable value fund, namely, TIAA Traditional.
I treat TIAA Traditional as Stable Value as well though with some withdrawal restrictions, and add the G fund in TSP to the mix.
by ikowik
Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Filling bookshelves cheaply
Replies: 56
Views: 2933

Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

This thread reminds me of the book The Mystic Masseur by V.S. Naipaul. The main character buys books by the pound with no discrimination on content or title
by ikowik
Sat Jul 01, 2017 7:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I move abroad to minimize health care costs?
Replies: 80
Views: 6822

Re: Should I move abroad to minimize health care costs?

Five years ago the thought of moving back to a developing-third world- whatever country would have been dismissed instantly. But now we are in our 60s, and itching to retire, that is looking good.
What a sad state of affairs in the healthcare area of USA!
by ikowik
Thu Jun 29, 2017 1:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Changes to NYS Deferred Compensation Plan
Replies: 108
Views: 13257

Re: Changes to NYS Deferred Compensation Plan

Information on all fund changes came in mail a few weeks ago, but thanks to this thread I already knew most of it :beer It is likely not rational, but lack of ticker symbols for the CITs makes me a little anxious. Anyway, much of my investment was already in Vanguard Wellington which is staying. I t...
by ikowik
Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?
Replies: 170
Views: 13660

Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

We paid- for my daughter's wedding and education. We set a budget, told my daughter and son-in-law they could use it all for the wedding or leave some for honeymoon and other expenses. My daughter's in-laws pitched in for 20% of the total budget, that was an unexpected bonus, we did not pass that on...
by ikowik
Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with misdirected package?
Replies: 32
Views: 1918

Re: What to do with misdirected package?

Two weeks after we moved in to the first house we bought, we heard a door bell. By the time wife got to the door she saw a UPS van drive away, there was a package left at the door. Addressed to "Ned, Dear Friend" (yes, just Ned). No information on sender. This was in early December. We called UPS wh...
by ikowik
Tue Jun 20, 2017 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Attention Win XP users
Replies: 20
Views: 2681

Re: Attention Win XP users

My 12 years old IBM laptop was still functional with Windows XP, mostly web surfing, emails, light word processing and spreadsheets. The ransomware problem made me decide it was not safe to continue. I used this opportunity to lead a Linux distribution (Lubuntu) and learn a little about Linux. Has ...
by ikowik
Tue Jun 20, 2017 7:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Attention Win XP users
Replies: 20
Views: 2681

Re: Attention Win XP users

My 12 years old IBM laptop was still functional with Windows XP, mostly web surfing, emails, light word processing and spreadsheets. The ransomware problem made me decide it was not safe to continue. I used this opportunity to lead a Linux distribution (Lubuntu) and learn a little about Linux. Has w...
by ikowik
Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: KF's Worst Case Retirement Plan [KlangFool's]
Replies: 265
Views: 23921

Re: KF's Worst Case Retirement Plan [KlangFool's]

... I know I am. I do not know why others think that I am spending very little money. I suspect many are not recognizing that you're not including housing in your expenses. This is correct for me, I did not realize property taxes were included in housing expenses. Hasty reading of the thread on my ...
by ikowik
Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: KF's Worst Case Retirement Plan [KlangFool's]
Replies: 265
Views: 23921

Re: KF's Worst Case Retirement Plan [KlangFool's]

... I know I am. I do not know why others think that I am spending very little money. I suspect many are not recognizing that you're not including housing in your expenses. This is correct for me, I did not realize property taxes were included in housing expenses. Hasty reading of the thread on my ...
by ikowik
Mon Jun 12, 2017 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: KF's Worst Case Retirement Plan [KlangFool's]
Replies: 265
Views: 23921

Re: KF's Worst Case Retirement Plan [KlangFool's]

Just the internet and cellphone bill with couple of kids will eat sizeable chunk of that $20K budget. With kid drivers on the car insurance plan, there goes four digit outlay just for auto liability. I have not even yet added personal liability insurance to the mix. Talking about townhomes in North...
by ikowik
Sun Apr 16, 2017 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Obamacare Tax Penalty when insured through a foreign insurer
Replies: 12
Views: 1660

Re: Obamacare Tax Penalty when insured through a foreign insurer

I'm interested in the outcome of this, please post a follow-up. Thank you Sadly, I fear HueyLD is correct. I did contact the foreign insurer and they are not certified by the US and why would they? It's annoying, because the foreign insurance policy is incomparably better than anything available on...
by ikowik
Sun Jan 22, 2017 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security calculations w/early retirement
Replies: 6
Views: 1042

Re: Social Security calculations w/early retirement

The Social Security website has online calculators to estimate your benefit. Specify the year you think you will start drawing Social Security as the year of retirement, enter earnings for each year (should be available in your earning record once logged in), enter "0" as income for the ye...
by ikowik
Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Free Website Sharing Personal Information: Opt Out!
Replies: 17
Views: 3185

Re: Free Website Sharing Personal Information: Opt Out!

I went to the website mentioned, typed in my name. My current address, previous address, names of my wife and daughter appeared...Yeesh! All in one place for easy access instead having to troll through multiple public records! A Google search with my name does NOT turn up information on my wife, she...
by ikowik
Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Sapphire Reserve
Replies: 216
Views: 32068

Re: Chase Sapphire Reserve

Remember, if like me you have frozen your credit reports, to lift it so Chase can access your credit ratings. I applied online, forgot I had a freeze on, got a letter in mail asking for a PIN or lifting of the freeze (they use Experian). After doing a temporary unfreeze online with Experian, I calle...
by ikowik
Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to in March?
Replies: 21
Views: 2184

Re: Where to in March?

If you do decide on Costa Rica (or pretty much anywhere in the Caribbean or Central America), check the CDC website on Zika virus m The travel advisory is only for pregnant women, but measures to prevent mosquito bites would be good for everyone. There is some evidence that Zika can cause problems i...
by ikowik
Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting Subaru Legacy(4Cyl 2.5L or V6 3.6R?)
Replies: 56
Views: 8253

Re: Getting Subaru Legacy(4Cyl 2.5L or V6 3.6R?)

Another 4-cylinder Legacy owner. This engine is more than enough for commutes and long drives at legal highway speeds, with enough to spare for safe passing. I have test driven the 6 cylinder, never owned one. It is smoother (the 4-cylinder does sound rather "agricultural", the CVT adds to...
by ikowik
Sat Dec 31, 2016 12:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]
Replies: 1527
Views: 270720

Re: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]

8% for 2016. 50/50 portfolio, mostly index funds, some Wellington, Wellesley and TIAA-Traditional.
International 20% of stocks.
by ikowik
Tue Nov 29, 2016 7:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Owning a Chromebook
Replies: 77
Views: 11674

Re: Owning a Chromebook

Thanks for both above posts
by ikowik
Tue Nov 29, 2016 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Owning a Chromebook
Replies: 77
Views: 11674

Re: Owning a Chromebook

I have been thinking about getting a cheap Chromebook and use it only to access investment company websites. Can some one comment on the security aspects of Chromebooks? Since programs cannot be installed an anti-virus program cannot be running...but then do I need an anti-virus program? Similarly w...
by ikowik
Thu Nov 17, 2016 7:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help me figure out the running cost of having winter tires
Replies: 42
Views: 3529

Re: Help me figure out the running cost of having winter tires

Having winter tires on steel wheels definitely the way to go. Check TireRack for good prices on both. I have been doing this for the last 3 cars and 20 years +. Get my cars serviced at local AAA Car Care center (member), they switch summer- winter tires+ wheels no extra charge. Realize storage is an...
by ikowik
Wed Nov 09, 2016 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: India to Replace Largest Bank Notes
Replies: 20
Views: 2846

Re: India to Replace Largest Bank Notes

When I first read about this today morning I thought it was an Onion article, it seems like a surprising and radical move. Having previous worked and lived in India, I have a fair amount of rupees in cash with me in the US right now which is likely in Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes - does anyone else liv...
by ikowik
Tue Nov 08, 2016 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping Fedex/UPS guy?
Replies: 53
Views: 16360

Re: Tipping Fedex/UPS guy?

Ah....tipping! The American Disease.
Maybe I should tip my boss next time I see him
by ikowik
Thu Nov 03, 2016 7:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honey
Replies: 27
Views: 4106

Re: Honey

Most supermarket honeys are heated to high temp.s and filtered; and clover honey, the commonly available variety, has a rather limited flavor. Unfiltered "raw" honey which is heated to much lower temp.s, especially of the wildflower type, tastes better. See if your favorite supermarkets ca...
by ikowik
Tue Oct 04, 2016 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving From Quicken: Moneydance, YNAB, GnuCash or other?
Replies: 32
Views: 5982

Re: Moving From Quicken: Moneydance, YNAB, GnuCash or other?

My choice is MoneyDance. When I moved from PC to Mac, gave up on Quicken (quickly :happy )
MoneyDance has been very stable, connects to my bank, is well organized and easy to use. Produces reports that are customizable.
And no yearly subscription costs.
by ikowik
Mon Sep 05, 2016 12:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Way behind in retirement prep - should I stay 100% equity?
Replies: 25
Views: 2925

Re: Way behind in retirement prep - should I stay 100% equity?

I hate to bring up an old post, as it's been three years since I first posted this. I took the prudent advice and shifted to an 80/20 allocation from 100% equity and couldn't be happier. I've added $100k to the original $135 I had, so I'm making headway. Still behind, but gaining some traction. Any...
by ikowik
Mon Jul 25, 2016 10:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Another dodgy hedge fund. Echoes of Bernie Madoff.
Replies: 10
Views: 2295

Re: Another dodgy hedge fund. Echoes of Bernie Madoff.

This is an "interesting" company. From a Bloomberg story in 2015 (Link: m) "The investment connected with terminally ill patients shows the lengths Platinum will go to find a can’t-miss bet. Insurance companies were offering variable annuities -- a type of guaranteed investment contra...
by ikowik
Sat Jul 23, 2016 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Premium increase for federal employee long term care insurance
Replies: 69
Views: 6968

Re: Premium increase for federal employee long term care insurance

As an alternative way to manage LTC, what's your opinion of using whole life insurance that offers indemnity payouts for critical care, chronic care and terminal care? I agree with delamer. My one experience with While/Universal/Variable Life was when I was much younger. Quickly realized I understo...
by ikowik
Sat Jul 23, 2016 9:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Reliving the Nightmare of the Crisis
Replies: 119
Views: 11403

Re: Reliving the Nightmare of the Crisis

I remember the sense of unease (and maybe a little bit envy) when several friends' wives took up "day trading" by computer in the years before the crisis, and hearing about their sophisticated systems and the money they made. After the crisis, all this talk suddenly disappeared. The crisis...
by ikowik
Fri Jul 22, 2016 8:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Premium increase for federal employee long term care insurance
Replies: 69
Views: 6968

Re: Premium increase for federal employee long term care insurance

Should we roll the dice and bet on the the likelihood of not needing many (>5) years of LTC or be cautious and enroll in LTC insurance, knowing the downside of paying high premiums which are likely to increase sharply in the coming years? My thanks to all who replied. From the article I linked to i...
by ikowik
Fri Jul 22, 2016 7:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Premium increase for federal employee long term care insurance
Replies: 69
Views: 6968

Re: Premium increase for federal employee long term care insurance

If there is a plus to this, my husband and I have begun a serious conversation about our plans for how to handle the long-term care issue. Absolutely yes! Not just between us (with my wife) but with my grown-up and independent daughter who would be the beneficiary of anything we leave behind. Shoul...
by ikowik
Thu Jul 21, 2016 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Premium increase for federal employee long term care insurance
Replies: 69
Views: 6968

Premium increase for federal employee long term care insurance

John Hancock was the only bidder to administer the Federal employee LTC insurance program for the next seven years. It appears subscribers are going to pay a lot more now, similar to what has happened with insurers administering other LTC plans. Washington Post has a story today on this m I have bee...
by ikowik
Wed Jul 20, 2016 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I froze my credit, here's what happened next...
Replies: 20
Views: 4018

Re: I froze my credit, here's what happened next...

packet wrote:Finally got around to freezing the big 3 for myself ... $0.0 (I'm in NY state). Anyone know the cost in NY to unfreeze?


:beerCheers,
packet

Five dollars to unfreeze in NY state; but the state adds tax!, so it comes to $5.44 at Experian for example.
by ikowik
Mon Jul 18, 2016 5:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Security freeze" to prevent credit fraud
Replies: 24
Views: 3085

Re: "Security freeze" to prevent credit fraud

I did it under the recommendation of a classmate. If I recall I contacted one and they spread the word around. Some day I gotta remember how to unfreeze it as I'll be renting in retirement. A credit freeze doesn't prevent others from checking you credit as a landlord would do, just stops anyone ope...
by ikowik
Sat Jul 16, 2016 9:50 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do You Practice Ethical Investing?
Replies: 47
Views: 3003

Re: Do You Practice Ethical Investing?

I am agnostic on the intersection of ethics and lending/compound interest/stocks. The older I get, the less sure of my opinions. And I'm old enough to know that marketing cigarettes to poor kids in third world countries, who are now big tobacco's main target, is unethical by just about anybody's st...
by ikowik
Fri Jul 15, 2016 8:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do You Practice Ethical Investing?
Replies: 47
Views: 3003

Re: Do You Practice Ethical Investing?

I am agnostic on the intersection of ethics and lending/compound interest/stocks. The older I get, the less sure of my opinions.
by ikowik
Fri Jul 15, 2016 8:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I created dependency, now what?
Replies: 50
Views: 6258

Re: I created dependency, now what?

This is a tough one. But the one post that resonates for me is by Taylor Larimore. Agreed without reservation.
I have wondered about this during my much smaller charitable efforts, but that post refreshed my mind.
by ikowik
Mon Jun 20, 2016 7:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendation for international SIM cards?
Replies: 30
Views: 2766

Re: Recommendation for international SIM cards?

Now I have a Google Fi phone. We shall see how it works on my next cruise. If you are just going to one country a pre-paid sim would be my choice. This. I recently was turned on to Google's Project Fi service. Uses T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular networks as well as Wi-Fi calls/SMS when available...
by ikowik
Wed Jun 15, 2016 9:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Good Returns on the Vanguard Inflation Protected fund?
Replies: 18
Views: 2092

Re: Good Returns on the Vanguard Inflation Protected fund?

"Phineas J. Whoopee wrote: To begin with, it was. We don't know what it is, or what it will be, and that's an important conceptual difference, not just a wording quibble. Second, Simplegift is referring to the fact the TIPS fund in question, VIPSX, is a perfectly ordinary bond fund, except tie...
by ikowik
Tue Jun 14, 2016 7:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Good Returns on the Vanguard Inflation Protected fund?
Replies: 18
Views: 2092

Re: Good Returns on the Vanguard Inflation Protected fund?

^^^ Just to add, with an 8.1 year duration, Vanguard’s Inflation-Protected Securities Fund (VIPSX) is fairly sensitive to changes in real interest rates — more so than the other intermediate-term bond funds in Vanguard’s line-up are to nominal rate changes (with durations in the 5-6 year range). Ex...
by ikowik
Tue Jun 14, 2016 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Employee (Time Off) - Annual, LWOP or Sick Leave?
Replies: 29
Views: 2901

Re: Federal Employee (Time Off) - Annual, LWOP or Sick Leave?

Is there any reason why you would not plan to use as much sick leave as possible? Sick leave is never paid out when you quit or retire like annual leave. I would also consider using the full FMLA leave as well even though it's not at her full salary. Not paid out in cash, but Uncle Sam has begun to...
by ikowik
Tue Jun 14, 2016 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: donate car to charity?
Replies: 21
Views: 1966

Re: donate car to charity?

I have donated two cars to charity, both to local animal shelter type organizations. What I have learned: -Call the charity and find out what percentage of the auction sale price will go to the charity. The auction company with which the charity has a contract will take a cut; just try to find one w...