Search found 296 matches

by John151
Sun Dec 10, 2017 6:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Firefox upgrade broke my add-on, switched to Waterfox
Replies: 28
Views: 3474

Re: Firefox upgrade broke my add-on, switched to Waterfox

LadyGeek, I gave Waterfox a try, and I like it. It imported all of my Firefox legacy add-ons and most of my settings flawlessly. The only glitch was that the Add-ons Manager was for some reason set to “Update Add-ons Automatically,” and Waterfox updated Stylish to a version that doesn’t work for me....
by John151
Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What did you do with your first RMD withdrawal money?
Replies: 63
Views: 4115

Re: What did you do with your first RMD withdrawal money?

I invested my first RMD in a tax-exempt bond fund. Subsequent RMD’s have been going into that fund too.
by John151
Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I-Bonds?
Replies: 51
Views: 6192

Re: I-Bonds?

I Bonds make up about 30% of my bond holdings, and I’m adding the legal maximum to them every year. They’re safe, they offer some inflation protection, the interest they pay is tax-deferred, and their yields are better than anything I can find in bank CD’s. In my opinion, I Bonds are an excellent in...
by John151
Sat Nov 25, 2017 1:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone tired of the stock market going up?
Replies: 213
Views: 16198

Re: Anyone tired of the stock market going up?

I’ve had a somewhat similar reaction to the market’s rise. My stocks have more than doubled, and they’ve risen above the upper limit of my target bands. I’ve stopped adding to them, and normally I would rebalance by exchanging from stocks into bonds. But all of my stocks are in taxable accounts, and...
by John151
Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filing Illinois Income Taxes Online
Replies: 11
Views: 915

Re: Filing Illinois Income Taxes Online

Thanks, guys! I appreciate it.
by John151
Wed Nov 22, 2017 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filing Illinois Income Taxes Online
Replies: 11
Views: 915

Filing Illinois Income Taxes Online

Has anyone filed Illinois income taxes using the state’s online tax service? Was it difficult? Did you encounter any glitches?
by John151
Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct and alternatives
Replies: 43
Views: 3491

Re: TaxAct and alternatives

I’ve filed my taxes with TaxAct for the past two years. In August 2017 I received an offer to sign up for the online version of TaxAct Plus for tax year 2017 for $13.50. This is for the federal return only. The state return will be extra. I signed up right away.
by John151
Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Firefox upgrade broke my add-on, switched to Waterfox
Replies: 28
Views: 3474

Re: Firefox upgrade broke my add-on, switched to Waterfox

I’ve stayed with Firefox for years because of one extension: Scrapbook. It doesn’t work on Firefox 57, and although the developer is working on a compatible version, he doesn’t think it will have all the features of the original. Right now I’m using Scrapbook on Firefox 52.5.0 ESR. That should work ...
by John151
Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Returns - How Long Do you Keep?
Replies: 56
Views: 4489

Re: Tax Returns - How Long Do you Keep?

I have my returns and supporting documents going all the way back to 1973, the first year that I filed income taxes. They don’t take up a lot of space, and I don’t see any good reason to throw them out.
by John151
Fri Nov 17, 2017 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why did Vanguard drop TurboTax?
Replies: 16
Views: 3191

Why did Vanguard drop TurboTax?

Vanguard used to offer Vanguard clients discounted or even free access to TurboTax’s tax preparation services. But Vanguard dropped its discounts several years ago, saying that Vanguard considered its core mission to be investment services, not tax services. Was Vanguard’s decision to drop TurboTax ...
by John151
Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lets talk emergency funds and I-bonds
Replies: 23
Views: 2118

Re: Lets talk emergency funds and I-bonds

I bought I Bonds when the fixed rate was over three percent. I didn’t think of them as an emergency fund at the time, and I don’t think of them as an emergency fund today. Those bonds are paying more than all of my other fixed income investments, so I’m going to hang on to them until they mature. My...
by John151
Thu Oct 26, 2017 3:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should you rebalance when you’re in your seventies?
Replies: 25
Views: 2555

Re: Should you rebalance when you’re in your seventies?

I’m grateful to all of you for your advice. My pension has a 3% COLA, and it more than covers my basic needs. I also have a year’s worth of expenses in a money market fund that I can tap if need be. I haven’t withdrawn anything from my other investments, except for required minimum distributions, an...
by John151
Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Emotional impact of spending down assets?
Replies: 100
Views: 10145

Re: Emotional impact of spending down assets?

I can understand the emotional impact. This is my first year for taking required minimum distributions, and it’s a bit unsettling to see the value of my retirement accounts drop, after so many years of consistent gains. And investing the distributions isn’t gratifying when the distributions are afte...
by John151
Wed Oct 25, 2017 5:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should you rebalance when you’re in your seventies?
Replies: 25
Views: 2555

Should you rebalance when you’re in your seventies?

I faithfully rebalanced into stocks during the bear market of 2000-2002, and again during the bear market of 2007-2009. That worked out quite well. Stocks eventually recovered, and the shares I bought when stock prices were low have risen in value substantially. But now that I’m in my seventies, wit...
by John151
Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Moved to Vanguard this year. Set target allocation. Now significantly outside target range. Now what?
Replies: 30
Views: 1940

Re: Moved to Vanguard this year. Set target allocation. Now significantly outside target range. Now what?

I’m in a similar situation. My stock funds are about five percentage points above my target, I don’t have stocks to sell in my tax-advantaged accounts, and rebalancing by selling stocks in my taxable accounts would trigger a substantial amount of capital gains taxes. That’s one reason why I’m disinc...
by John151
Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rebalance with large capital gain
Replies: 13
Views: 1383

Re: Rebalance with large capital gain

I’m in a similar situation, with my stocks allocation about five percentage points above my target. My stock funds are all in taxable accounts, and rebalancing by selling shares would mean paying a substantial amount in capital gains taxes. In addition, my stock funds are yielding about the same as ...
by John151
Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how long did it take to get used to retirement
Replies: 105
Views: 10407

Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

It took me five minutes. To me, the two most important benefits of retirement are 1. The freedom of not having a rigid time schedule. 2. The lack of stress. For me, enjoying the lack of stress was immediate. Now, 12 years later, I still enjoy it. I also resurrected an old hobby and have enjoyed spe...
by John151
Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: IBonds - now or wait? [November 2017 rate]
Replies: 40
Views: 5744

Re: New I Bond Variable Rate for November 2017 - 2.48%

Good to know, LK2012. Thank you for posting this.
by John151
Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: From Vanguard Inflation-Protected Securities to I Bonds?
Replies: 3
Views: 662

Re: From Vanguard Inflation-Protected Securities to I Bonds?

Thank you, lazyday. You’ve convinced me that I should proceed. I started investing in I Bonds in the late 1990’s, when the fixed rates were over 3%, and I stopped buying them when the fixed rates dropped below 1%. Now I’ll start buying them again as a replacement for distributions from my Vanguard S...
by John151
Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: From Vanguard Inflation-Protected Securities to I Bonds?
Replies: 3
Views: 662

From Vanguard Inflation-Protected Securities to I Bonds?

My IRA is invested in Vanguard Short-Term Inflation-Protected Securities. This is my first year for taking required minimum distributions, and that includes taking roughly $10,000 from my IRA. I realize that this amount will change over time. I’m thinking about funneling the proceeds into I-Bonds. T...
by John151
Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: IBonds - now or wait? [November 2017 rate]
Replies: 40
Views: 5744

Re: IBonds - now or wait?

The September CPI-U was released this morning. https://www.bls.gov/schedule/news_release/cpi.htm Can any of the resident experts calculate what it means for the inflation -based component of I Bonds to be issued during the six months beginning November 1? Thanks. March: 243.801 September: 246.819 (...
by John151
Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 10 year anniversary of the beginning of the Great Recession
Replies: 45
Views: 4519

Re: 10 year anniversary of the beginning of the Great Recession

As a conservative investor in my sixties, I was 35% in stocks, and 65% in bonds, when the Great Recession hit. As the stock market tanked, I bought enough shares to keep my stocks at 35%. The fact that I had most of my investments in bonds helped me resist the temptation to sell. Now that I’m in my ...
by John151
Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rebalancing - Personal Philosophies
Replies: 43
Views: 3885

Re: Rebalancing - Personal Philosophies

I rebalanced all through the 1990’s and during the first decade of the 2000’s. But now my stock allocation is about five percentage points above my target, and I’ve decided not to rebalance. The reason: all of my stocks are in taxable accounts, and rebalancing by selling shares would trigger signifi...
by John151
Sun Oct 08, 2017 3:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Flagship Reps
Replies: 91
Views: 9178

Re: Flagship Reps

I process exchanges myself online, and I call a Flagship rep only when I’m doing something new, such as investing in a new fund or setting up my first required minimum distribution. I’ve never had a problem.
by John151
Sat Oct 07, 2017 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirees, how and how much do you pay for health insurance?
Replies: 33
Views: 4230

Re: Retirees, how and how much do you pay for health insurance?

I’m a retired state employee, and my retirement benefits include comprehensive health insurance with all premiums to be paid by the state. I only have to make modest co-pays. Several years ago, the state tried to require state retirees to pay part of their premiums, but the state supreme court ruled...
by John151
Mon Oct 02, 2017 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What age did you become debt free and what opportunities did it create?
Replies: 131
Views: 19009

Re: What age did you become debt free and what opportunities did it create?

I charge almost everything to my credit cards and pay off the balances each month. Other than that, I’ve never been in debt. I rented a car until I had enough cash to buy one, and I lived in rental apartments until I could pay cash for my modest condo. Being debt-free provides a sense of security I ...
by John151
Sat Sep 23, 2017 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone used Amazon to buy household goods
Replies: 26
Views: 2068

Re: Anyone used Amazon to buy household goods

I buy Hershey Bars in bulk from Amazon. It’s cheaper than buying them at the supermarket, and I like knowing that I have three pounds of Hershey Bars stashed away in case of emergency. I usually have two or three emergencies a day.
by John151
Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Age you retired
Replies: 112
Views: 8898

Re: Age you retired

I retired from a state government job when I became eligible at fifty-five. My pension covers most of my basic living expenses, and income from my investments covers the rest.
by John151
Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How often do you put money in Vanguard
Replies: 55
Views: 4636

Re: How often do you put money in Vanguard

Anything over a certain amount in my local checking account goes to Vanguard, and that’s usually once a month.
by John151
Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How old were you when you got your first credit card?
Replies: 46
Views: 2274

How old were you when you got your first credit card?

I was twenty-seven. I had recently finished graduate school, I was settling into my first full-time job, and I was earning a decent salary. I received a credit card invitation in the mail, filled it out, and was initially turned down, probably because I didn’t have a credit history. I mentioned this...
by John151
Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct for $13.50
Replies: 41
Views: 3621

Re: TaxAct for $13.50

runner26 wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2017 2:14 pm
I got no offer, even though I used TA the last 2 years, and 7 of the last 9. :annoyed I use the download version. For those of you getting these offers, are you online or download users.
I got the offer, and I’m an online user.
by John151
Thu Aug 31, 2017 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct for $13.50
Replies: 41
Views: 3621

Re: TaxAct for $13.50

I’ve compared TaxAct’s price this year to what I paid last year and the year before: $14.98 for e-filing my federal and state returns using TaxAct Plus online for tax year 2015, and $35.50 for e-filing my federal and state returns using TaxAct Plus online for tax year 2016. This year my cost for e-f...
by John151
Wed Aug 30, 2017 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct for $13.50
Replies: 41
Views: 3621

Re: TaxAct for $13.50

To all the returning customers saying they didn't receive the email: I found it. I had to search through my Junk Mail folder for it, because they sent it from a different domain than usual. info@em.taxact.com Mine was sent yesterday afternoon. $13.50 Mine was sent from that email address too, and I...
by John151
Wed Aug 30, 2017 1:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct for $13.50
Replies: 41
Views: 3621

Re: TaxAct for $13.50

barber wrote:
Wed Aug 30, 2017 8:40 am
My email, for returning users, stated to log in and go to 2016 tax forms and to click auto pay. This is for 2017 tax act deluxe @ 13.50, state and federal.
That’s the same email that I received, except that in my case the offer was for TaxAct Plus for federal only.
by John151
Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct for $13.50
Replies: 41
Views: 3621

Re: TaxAct for $13.50

tetractys wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:52 pm
Never got the email. Don't see anything about it anywhere outside this thread. Maybe OP's been fished. -- Tet
I don’t think so. You don’t sign on via email. You sign on at TaxAct’s website, and I was careful to make sure that the website was truly TaxAct’s.
by John151
Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct for $13.50
Replies: 41
Views: 3621

Re: TaxAct for $13.50

dbltrbl wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:46 pm
John,

I am a returning customer. In fact for 10 out of last 11 years, I have filed with Tax act must be some special promotion.
You may get an email offer too. They may not email everybody on the same day.
by John151
Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct for $13.50
Replies: 41
Views: 3621

Re: TaxAct for $13.50

The offer came by email, and it’s probably a special price for returning customers. I don’t know what the price will be for first-timers. They usually post their prices later in the year, so you might want to check their website periodically.
by John151
Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct for $13.50
Replies: 41
Views: 3621

TaxAct for $13.50

I’ve filed my income taxes with TaxAct for the last couple of years, and today I received an email from them offering TaxAct Plus for filing my 2017 federal income taxes for $13.50. The state return will be extra, at a price that hasn’t been announced. I signed up right away. The offer expires on Se...
by John151
Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to stash your emergency fund
Replies: 36
Views: 4466

Re: Where to stash your emergency fund

Vanguard also offers a Prime Money Market Fund, a Federal Money Market Fund, and a Treasury Money Market Fund. I think that any of Vanguard’s money market funds would be a reasonable choice for most investors.
by John151
Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What do you do with RMD money you don't need?
Replies: 51
Views: 4625

Re: What do you do with RMD money you don't need?

This is my first year for taking required minimum distributions. One of them is from an IRA invested in a Vanguard bond fund, and the other is from a stable value fund in my 403(b). This is money that I don’t need to spend right away, so the proceeds are going into my Vanguard tax-exempt bond fund.
by John151
Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your cash reserve limit, above which you invest?
Replies: 25
Views: 2822

Re: What is your cash reserve limit, above which you invest?

I think this is a very individual decision. People will vary as to how much they spend in a year and what percentage of their investments that represents. I keep about two years’ worth of expenses in a Vanguard money market fund, and that represents about five percent of my investments. Also, keep i...
by John151
Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to stash your emergency fund
Replies: 36
Views: 4466

Re: Where to stash your emergency fund

I keep my emergency money in a Vanguard money market fund. It doesn’t bother me that it’s paying very little. I just like knowing that it’s there if I need it.
by John151
Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you watch movies? (Theater, online streaming, DVD, etc.)
Replies: 40
Views: 3134

Re: How do you watch movies? (Theater, online streaming, DVD, etc.)

I stopped going to movie theaters several years ago. If a movie comes out that I want to see, I wait until it’s available on DVD and then order it from Amazon. That’s maybe three or four times a year. For me, it’s much more enjoyable watching a movie at home. I don’t have to listen to other people’s...
by John151
Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What Percentage CASH are you?
Replies: 90
Views: 7006

Re: What Percentage CASH are you?

Defining “cash” as my checking account and my Vanguard money market fund, I keep 2% to 3% of my investments in cash. I classify all of my other fixed income investments as “bonds.”
by John151
Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Treasury Money Market Fund (VUSXX)
Replies: 5
Views: 1015

Re: Vanguard Treasury Money Market Fund (VUSXX)

I’ve wondered about that too. Perhaps it costs Vanguard less to manage one account with $50,000 than ten accounts with $5,000? If Treasury yields rise, Vanguard may lower the minimum.
by John151
Sat Aug 05, 2017 3:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Has the "bond bubble" caused you to change your allocation?
Replies: 90
Views: 10409

Re: Has the "bond bubble" caused you to change your allocation?

About half of my bond holdings are in Vanguard bond funds. Early this year, I shifted some of that into shorter-duration funds. My bond funds’ average duration is now about three years. It used to be about five years. The rest of my bond investments are in I Bonds and a stable value fund. New money ...
by John151
Sat Jul 29, 2017 4:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone invest in I Bonds and why?
Replies: 17
Views: 2196

Re: Anyone invest in I Bonds and why?

I stocked up on I Bonds when the fixed rate was over three percent, and I continued to buy them until the fixed rate dropped to under one percent. Even with a fixed rate of zero, I Bonds are still a reasonable investment for many people. They offer safety, some inflation protection, tax-deferred inc...
by John151
Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Good Service for Flagship Investors
Replies: 35
Views: 4663

Good Service for Flagship Investors

There have been a number of complaints about Vanguard’s customer service, including customer service for Flagship investors. I’d like to report exactly the opposite experience. So far this year, I’ve opened a new tax-exempt bond fund, taken my first required minimum distribution, changed from one Va...
by John151
Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Placement of TIAA Traditional and S&P 500
Replies: 7
Views: 721

Re: Placement of TIAA Traditional and S&P 500

My 403(b) is entirely in TIAA Traditional. I’d love to add to it, but I’ve recently turned seventy and have to take required minimum distributions. My advice would be to put as much as possible into TIAA Traditional and then invest in Vanguard stock index funds in your taxable accounts. Another poss...