Search found 448 matches

by NateW
Tue Apr 12, 2011 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone paying taxes on internet purchases yet?
Replies: 53
Views: 6045

Re: Anyone paying taxes on internet purchases yet?

I went to the amazon link here to purchase a item. No problem. Went smoothly, no sales taxes. I went to a CA vendor (lower priced than AMAZON) to purchase a item , my living in MA, and was charged $3.75 tax. on $59.00. Have I missed something? TIA. :? My wife has been shopping on Amazon.com for a f...
by NateW
Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hobbies of Bogleheads
Replies: 159
Views: 23548

Re: Hobbies of Bogleheads

frugalhen wrote:What are the favorite cost conscious hobbies of Bogleheads? In other words, what hobbies do you enjoy even more knowing it is relatively cheap?
Performing all my auto repair and fixing things around the house. Since I enjoy it, I call it a hobby. And I save lots of $.

--Nate
by NateW
Sat Apr 02, 2011 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pharmacy Discount Card from Health Benefits Network
Replies: 1
Views: 1859

Also, the envelope this card came in was a "presorted standard" postal rate which is the junk mail category, I think.

An internet search did net several inquiries like mine, but very little information on who is behind this. Interesting.

This card is going in my burn bin.

--Nate
by NateW
Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Utility Bills
Replies: 104
Views: 16339

That fuel oil bill hurts. Our electric is about the same (even with an electric hot tub), natural gas is about $75 a month (heat and hot water) and I don't know what the water is (my wife pays it). Water/sewer may be about $75 a quarter. Live in Northern Virginia and have a 1700 square foot Cape Cod...
by NateW
Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Catalytic converter theft
Replies: 13
Views: 2339

Sorry that happened. I never would have thought this would happen in broad daylight. I bet the thief got $40 or less for it.

Do you have comprehensive insurance coverage? If so, it would cover this theft, less your deductable. I do not think rates increase for a comprehensive claim.

--Nate
by NateW
Fri Apr 01, 2011 7:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pharmacy Discount Card from Health Benefits Network
Replies: 1
Views: 1859

Pharmacy Discount Card from Health Benefits Network

Yesterday in the mail I received a Pharmacy Discount Card from the Health Benefits Network. I have never heard of this group nor applied for such a card. The card touts "Save up to 75% on 54,000 drugs at over 65,000 pharmacies". The card look like an insurance card, complete with Member ID #, plan c...
by NateW
Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help me find a fuel efficient car?
Replies: 45
Views: 5336

Anything with a Turbo-diesel. Nearly impossible to find in this country but for the power to fuel consumption ratio, it's unbeatable. We Americans are stuck in the 70's era thinking that diesel is dirty, when these days it's as clean as gasoline and the cars that run on diesel get comparable fuel e...
by NateW
Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is this email from Federal Reserve Legit?
Replies: 10
Views: 2927

Whenever I get one of those phishing e-mails from the "IRS", I forward it to the IRS's fraud department:

http://www.irs.gov/privacy/article/0,,i ... ?portlet=1

--Nate
by NateW
Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone understand the .5% front-end fee on Vanguard's VEIEX?
Replies: 15
Views: 1834

Manbaerpig wrote:sounds kinda madoff-ish tho, at least pyramidical to look at the return benefit from others being charged
It is explained pretty well on Vanguard's site. I believe the fee is to discourage moving in and out of the fund. The fee goes to the fund itself.

--Nate
by NateW
Sat Mar 12, 2011 7:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Revocable Living Trust--A Good Idea Over a Will?
Replies: 10
Views: 5108

Thank you dm200. I am not one to be swayed by sales pitches, so I feel comfortable attending the presentation with an open mind and seeing what I can learn and if it fits our situation and makes sense. I'll do research in the meantime too.

--Nate
by NateW
Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Revocable Living Trust--A Good Idea Over a Will?
Replies: 10
Views: 5108

Revocable Living Trust--A Good Idea Over a Will?

My wife and I have wills, but I hear periodically that there can be advantages to a revocable living trust. I know very little about this. The attorney who drew up our wills a few years ago said we did not need a revocable living trust, but I am not sure why. Today I got this flier in the mail from ...
by NateW
Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank Making it Really Hard to Refinance
Replies: 37
Views: 5824

Have you tried refinancing with a different bank? I would take my business elsewhere if treated like that.

--Nate
by NateW
Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2 years after market low, the little guy is back
Replies: 24
Views: 4475

From the linked article: "After the 2008 financial meltdown, Dukas and his wife converted their 401(k) retirement accounts into cash. They had been burned during the bubble in technology stocks a decade ago, and Dukas says he has been "extremely skittish" ever since. Now Dukas, 48, says 85 percent o...
by NateW
Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: unexpected death in the family
Replies: 20
Views: 2599

Sorry John. I see how that kind of comment can get on your nerves if you are an attorney. That's why I at least used "I think" and made clear that I was not an expert on these matters. I don't want to mislead anyone. I'll be more aware of this in the future.

No hard feelings.

--Nate
by NateW
Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: unexpected death in the family
Replies: 20
Views: 2599

I'm not an expert in these matters, but my advice is to get a good attorney to help you figure out your legal options! Nate - Why do you even bother to express an opinion when you acknowledge you know little about these things? In fact, most of the opinions you expressed are wrong. Better to keep s...
by NateW
Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: unexpected death in the family
Replies: 20
Views: 2599

It's possible the ex-wife will do the right thing and disclaim her position in the assets that have her as the beneficiary in error. Or maybe not. The divorce settlement agreement could also have a bearing on this. Maybe it stipulates that she remain as the beneficiary. Find out what jurisdiction t...
by NateW
Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: unexpected death in the family
Replies: 20
Views: 2599

"He established a will in 1981 designating his wife (now ex-wife) as the beneficiary followed by his children." I'm not an expert in these matters, but my advice is to get a good attorney to help you figure out your legal options! I think the fact that his ex is named in the will means that she gets...
by NateW
Mon Mar 07, 2011 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Property Line Dispute - fence
Replies: 31
Views: 13345

"We are friendly with these people, not good friends, and don't want to be jerks, but we feel they put us in a bad situation by not applying for a permit in the first place and obtaining our approval" I would not worry about it in the least, provided just having the fence put up is not an issue. You...
by NateW
Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: State Farm's Long Term Care Insurance
Replies: 39
Views: 7477

I have friends whose parents have LTC with Transamerica, they have to fight tooth and nail for every dime they get, even though their parents paid in for years. That is lousy. Transamerica provides the funds for my employer's 401k and their fees are sky high (2% range). I would steer clear of Trans...
by NateW
Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Escrow shortage, Should I pay [upfront or monthly]?
Replies: 21
Views: 24505

When I had one, my escrow account most certainly DID NOT pay me any interest. Even when interest rates on savings accounts were in the 4% range.

--Nate
by NateW
Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Escrow shortage, Should I pay [upfront or monthly]?
Replies: 21
Views: 24505

For those of you who do not escrow. How do you figure out your allocation? I'm guessing that you could just overfund your emergency account, and, If you have an account like ING, simply pay the premiums with your checking account. My county bills real estate taxes twice a year and they are due in m...
by NateW
Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Escrow shortage, Should I pay [upfront or monthly]?
Replies: 21
Views: 24505

I don't pay escrows any more. I got tired of the nonsense of the underfunding of our escrow account from our lender. I also do not like the lender getting free use of my money. Three loans ago I called the loan company and said I wished to pay my real estate taxes to the county and home owner's insu...
by NateW
Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ticker Symbol for Black Rock US Debt T?
Replies: 7
Views: 28643

Thanks everybody. I do love the .06% expense ratio. And it appears to be a good general purpose bond fund. This will counteract my almost 2% expense ratio on my 401k's Transamerica Insurance Company branded funds. I have the extreme displeasure of paying 1.7% on their branded Vanguard Target Date 20...
by NateW
Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap/Reputable Casket Source
Replies: 36
Views: 7490

Costco sells caskets. This is no joke:

http://www.costco.com/browse/product.as ... d=11009034

--Nate
by NateW
Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ticker Symbol for Black Rock US Debt T?
Replies: 7
Views: 28643

Here is the fund information from my wife's 401k plan site:

http://profile.morningstar.com/profile/ ... SPUSA05638

--Nate
by NateW
Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ally SUCKS - wrong 1099
Replies: 13
Views: 1945

Re: Ally SUCKS - wrong 1099

I opened 2 CDs with Ally in Sept 2010 and after opening them I heard some some bad things about them. I thought "how bad can it be?," crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. Then in Jan 2011 I received my 1099 for one of the CDs because its interested posted to calendar year 2010. The interest f...
by NateW
Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ticker Symbol for Black Rock US Debt T?
Replies: 7
Views: 28643

Ticker Symbol for Black Rock US Debt T?

I can not find this anywhere. This is the bond fund in my wife's 401k and even her fund information does not list a ticker symbol for it, nor does a Google search turn up any ticker for it. My guess is that this is a hybrid fund without a ticker. I can not even find it on the Black Rock site. Anyone...
by NateW
Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What do you think of Suze Orman's advice?
Replies: 54
Views: 9923

Oh the wagging of her finger in such a superior way and the greeting of "girlfriend" makes my skin crawl. Most of her advice is ok but delivered as if the audience was a 5 yr old. Agree. I don't follow her all that much, but did catch a couple shows, a few years ago. Her advice seems ok +/-, but he...
by NateW
Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What do you think of Suze Orman's advice?
Replies: 54
Views: 9923

I've not thought about Suze Orman in a long time. My wife and I used to watch her show and even went to see her in person once (she was promoting her book I think). This was when I was making the rounds, attempting to latch onto a good source of investment wisdom and information. Then, a year or so ...
by NateW
Sun Feb 27, 2011 7:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Refunds taxable?
Replies: 11
Views: 1925

Its taxable because it is income to you that was excluded from your income the previous year. You would have had to deduct your state taxes on Schedule A the previous year and if you paid too much state tax (via witholdings), you would have deducted the excess withholding too. It is the excess withh...
by NateW
Sun Feb 27, 2011 5:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Presidential Election $3 Question on Form 1040--Why?
Replies: 15
Views: 2646

stan1 wrote:Here you go, from the source:

http://www.fec.gov/pages/brochures/pubfund.shtml
Thanks, I appreciate it.

p.s., I always checked "no". Now that I know about this, I probably still will, since checking "yes" would add to our deficit.

--Nate
by NateW
Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where are all the good painters?
Replies: 21
Views: 3618

Re: Where are all the good painters?

I've been dealing with alot of contractors the last month. I always search for quality first and value second in life. So far my two experiences have below average for quality (ok for value). The jobs primilarly involved painting the inside of two condos. I am very detail orientationed (sometimes a...
by NateW
Sun Feb 27, 2011 2:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does it make sense to drive a car into the ground?
Replies: 56
Views: 11540

Nah, you get so little for a car only a year or two away from dying you might as well get those last couple of years out of it. Besides, you'd be surprised how long those two years can be. This is true, especially if you do all of your servicing and repair work, which make sthis practice quite affo...
by NateW
Sun Feb 27, 2011 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Presidential Election $3 Question on Form 1040--Why?
Replies: 15
Views: 2646

Presidential Election $3 Question on Form 1040--Why?

I always have been baffled as to why the "Presidential Election Campaign, Check here if you, or your spouse if filing jointly, want $3 to go to this fund. Checking a box below will not change your tax or refund." appears on Form 1040. Its been there ever since I can remember and its always been $3. ...
by NateW
Sat Feb 26, 2011 8:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rebalancing into bonds
Replies: 31
Views: 2886

Re: Rebalancing into bonds

I was just about to pull the trigger on a significant rebalance into bonds (from 10% to 20%) to get me to my AA . (using Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund Institutional Plus Shares in a 401k) How many of you would make such a drastic move at present? The alternative could be perhaps holding off...
by NateW
Sat Feb 26, 2011 8:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What happened today?
Replies: 16
Views: 2797

You're not watching your portfolio closely enough. Did you make any rebalancing moves earlier this week? If not, why not? Just by chance I rebalanced on Feb. 20th, just before the sell-off. Last time I rebalanced was about 4 months ago. A week ago I had to add about 6% in bonds. That is how much my...
by NateW
Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Possible advantage to living in high cost of living area?
Replies: 74
Views: 8476

I live in Northern Virginia, right outside of Washington, DC, and have since 1969. Other than the hassles of traffic, its great, from an economic standpoint if you are in the "gathering" phase. Pay is great here and housing is reasonable if you live a little way out from the city. The employment rat...
by NateW
Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amending my 2009 taxes for small 1099 div.???
Replies: 10
Views: 6568

I would follow Livesoft's advice. I know for interest reporting, financial institutions do not report anything under $10 to the IRS. Perhaps it is the same for dividends.

--Nate
by NateW
Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Heating Oil
Replies: 16
Views: 2556

Paid over $300 for natural gas heating last month - is it really cheaper than oil? You can calculate which is cheaper. Your natural gas should be billed on therms used. A therm is 100,000 BTUs (a BTU is a unit of heat--the energy needed to raise one pound of water 1 degree F.). Since your gas meter...
by NateW
Sun Feb 20, 2011 7:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k funds expense ratio?
Replies: 16
Views: 3736

John: My opinion is that you should max out your and your wife's 401ks and contribute to IRAs at Vanguard. Then, left over cash could be put in a taxable account. Even though you have 401k expenses up to 2%, there is a great advantage to having the investments tax deferred, especially being in the 3...
by NateW
Wed Feb 16, 2011 4:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is this stock market going crazy or what?
Replies: 16
Views: 2503

The herd is just warming up for the stampede back into equities (they already missed the huge initial push of 80% up), especially with the poor prospects for bond returns and real estate. I'm just going along for the ride. I consider this payback for the poor returns over the last decade and for the...
by NateW
Wed Feb 16, 2011 4:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: In terms of income, how expensive is your primary residence?
Replies: 100
Views: 14025

A. $350,000/180,000 (house is worth about $350k), gross salaries are $180K)

B. $257,500/$80,000/yr. salary (bought the house for $257 K and I was single at the time).

C. I bought the house in December 2002.

--Nate
by NateW
Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is anything cheap?
Replies: 59
Views: 8101

Real estate is cheap. Any takers?

--Nate
by NateW
Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advisor Recommends 20 Funds For Portfolio. Kosher?
Replies: 33
Views: 4599

Re: Advisor Recommends 20 Funds For Portfolio. Kosher?

A friend informed me that an insurance company advisor affiliated with a well-known establishment has advised her to make 20 mutual funds a part of her portfolio, in addition to an annuity. I know annuities are controversial, so, that aside, a red flag went up that 20 mutual funds constitutes irres...
by NateW
Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car Accident Advice
Replies: 24
Views: 5012

Did his/her insurance company drop them, so he/she does not have coverage, or does he/she have insurance coverage and his/her company just denied your claim? Its unclear from your post. If he/she does not have insurance, perhaps your uninsured motorist coverage will pick up all expenses, if you have...
by NateW
Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you pay for house-cleaning services?
Replies: 82
Views: 18845

"For those who use such services, what do you pay and how large is your home? And how much do you trust them not to pilfer your belongings if you aren't there when they work? I assume you have to give them a key? Not sure I'm cool with that either" My wife went with Merry Maids service and they do j...
by NateW
Fri Feb 11, 2011 8:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are Refinance Loan Origination Fees Deductable on Fed Taxes?
Replies: 27
Views: 8679

Now I understand my confusion. Yesterday I got a "Corrected 1098" form in the mail from the same lender. The original 1098 had 995 points in box 2. The revised 1098 had this box blank. All other aspects between the two forms were the same. This was for a refinance last year. Originally I kind of kne...
by NateW
Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: nervous about investing by myself
Replies: 19
Views: 2691

You are well ahead of the game. You found the Boglehead Forums before using an advisor. I was not. I was in the same boat three years ago (got an inheritance, had no idea how to invest it) and turned it over to a financial planner right at the height of the stock market and I decided to go with an a...
by NateW
Wed Feb 09, 2011 3:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bought Vanguard fund Friday morning, executed next Monday
Replies: 4
Views: 7567

I am not sure what Vanguard's policy is, but it is probably stated on their web site as what you can expect when purchasing a fund. I also would not even care about 3 cents a share, based on a $16 share price. If you want real time pricing for buying and selling, you may want to look at exchange tra...
by NateW
Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: FMCC (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp) - new investor
Replies: 6
Views: 1222

Its nice to make money AND learn something new!

--Nate