Search found 217 matches

by Tony
Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Too "substantial" penalties?--CD
Replies: 10
Views: 1437

Hi Grok87 and dm200: They are FDIC insured. Let's see, prime rate is 3.25% so the 5 year CD would be paying 45%*3.25% + 1.25% = 2.70%. If you cash out during the first year you lose 2%. Penfed penalty is 6 months interest, less if you opened sooner 2% of principal does seem pretty high. I'm almost c...
by Tony
Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Too "substantial" penalties?--CD
Replies: 10
Views: 1437

Too "substantial" penalties?--CD

Hi Folks, I'm trying to decide on whether to go ahead with a CD. I've read through the Wiki and quite a few of the CD posts, but I don't have time to figure it out completely, so I'm turning to you for help. On another thread, I posted these rates before: Adjustable Certificate 3-years 45% of prime ...
by Tony
Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CDs Instead of Bonds??
Replies: 42
Views: 6119

What do you think of these rates, offered by our credit union? I don't understand what "prime" means or whether it is a good deal: Adjustable Certificate 3-years 45% of prime + 0.75%** Adjustable Certificate 5-years 45% of prime + 1.25%** Points Checking Certificate 8 months 1.50% APY* ($30,000 maxi...
by Tony
Tue Oct 26, 2010 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: finding a good medigap company
Replies: 28
Views: 4586

Re: finding a good medigap company

which one is a good medegap company I've had experience in California with both Mutual of Omaha (Plan A) and USAA (Plan F). I like them both, in that they're efficient, the Explanation of Benefits they send is easy to understand and customer service people are readily available. I think USAA may be...
by Tony
Tue Oct 26, 2010 3:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: FYI Purchasing paper I bonds
Replies: 7
Views: 2152

Pittsburgh still correct

Tramper Al: Very helpful. I live in Massachusetts, and in the past that zip code has meant mailing to Pittsburgh (branch of Cleveland). I just checked a Mass zip code and I see that it's listed as Pittsburgh. So we all need to check first for the appropriate Federal Reserve Bank, at http://www.treas...
by Tony
Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: FYI Purchasing paper I bonds
Replies: 7
Views: 2152

FYI Purchasing paper I bonds

I've just sent off two orders for paper I bonds purchase. I read our Wiki and went to the links there to order the forms and find out where to send them. When I looked over the form, I had some questions. I called, just to make sure I got everything right, because I'm hoping that these will be Octob...
by Tony
Sun Jul 04, 2010 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New fees! I just scrapped my Brick&Mortar Bank. You?
Replies: 61
Views: 8927

We still use a credit union too. Even though we live in another state, we can't give up the credit union. It's been such a good deal for so long. They're going through a bad patch now (no interest on checking or savings!), but fees are still non-existent, or minimal, and can easily be avoided. Bill ...
by Tony
Sat Jun 05, 2010 2:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Mel's Forbes Series on Annuities - Part 1 of 6
Replies: 126
Views: 20730

Mel, thanks! I have been thinking of getting an annuity because so much of our assets are in taxable bonds.
Could you go ahead and post this on the Wiki? It's easier for me to copy and paste it that way.

Tonio
by Tony
Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why do you donate (or not) to charity?
Replies: 68
Views: 8130

Every year, we donate towards a family scholarship for a senior girl graduating from the high school down the hill. My mom started this scholarship in memory of my dad 9 years ago, and now it's in memory of both of them. We also give money to an organization that works to save habitat for grizzly be...
by Tony
Wed May 05, 2010 10:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare "Advantage" programs
Replies: 27
Views: 5991

Re: Medicare Advantage, good value for the money

In Allentown, Pennsylvania, a Medigap plan runs from $5500 to $6400 and $192 to $1320 for drug coverage, annually. . A Medigap plan in PA for $5500-6400 annually? I'm paying less than $1100/year in California. It's Plan A, which offers the least coverage. But none of the Plans come anywhere near co...
by Tony
Mon May 03, 2010 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare "Advantage" programs
Replies: 27
Views: 5991

Traditional Medicare plus Medigap Plan A (Mutual of Omaha) plus Part D (First Health). I'd seen what Medicare "advantage" was like for my folks: through Secure Horizons in California they did get a pretty good primary care doctor, but it was hard to get authorization for other providers. And the den...
by Tony
Mon May 03, 2010 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are YOU Currently Reading? PART III (12/11/2009)
Replies: 424
Views: 76458

The Once and Future King by TH White. A great fantasy classic: King Arthur, Merlin, animals who talk.
by Tony
Fri Apr 30, 2010 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: G-mail Account Hacked by someone in Vietnam
Replies: 24
Views: 6228

Without thinking, I just went ahead and tried out one of my passwords. I shouldn't have done that, should I?
by Tony
Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What do you say to the investment advisor cold call?
Replies: 111
Views: 13400

I've known people who have had to take those telephone solicitation jobs. They aren't fun.. So I try to be polite, but I make sure I say, "Please take my name off your calling list."
by Tony
Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What other Personal Finance Forums do you visit?
Replies: 35
Views: 7325

Bogleheads almost exclusively, but if I have a tax question, I sometimes go to Fairmark.com.
by Tony
Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tax Returns: Certified Mail vs Certificate of Mailing
Replies: 54
Views: 19562

Bottom line seems to be to do it all electronically and avoid all of the hassle. I file my taxes annually online via TT and I use EFTPS to send them my estimated qy taxes. No muss. No fuss. No stamps. This works for me too. And I pay California estimated taxes through Cal's version of EFTPS, called...
by Tony
Wed Apr 14, 2010 12:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Money Saving Tips?
Replies: 47
Views: 7947

Camp, don't stay in motels. It's a lot more fun and interesting. if you camp in a state or national park or forest, you're right out there in some beautiful place. We make sure we have a high quality tent and sleeping gear so that we're really comfortable - and of course we watch for good deals on e...
by Tony
Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you pay for tax return help?
Replies: 65
Views: 8857

Re: How much do you pay for tax return help?

My 87 year old father's accountant in West Palm Beach charged him $4,000 for a single federal tax return (no state income tax in FL). I think your father got ripped off and it makes me furious. I've seen this happen to older people in my own family. Is there any kind of action you can take to get t...
by Tony
Fri Apr 09, 2010 10:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are YOU Currently Reading? PART III (12/11/2009)
Replies: 424
Views: 76458

African Laughter by Doris Lessing. About 4 trips she took back to Zimbabwe --formerly Southern Rhodesia--between 1982 and 1992. She'd grown up there, left for England at 30, was declared a "prohibited immigrant" soon after she left. She didn't return for more than 30 years, after independence was d...
by Tony
Fri Apr 02, 2010 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: for sale by owner...
Replies: 61
Views: 8963

The need to engage a lawyer(s) is very state dependent. Here in Colorado, the title company does all the paperwork and conducts the closing. Piece of cake. Chris This was true in California also, for a house we sold. We put an ad in the paper, got an appraisal, sold the house to the first person wh...
by Tony
Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Test results of quality of vitamins & other supplements
Replies: 3
Views: 1108

Re: Test results of quality of vitamins & other suppleme

I am thinking of joining this for $30 to get test results on vitamins and other supplements. Has anyone used this service or do you know of anything better? http://www.consumerlab.com/ It does look interesting. We always wonder if we are getting the benefits we are supposed to be getting when we bu...
by Tony
Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: new online application service for Medicare
Replies: 9
Views: 1336

So, it is all true. Simple on-line application and within 48 hours a phone call from SS to finalize the application - done. The rep identified himself as working only on internet apps with a performance target of competing application processing within one or two days. Issuance of actual Medicare c...
by Tony
Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: new online application service for Medicare
Replies: 9
Views: 1336

Re: new online application service for Medicare

bob u. wrote:I just received the following notice via e-mail.

http://www.ssa.gov/pressoffice/pr/patty ... ast-pr.htm

Note the the number of eligible applicants who are delaying taking Social Security. Bob U.
I can't get the link to load?
by Tony
Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car insurance cancelled--suspended for too long?
Replies: 11
Views: 2830

Getting back to you, Frugal

I don't understand why they would cancel his policy. Typically when you 'suspend' your policy you are actually suspending everything except for comprehensive so the vehicle is still covered for theft as well as damage that could occur while it's parked. You are still paying for the comprehensive al...
by Tony
Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car insurance cancelled--suspended for too long?
Replies: 11
Views: 2830

He may want to look into what the total cost of ownership is on a per month basis vs. taking a short term lease whenever he is back. His car's an old one, so it wouldn't be a better deal to lease. If someone drives his car while he's gone, he needs to have it insured at all times. If it's just bein...
by Tony
Sun Mar 14, 2010 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car insurance cancelled--suspended for too long?
Replies: 11
Views: 2830

Car insurance cancelled--suspended for too long?

My brother has spent 8 or 9 months a year in Europe for the last few years. He suspends his State Farm insurance, then reinstates it as soon as he gets back. But now State Farm is threatening to cancel his policy, saying he can no longer suspend coverage for such a long time. He can keep the policy ...
by Tony
Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Firefox & 2009 Vanguard Tax Forms
Replies: 87
Views: 13493

Re: Still doesn't work!

LK23 wrote:I tried opening Safari in 32 bit and it still would not open the TaxFormServlet on my 2009 MacBook Pro. Any suggestions?
I'd probably go back and make sure I'd followed the instructions at the link exactly. That's often the source of problems I have.

Good luck.
by Tony
Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Firefox & 2009 Vanguard Tax Forms
Replies: 87
Views: 13493

Here's the real workaround: http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/509/cpsid_50983.html I tried this. It works on my iMac that's running 64-bit Safari. Worked like a charm, thanks. Aha! It worked on my 2009 MacBook Pro too. Thanks verbose! And Rusty, too, for hanging in. As usual, Diehards are amazingly helpful ...
by Tony
Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Classical music suggestions
Replies: 73
Views: 9086

Glenn Gould playing Bach's Goldberg Variations. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6984208089899995423# That is wonderful. Have you heard Kurt Rodarmer's guitar transcription? Incredible also. There's a little on YouTube, but it's not that great. Have to listen to the Sony CD. Worth it!
by Tony
Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Forgot to file 8606, now what?
Replies: 20
Views: 10227

Is there any way I can check on whether I've filed 8606's in previous years??
by Tony
Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wisconsin Bogleheads or others on Medicare
Replies: 5
Views: 1490

An experience with an Advantage plan

I'm on regular Medicare with a Medigap policy (Mutual of Omaha). I went down to the local supermarket pharmacy to get a flu shot as soon as they became available. In front of me in line was an older couple also there for shots. They were upset because they'd come from another pharmacy, only to be to...
by Tony
Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: SEP or not? what are the factors?
Replies: 3
Views: 929

I know we don't have to fund it. I'm wondering whether it would make sense to. It seems like it would take quite awhile to make up for that 10% that would have to be paid toward the employees' contribution. I wonder what other people would do in a similar situation and how they would go about thinki...
by Tony
Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Brokerage Lost My $60K Roth Account!
Replies: 225
Views: 48651

Yes this really is scary. I've left the driving up to Vanguard--not checking to make sure my accounts were what they should be. I see now that I shouldn't have... Too many people in this thread have already mentioned having had problems with Vanguard for me to feel safe in the future. I wonder if th...
by Tony
Sat Jan 09, 2010 1:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I just drop Medicare Part D?
Replies: 25
Views: 5781

I share all of those concerns. I actually don't use any meds right now, but have been buying First Health, just in case. It's the cheapest I could find. I have no way of knowing whether it would help me if I ever need meds--would I discover that the particular meds I needed weren't covered by the pl...
by Tony
Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: SEP or not? what are the factors?
Replies: 3
Views: 929

SEP or not? what are the factors?

The question is whether it is worthwhile to contribute to a SEP for 2009. What are the factors to consider? Here's the situation ( This is complex, and I hope I'm explaining it clearly.): Several partners own unequal shares of a business. There are also 4 very part time staff (2 of whom are also par...
by Tony
Mon Dec 21, 2009 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Building an estate - How important to you?
Replies: 41
Views: 5296

My desire to have money to pass on does not influence my financial decisions. I'm concerned about having enough to make it ourselves. We don't have any children and other family members can make it nicely on their own. We do have some friends we'd like to help out though. We're helping them as much ...
by Tony
Fri Dec 18, 2009 3:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BBC [really The Guardian] book dare
Replies: 74
Views: 9653

51 - but I've been realizing that I don't read very slowly and carefully, so I often don't remember much about a book after I've finished it. That's going to change in 2010: a New Year's Resolution. Moby Dick is next up: I last read that in college and I keep hearing that it's a great book. It didn'...
by Tony
Fri Dec 18, 2009 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your favorite book ever?
Replies: 109
Views: 14900

It's hard to choose. But right off the top, here are a couple I like a lot:

Horse Heaven by Jane Smiley
Empire of the Sun by JG Ballard
by Tony
Thu Dec 17, 2009 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any musicians?
Replies: 44
Views: 6934

I've played piano, cello, classical guitar, electric bass and now organ. I've played electric bass in a blues band and organ in an R&B band. Now just playing at home and the two of us are working on recording. If I stop playing for awhile, eventually I find myself picking up some instrument or other.
by Tony
Mon Nov 09, 2009 4:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Living Trust/Q-Tip - Any Advice?
Replies: 17
Views: 2793

OK, John, thanks. I always know your comments are worth gold! on these topics..
by Tony
Mon Nov 09, 2009 2:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Living Trust/Q-Tip - Any Advice?
Replies: 17
Views: 2793

JDCPAEsq said: quoteThe Q-Tip trust is a third and newer alternative which, when the terms of the trust meet the requirements for the marital deduction, allows for a trust for the life of the spouse without giving the surviving spouse control over the property at death. It is particularly advantageo...
by Tony
Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: File and suspend Social Security
Replies: 17
Views: 5511

Thank you! That is very helpful. I'll run the numbers and see what we get.
Your insights are very much appreciated.
by Tony
Mon Jul 20, 2009 11:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: File and suspend Social Security
Replies: 17
Views: 5511

Another scenario

SScritic, can you tell my spouse and me what will be most advantageous in our situation? I am 67 and I have always had by far the greater income. I will have earned income through my business for the forseeable future. My tentative plan is to wait until Dec 2011 when I'm 70, to apply for SS benefits...
by Tony
Tue Jun 23, 2009 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Security risks Public Wifi hotspots
Replies: 41
Views: 6393

I'm in a temporary home where I have occasional access to a secure wireless and the rest of the time I use an unsecured wireless connection. If I use the secure wireless for all banking, Vanguard and Gmail and the unsecured wireless connection for everything else, am I OK? I guess my question is: if...
by Tony
Tue May 26, 2009 12:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Termite - any suggestions on how to deal with?
Replies: 13
Views: 3893

That's all good to know. This is southern California, on the coast. As far as I know (my folks' house) it was last treated in 1982, and with vikane. I will follow your advice.
by Tony
Mon May 25, 2009 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Termite - any suggestions on how to deal with?
Replies: 13
Views: 3893

Termite - any suggestions on how to deal with?

My neighbor's just had her house tented and I think we have termites too. I'm reluctant to use vikane, and it's hard to tell from what I read online whether any of the other methods are effective.

Anyone know about this?
by Tony
Sun Apr 05, 2009 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which Medigap plan?- Sewall and others?
Replies: 19
Views: 4660

I'm with Bankers Life in Florida. Yes, I also just saw that Bankers Life does offer the Plan F Hi Deductible in Cal. I can't remember why I didn't choose them and I don't have my notes with me right now--maybe they didn't call me back in time--I had to make a decision quickly. A friend recommended ...
by Tony
Sun Apr 05, 2009 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which Medigap plan?- Sewall and others?
Replies: 19
Views: 4660

If you can stand a $2,000 deductible, Plan F comes in a high deductible version that I found very attractive. John Mutual of Omaha doesn't offer the high deductible version of Plan F in California. I agree with you that would be the way for me to go if it were available. John: Which insurance compa...
by Tony
Sun Apr 05, 2009 1:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which Medigap plan?- Sewall and others?
Replies: 19
Views: 4660

Thank you, everyone, for all this good information. As always, you have something worthwhile to say.

Best Wishes,
by Tony
Thu Apr 02, 2009 4:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which Medigap plan?- Sewall and others?
Replies: 19
Views: 4660

Which Medigap plan?- Sewall and others?

Hi, I've directed this to Sewall especially because he said he works in Medicare. But I'd be interested in any advice or experience anyone has to offer. I've signed up for Medigap Plan A with Mutual of Omaha, but now I'm wondering if I should go with one of the more comprehensive plans, like possibl...