Search found 2960 matches

by prudent
Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best financial advice from your parent(s)
Replies: 39
Views: 3413

We were poor when I was growing up. There was no financial advice being passed along by my parents. I cannot think of one conversation we ever had about finances.

But they are the nicest, kindest people you'd ever want to meet, and that's what I tried to emulate.
by prudent
Wed Aug 10, 2011 7:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tell me about condo/townhouse special assessments
Replies: 35
Views: 5199

My parents built a home in a small HOA (about 30 homes). In mid-build, the HOA went to court to stop the construction claiming the home did not meet their requirements. In reality it was because the HOA president liked the view of the empty lot across from his house, where my parents were building. ...
by prudent
Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Skills to work on in the corporate world
Replies: 42
Views: 4814

Lots of very good advice shared. IMHO the tricky part is that it's impossible to have a foolproof approach. The right behaviors depend on the company culture, your immediate manager, etc. The behaviors that had proved successful could suddenly be viewed as negative. I suspect it's one reason why peo...
by prudent
Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to prepare for a high medical bill?
Replies: 27
Views: 3542

Is it possible to filter the money through a charity? e.g. if the patient had a heart problem, you could perhaps ask the American Heart Association to cover the costs, and in exchange you make a tax-deductible donation for the same amount (or a little more) to the AHA. Not sure what orgs deal with ...
by prudent
Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: USAA Downgraded by S&P
Replies: 11
Views: 2902

I believe the rationale is that a domestic insurance company can't be rated higher than the country within which it principally does business. I wondered about this. Is there a better credit risk than the US? Seriously, any real risk of default is not within the time horizon of current bond issues....
by prudent
Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit Card Disclosures - Navy Federal
Replies: 9
Views: 898

I would have expected to see that in the checking account terms & conditions, not the credit card terms & conditions. I have accounts at two banks and both provide for the right of offset (if I am late on an obligation to them, they have the right to draw from my checking account) even thoug...
by prudent
Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do YOU deal with staying the course?
Replies: 29
Views: 2361

I try not to get giddy when things are going my way, nor anxious when they don't.
by prudent
Tue Aug 02, 2011 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anyone here NOT like traveling?
Replies: 153
Views: 16051

We've taken 4 "major" vacations in 25 years, which is enough for me. We went to the places she always dreamed of going. I have to do all the planning which I don't enjoy, but it makes her happy, so it was worth it. I don't like flying, worrying about bedbugs in hotels, driving in unfamilia...
by prudent
Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen Appliances
Replies: 45
Views: 5065

Having just gone through weeks of research on refrigerators and kitchen ranges, I'll share what my impressions were. 1. She wanted stainless, I didn't care what we got, so we got stainless. 2. Every refrigerator model and brand, from the low end to the $2,000+ models, has some unhappy customers. The...
by prudent
Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can I build my own PC?
Replies: 47
Views: 4569

Not much to add to the wealth of info already posted. I have built my last 3 PCs from parts but I was comfortable doing so. I did a lot of research each time because by the time I was due for a new one, all the technology had changed again. IMHO here are the top issues people run into. 1. Insufficie...
by prudent
Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rough savings goal
Replies: 28
Views: 3944

Hard to define an "average" when IMHO it depends greatly on each person's situation. When we were first married we both had crappy jobs. Our car was bought for $50. By today's standards we were probably earning a total of $30,000. I had school loans. We lived in a dumpy apartment. Anyway, ...
by prudent
Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need a PC...Clueless what to buy. Advice?
Replies: 51
Views: 7647

Lexmark has no Windows 7 driver for the Z23 printer, so I would not expect it to work with a new PC.
by prudent
Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you handle a windfall?
Replies: 23
Views: 3032

We got a windfall last year and saved 100%. Hoping to be able to retire early and any extra money helps get us closer.
by prudent
Tue Jul 26, 2011 7:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Get 6% on almost anything with AMEX Blue Cash Preferred?
Replies: 32
Views: 8111

I have been buying gift cards at our supermarket for years (when we buy our groceries) and have always gotten the supermarket cash rebate from my credit card, but it wasn't an AmEx. I can't think of any reason it would be any different with the Blue Cash Preferred.
by prudent
Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: You Just Died
Replies: 60
Views: 7543

Yes, I guess the right thing to do is to have an advisor already lined up for my wife to use in case I die. This is going to be awkward. Trying to find an advisor based on a vague "You won't get any business today, but maybe you'll get some business at a future time that might be tomorrow or ma...
by prudent
Mon Jul 25, 2011 6:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: You Just Died
Replies: 60
Views: 7543

My challenge is that my wife, who is a wonderful person who does volunteer work relentlessly, just does not "get" finance in any way. We sit down together to review our status once a year but if I asked her a week later for even a general recap of the discussion, she couldn't do it. She's ...
by prudent
Thu Jul 21, 2011 6:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Introduction to itemizing?
Replies: 15
Views: 1808

I think for most itemizers the big hitters are state income tax, local income tax (or wage tax), property tax, mortgage interest, and charitable contributions.
by prudent
Thu Jul 21, 2011 5:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need a PC...Clueless what to buy. Advice?
Replies: 51
Views: 7647

The good news is no matter what you buy, you really can't make a bad choice. For what you plan to use it for, any new PC will work fine. Windows 7 is great. I would not assume your old printer will work because there may not be any drivers for Windows 7, but there could be. What make/model of printe...
by prudent
Wed Jul 20, 2011 6:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Money Magazine
Replies: 16
Views: 2933

I get Money, Smart Money, Kiplinger's, Fortune and Forbes. I don't think I pay more than $15 a year for any one of them (Publishers Clearing House). I figure if I get just one or two good nuggets a year out of each one, they have paid for themselves.
by prudent
Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where do you put money in Vanguard to be ready to buy funds?
Replies: 19
Views: 2669

It's a choice - have it at Vanguard ready to go at a moment's notice while collecting 0.01% interest, or collect more interest at your own bank and have to wait a week to buy funds (time to EFT money from your bank to Vanguard, then wait a few days until they are satisfied the funds have cleared).
by prudent
Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Extended Service Contracts: Good or Bad Deals?
Replies: 26
Views: 2349

Historically I never buy them, but we just bought a new refrigerator and I did buy a 5-year service contract on it. I researched refrigerators intensely for a couple months and it seemed like every brand, every model had seriously unhappy customers due to failures. So I talked to friends and co-work...
by prudent
Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Too good to be true?
Replies: 18
Views: 2344

That particular CU may need to boost reserves and needs to attract deposits. Or they may be on a quest to increase membership. They could be using (comparatively) high CD rates as a way to achieve either/both goals.
by prudent
Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard's Voice Recognition Password: A Practical Bonus
Replies: 19
Views: 5584

I have gotten Medallion signature guarantees from my credit union and it has never been a problem. Just had to show photo ID. In fact the last time I called to make sure someone who could do a signature guarantee would be there during their late Friday hours and the bank officer said he would stay u...
by prudent
Sat Jul 16, 2011 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any reason I need to continue to worry about my FICO score?
Replies: 37
Views: 3875

livesoft wrote:Your FICO will drop by 20 to 30 points when you pay off your mortgage.


I saw no FICO decrease after paying off our mortgage.
by prudent
Fri Jul 15, 2011 6:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you deal with success?
Replies: 100
Views: 11996

As much as you want to, don't. It will come across as bragging no matter how tactful you try to be. FWIW - I'm the youngest of 4. My siblings are a teacher, blue collar construction worker, and an ex milatary person. I'm in software sales and have had really, really good years of income. I made the...
by prudent
Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Performance Review Dilemma
Replies: 20
Views: 2753

Not to pile on, but if I had to pick one thing that sets me apart from others on the job and has had the biggest benefit for time invested in my career, it would be that I give thoughtful self-evaluations to my boss prior to review time. Historically, about 75% of what I write in my self-evaluation ...
by prudent
Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you deal with success?
Replies: 100
Views: 11996

My friends are all solid middle-class. The friends who moved up in class and income drifted away because I wasn't interested in what they just bought and I kept declining their invites to go to $200 dinners out. That's just not me. I grew up poor and prayed that someday I might own a home. Now we do...
by prudent
Tue Jul 12, 2011 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Internet Banking versus Traditional Banking
Replies: 49
Views: 7677

In my experience the bigger the bank, the worse the service and the higher the fees. I have to have a B&M presence somewhere in the vicinity for certain things (when I need something notarized, a medallion signature guarantee, a cashier's check, or when I need to deposit cash) but as long as the...
by prudent
Fri Jul 08, 2011 6:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If you are a millionaire... [Poll]
Replies: 70
Views: 10810

Lucky enough to have a decent paying, steady job for 30 years. Wife was able to quit her job that she hated at age 38, so she could do volunteer work. Never moved out of our "starter" home, paid that off in 22 years, and home prices are low here. Never aspired to live ostentatiously. Alway...
by prudent
Thu Jul 07, 2011 6:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the Boglehead approach to credit card miles/points?
Replies: 25
Views: 4826

A few years ago I made about $4,000 by jumping on 0% interest, zero-fee balance transfers when signing up for new credit cards. Took the money, put in in the bank (ah, the days of 5% interest on deposits), made the minimum payment until the 0% offer expired. Ever since I have watched for good credit...
by prudent
Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Everyday Purchases: Credit, Debit, or Cash?
Replies: 105
Views: 13751

Credit card for everything except locally owned stores, where I use cash instead. I always have cash on me but I am not a spender so I don't tend to fritter it away. Do not have a debit card, just an ATM card - the bank grumbles about it but they will provide them.
by prudent
Sun Jul 03, 2011 8:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: That embarrassingly cheap thing you do....
Replies: 145
Views: 21435

rylemdr wrote:Please don't judge me :(


You're making it very difficult not to. Very difficult.
by prudent
Sat Jul 02, 2011 2:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: That embarrassingly cheap thing you do....
Replies: 145
Views: 21435

Coat myself with a light mahogany wood stain and rinse off after 5 minutes, rather than go to a tanning salon. Buy t-shirts at Goodwill for a dime, then re-donate - cheaper than washing/drying myself. Save big projects needing power tools until my neighbor goes on vacation and I can run my extension...
by prudent
Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Any Bogleheads Give it up to a Financial Advisor?
Replies: 85
Views: 9308

I don't, but I convinced my 78-year-old uncle to use one. He had received about 6 million from selling his business and insisted I handle it for him because (according to him) I was the only one in the family who knew anything about investments. This, of course, terrified me, since I knew no matter ...
by prudent
Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tipping Etiquette at Restaurants
Replies: 79
Views: 7756

Full table service, about 20%, minimum $2/person. Buffet, about $2/person. Take out or tip jar on counter like Starbucks, $0. Valet parking, $2. I'd rather park it myself so half the change in the console doesn't vanish, but sometimes you don't have the option to self-park. Haircut, $5. I have a pro...
by prudent
Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [poll] How often do you change your password?
Replies: 40
Views: 3056

I only change my passwords when they force me to. I'm still waiting for someone to explain why changing them is a good idea. I agree, and I work in corporate IT. Even though we are required to change passwords every 3 months, and are not allowed to re-use any of the last TEN passwords, I have never...
by prudent
Mon Jun 27, 2011 6:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Poll] How many userids/passwords do you have?
Replies: 36
Views: 4308

I agree with the observation that all security questions should be answered with nonsense. In my mind it's actually better security, since nobody who knows you personally could guess the answers even if they knew the "real" answer. And you can use the same response on every site, to every ...
by prudent
Wed Jun 22, 2011 2:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: emergency savings in everbank mma or Vanguard Short-Term Tax
Replies: 11
Views: 1626

mikep wrote:I-bonds if you can hold for a year?
4.6% for first six months
On pace to be 6.7% for next six months (based on March-May CPI-U change)
zero risk
tax deferred


I believe you can only buy up to $10K of I-bonds per year.
by prudent
Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What credit card gives the best cash back/perks right now?
Replies: 65
Views: 8948

Another site with good reviews of various credit cards with perks.
http://plasticiq.com
by prudent
Mon Jun 13, 2011 6:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you record the gross or net paycheck?
Replies: 34
Views: 5685

I use the Quicken "paycheck" feature which records everything. I want all the deductions recorded by category (401k contribution, multiple direct deposits) so I can track them. This allows me, for example, to make it easy to maximize my 401k contribution but not exceed the limit. Our 401k ...
by prudent
Wed Jun 08, 2011 6:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Way to Buy Gold and Silver
Replies: 24
Views: 3607

Folks who buy coins, how do you test them? I have some association with a couple coin dealers. The risk of fakes is highest with "classic" gold US coins (pre-1933). I don't know anyone who has seen fake modern American Gold Eagles (although there certainly would have to be some). They hav...
by prudent
Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What % do you save ?
Replies: 57
Views: 6360

jenny345 wrote:I think it is better to have a more hope for the best, plan for the worst kind of financial attitude or make hay while the sun shines.


That's been my approach as well. Currently saving about 26% (29% if I count the 401k match). We're a low-consumption family for the most part.
by prudent
Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: stocks held separate vs. inside Vanguard?
Replies: 9
Views: 1303

Sounds like a smart move to consolidate into one account. I recently did this (moved stock from another broker to my Vanguard account). Vanguard has a form you need to complete. The form has to have a Medallion Signature Guarantee. It's a special stamp/signature you can probably get from your bank -...
by prudent
Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: anyone recommend Penfed Visa card (or another reward card)?
Replies: 64
Views: 13832

Since we have two recent credit inquiries within past 6 months from getting Fidelity AMEX and Target Redcard we will probably be declined for Penfed Visa even though FICO is about 790 last I checked (before these cards so is likely a few pts lower). Is that correct? My understanding is PenFed is ex...
by prudent
Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken Substitute?
Replies: 8
Views: 1514

Fidelity's Full View cannot get information from my 401k but Vanguard's equivalent (I think it's CashEdge) does. Fidelity claims it's because my 401k custodian's system is not sending the information, but they can't explain why it works at Vanguard.
by prudent
Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Too late to start a Roth IRA, age 55?
Replies: 11
Views: 3535

I think what you mean to say is that you are not eligible to DEDUCT your TIRA contribution. If you have earned income you are always eligible to make a non deductible TIRA contribution. But a Roth contribution is superior to a non deductible TIRA contribution if you qualify for it. Yes, you're righ...
by prudent
Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Too late to start a Roth IRA, age 55?
Replies: 11
Views: 3535

I'm not eligible for a TIRA. I'm thinking the Roth IRA would be a good way to move taxable investment dollars into a tax-advantaged account.
by prudent
Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Too late to start a Roth IRA, age 55?
Replies: 11
Views: 3535

Too late to start a Roth IRA, age 55?

401k is maxed yearly, age 55. I'm eligible to contribute the max $6K in a Roth IRA. I'm thinking it might be wise to start a Roth IRA to have more tax-deferred growth. Would there be any reason NOT to start a Roth IRA with just 10 years to go until retirement?
by prudent
Mon Jun 06, 2011 6:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken Substitute?
Replies: 8
Views: 1514

I'm a long-time Quicken user (currently using Quicken Premier). I have complete transaction history going back 19 years. Premier has many investment-oriented features. I suspect your bank is using Mint as a back-end, and Mint is owned by Quicken. One of my credit unions offers the same system as you...
by prudent
Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hardcore Pawn
Replies: 19
Views: 3432

I have watched a few episodes of Hardcore Pawn on the trutv website. I would find it very difficult to have to deal with some of those customers day in and day out, especially the bald-faced liars.

They must not have much in the way of competition because they don't seem to lack for customers.