Search found 3093 matches

by GerryL
Wed Jan 01, 2014 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: free annual credit report
Replies: 8
Views: 1305

Re: free annual credit report

The first time I got my free credit reports I did all at the same time so I could check them all out and compare the differences. Then I scheduled them on my calendar starting a year later for one every 4 months.

-gfl
by GerryL
Wed Jan 01, 2014 12:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it time for me to find a new job?
Replies: 33
Views: 4815

Re: Is it time for me to find a new job?

You may want to reconsider your move into a management role. The problems may be a result of no actual development or support of management skills (my company used to be like that). And/or you may truly be happier as an individual contributor with no management responsibilities. How does your organi...
by GerryL
Wed Jan 01, 2014 12:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your winter thermostat setting (while you are up)?
Replies: 116
Views: 13567

Re: What is your winter thermostat setting (while you are up

I joined the 68 club this year. I used to keep it generally at 65, but I'm feeling flush with cash. And my utilities keep sending me glowing 'report cards' comparing my usage with my neighbors'. My grade is :happy :happy (two smilies. really)
by GerryL
Tue Dec 31, 2013 8:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Cheapskate of the Year"
Replies: 87
Views: 12312

Re: "Cheapskate of the Year"

If you have any calendars from 1986 they can be used for 2014. Actually, 1997 and 2003, too. At least according to http://www.calendarhome.com/calculate/find-like-years. But it's likely that some holidays won't match up. I've been recycling my calendars for years because I love great apes and some ...
by GerryL
Tue Dec 31, 2013 8:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are your financial goals for 2014?
Replies: 56
Views: 5963

Re: What are your financial goals for 2014?

Today I just realized (or remembered) something I need to do in 2014: exercise the last of my stock options. I'll be retiring in the first half of 2015 and am trying to keep my income down that year so I can benefit more (tax-wise) from a Roth conversion. Fortunately all the remaining options are ab...
by GerryL
Sat Dec 28, 2013 8:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 'Play' Money
Replies: 95
Views: 11914

Re: 'Play' Money

I have what I call "play around" money that I won't need for retirement and did not include in my AA. It consists of the company stock I've been gathering through stock awards and our stock purchase plan along with some stocks I inherited. I aim to keep my company stock below a certain thr...
by GerryL
Sat Dec 28, 2013 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Films on finance to influence family and friends
Replies: 61
Views: 4138

Re: Films on finance to influence family and friends

It's been discussed on this site before: Queen of Versailles.
by GerryL
Sat Dec 28, 2013 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cash in Your Wallet
Replies: 93
Views: 6390

Re: Cash in Your Wallet

$20-$50 is normal. When I get to $20 or below, I get $40 cash when I pay for groceries (using debit card). When traveling I might take a little more. (That's not counting the $20 bill my late mother gave me in a birthday card at least 15 years ago that is folded up and tucked away somewhere in my pu...
by GerryL
Fri Dec 27, 2013 11:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Freeze
Replies: 18
Views: 2929

Re: Credit Freeze

DO THIS BEFORE FREEZING YOUR CREDIT: Set up your My Social Security account on the SSA website. If your credit is frozen you can't set up an account on the website. You either have to unfreeze your Experian account (for a fee) or go in-person to the SSA office. I think it is a scam Experian has goin...
by GerryL
Fri Dec 27, 2013 11:08 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What Was Your Best Portfolio move in 2013
Replies: 125
Views: 11659

Re: What Was Your Best Portfolio move in 2013

Stopped dithering and took the bulk of the funds out of my 401k (at fidelity) with an in-service withdrawal and put it into my vanguard ira. After consulting the vanguard financial advisors and getting a plan drawn up discovered that I'm doing even better than I thought. When this question is asked ...
by GerryL
Wed Dec 25, 2013 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: turkey was juiceless
Replies: 28
Views: 2890

Re: turkey was juiceless

My bro brines turkeys every year (well, except this year because of the remodel underway). They always come out wonderfully moist. Even the white meat. The difference is sometimes startling when he takes one to a big party where someone else has also brought a roasted turkey.
by GerryL
Tue Dec 24, 2013 10:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: saving more..
Replies: 8
Views: 1387

Re: saving more..

Don't know about "creative ways" to save more. You may need to adjust the way you think about money and stuff. Get really clear (ruthlessly clear) about the difference between needs and wants. For example, transportation is a need; a $42k new car bought with a loan is not. Once you've hone...
by GerryL
Tue Dec 24, 2013 9:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Obamacare -- is March 31st the real deadline?
Replies: 37
Views: 2612

Re: Obamacare -- is March 31st the real deadline?

March 31 marks the end of the ACA open enrollment period for the first year. Open enrollment for 2015 will start in the fall of 2014, around the same time Medicare and most employers have their open enrollment periods. Outside of open enrollment you won't be able to use the marketplace. So, if you k...
by GerryL
Sun Dec 22, 2013 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should lump sum pension be part of fixed AA?
Replies: 27
Views: 1316

Re: Should lump sum pension be part of fixed AA?

I think I understand the OP's state of mind. I guess I did something similar when I had my financial plan drawn up. I left out my individual stock holdings, so my AA is around my 401k, IRAs and some tax-able funds. I consider the stocks to be "play around" money -- I really don't expect to...
by GerryL
Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare info sources?
Replies: 18
Views: 1594

Re: Medicare info sources?

Medicare Part A and Part B are accepted by almost all doctors and all hospitals in the country. Therefore there is almost no such thing as out of network. Certain Part F plans are also such that are accepted by almost all doctors and hospitals. Unfortunately, this is not consistently true in all pa...
by GerryL
Sat Dec 21, 2013 7:40 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Bad Time to Jump In?
Replies: 37
Views: 4589

Re: Bad Time to Jump In?

In investing, time is your friend; timing is not. The more time you spend thinking about timing, the less time your investments have to grow. Investments can (and usually do) grow, so when (not if) you lose some of the value of your investments you are very likely to get it back -- with enough time....
by GerryL
Sat Dec 21, 2013 12:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Target Credit/Debit Card Hacks - what to do?
Replies: 94
Views: 11562

Re: Target credit card breach

Be advised that there is already a phishing scam that is taking advantage of this situation by replicating the message that Target is sending to customers. (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/scammers-pounce-on-target-fiasco-2013-12-20) I did go to Target on Black Friday to pick up a Nook HD at a door...
by GerryL
Sat Dec 21, 2013 12:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Year's Eve
Replies: 67
Views: 5115

Re: New Year's Eve

Netflix or a DVD. Maybe a bowl of popcorn.

But a new plan for dinner is a nice steak! I was surprised this evening by the delivery of an Omaha Steaks box landing on my front porch. A gift from the contractor who did my remodel this year. :D
by GerryL
Wed Dec 18, 2013 11:46 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: new Vanguard acct., older guy
Replies: 11
Views: 1497

Re: new Vanguard acct., older guy

Am I missing something? OP says he quit work and hasn't collected a check in 6 years. Also says he intends to open a Roth. Doesn't he need to have his own employment income in order to contribute to a Roth? Didn't sound like he was talking about a conversion. His wife is still working. A married co...
by GerryL
Wed Dec 18, 2013 11:26 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: new Vanguard acct., older guy
Replies: 11
Views: 1497

Re: new Vanguard acct., older guy

Am I missing something? OP says he quit work and hasn't collected a check in 6 years. Also says he intends to open a Roth. Doesn't he need to have his own employment income in order to contribute to a Roth? Didn't sound like he was talking about a conversion.
by GerryL
Wed Dec 18, 2013 11:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Managing Retirement Portfolio
Replies: 6
Views: 1492

Re: Managing Retirement Portfolio

I am also planning to retire in less than 2 years. I used to wonder whether I should pay someone to advise me about my investments, but I worried that I might get taken for a ride. I figured I needed to have a certain level of understanding about investing to be able to hire the right person and kee...
by GerryL
Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:37 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Using Vanguard to manage portfolio..
Replies: 10
Views: 1243

Re: Using Vanguard to manage portfolio..

I manage my accounts in Quicken, but I enter information about my larger outside accounts (Dodge & Cox ira, 401k) into the Vanguard website so I can get the big picture status of my AA.
by GerryL
Sun Dec 15, 2013 1:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard Voyager Select and Flagship Services
Replies: 18
Views: 4679

Re: Vanguard Voyager Select and Flagship Services

I did an in-service transfer of much of my 401k from Fidelity into a Vanguard IRA this year. That put me into Select level so I had them help me with the financial plan. I found the person who helped me to be more knowledgeable than the "planner" service my company hired a few years ago to...
by GerryL
Sun Dec 15, 2013 12:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Accident, not my fault, will my rate go up?
Replies: 17
Views: 3254

Re: Accident, not my fault, will my rate go up?

I was rear ended while stopped at a light before my first car was 2 years old. My insurance agent said at the time that the only kind of accident that didn't result in points was being hit while stopped. (This is in Oregon.) I was rear ended at a stop light before my second car was two years old. I'...
by GerryL
Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long do you keep your cars? Why do you replace it?
Replies: 72
Views: 7247

Re: How long do you keep your cars? Why do you replace it?

I'm only on my 3rd car. (Got my drivers license when I was almost 40.) Kept first two 12-15 years each. I only put about 7K miles on a year, so they tend to last. With the last one I got tired of the trunk lid falling on my head (or face) and didn't want to invest in the money to fix it. May replace...
by GerryL
Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Vehicle: Pay Cash or Finance?
Replies: 37
Views: 5342

Re: New Vehicle: Pay Cash or Finance?

First car I bought I took out a loan -- from myself. I paid cash and then figured out what the monthly payment would have been at 5% for 5 years. Paid that to myself every month until it was paid off. By then I had enough money to get a new car, but I drove that one for more than 5 more years. Now t...
by GerryL
Sun Dec 08, 2013 6:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Beating the Market, as a Reachable Goal
Replies: 47
Views: 4725

Re: Beating the Market, as a Reachable Goal

Sounds a bit like people justifying buying lottery tickets: Somebody's going to win. You can't say no one is going to win. Somebody will win, and you can't win unless you buy a ticket. The more tickets I buy, the more likely I am to win. So there.
by GerryL
Sat Dec 07, 2013 2:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?
Replies: 238
Views: 20667

Re: What do early retirees actually do in Florida?

Frankly, I don't really care for the weather in Florida. My dad retired there. Bought a house ("double-wide") across the street from the golf course and either golfed or looked at the golf course. (Early in retirement he also did a little boating.) I used to visit him and still travel to F...
by GerryL
Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: London and Paris Trip Advice
Replies: 34
Views: 3710

Re: London and Paris Trip Advice

I lived in Paris in the late 1960s early 1970s as an au pair and became quite an expert finding at really cheap (free?) things to do. The last time I was there -- more than 20 years ago -- one of my favorite freebies was still available: going to the roof of La Samaritaine department store in the ce...
by GerryL
Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2013 TurboTax: Which Product? New Rules?
Replies: 302
Views: 46554

Re: 2013 TurboTax: Which Product? New Rules?

TT is making it easier and easier to look for another option. After using them for many years I switched to another program for one year when I could not get the program to handle a stock transaction. Went back the following year, but last year the program seemed crankier than ever. And I have alrea...
by GerryL
Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paid off Mortgage today!
Replies: 56
Views: 6152

Re: Paid off Mortgage today!

I just went to the Wells Fargo website where I look at my account and clicked the "request a payoff statement" link. (Frankly, the online process doesn't work all that well. The online version that I requested was a text file with faulty formatting. First few paragraphs were okay, but the ...
by GerryL
Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paid off Mortgage today!
Replies: 56
Views: 6152

Re: Paid off Mortgage today!

Okay. I have to join in. I paid off my mortgage yesterday!!! (T'is the season?) If I just made my regular payments it would have been paid off by June. I was planning to do it in February, when we get our bonuses. Then I got antsy. Decided to do it next week but said "what the heck" and di...
by GerryL
Mon Dec 02, 2013 10:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Savings Account Versus Flexible Spending Account
Replies: 10
Views: 1350

Re: Health Savings Account Versus Flexible Spending Account

The LEX FSA seems to be the solution my company came up with in response to the last minute IRS pronouncement that allows up to $500 to be carried over from the FSA. The company is trying to push employees into the HDHP/HSA option and shortly before the end of open enrollment they said they would ac...
by GerryL
Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:07 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Master Thread for Portland, Oregon
Replies: 151
Views: 70207

Re: Portland, Oregon Meeting?

Hi, from the western suburbs. Could you provide more detail about the upcoming meeting? Same as the detail for the June 11 mtg? Confirmation that it is indeed happening? It's a long way to drive from Hillsboro (in rush hour) and I have to travel the next morning, so I'd like to know for sure that it...
by GerryL
Sun Dec 01, 2013 6:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: .....
Replies: 44
Views: 3647

Re: Where do you draw the line on travelling, aging parents?

My sis-in-law's mother was an experienced world traveler, generally going with small groups. (Church-related, I think.) As she aged (and in hindsight, as dementia started to set it), she was having and creating problems: not being ready when the group was scheduled to depart the hotel, striking up f...
by GerryL
Sat Nov 30, 2013 12:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap 9-10 inch tablets / Black Friday deals
Replies: 49
Views: 5233

Re: Cheap 9-10 inch tablets / Black Friday deals

Woke up this morning and noted (and laughed) that on the night stand I now have 1) a Nook Color (bought when it came out 3 years ago for $250) 2) a Nook Simple Touch (bought earlier this year when it went on sale at my price point: $79) 3) a Nook HD (bought yesterday at Target for $79) ... and this ...
by GerryL
Thu Nov 28, 2013 4:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Your retirement needs met, what makes more sense?
Replies: 18
Views: 2629

Re: Your retirement needs met, what makes more sense?

I had a consultation with a financial planner funded by my company when the 401k plan was being changed a few years ago. Because I was approaching retirement (then around 5 years out), I decided to go for a 50/50 AA -- a bit less aggressive than I had been. This year, after moving most of my 401k to...
by GerryL
Tue Nov 26, 2013 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medigap F [versus Medigap] N
Replies: 15
Views: 2606

Re: Medigap F v N

Although I won't need to make a decision about Medicare/Medigap coverage for another 18 months, I was looking through the publication for Oregon last night. It's headache inducing. Could they make it any more complicated? No wonder many people just opt for an Advantage plan. This afternoon I called ...
by GerryL
Tue Nov 26, 2013 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying Wall-to-Wall Carpet: What Do I Need to Know?
Replies: 38
Views: 8654

Re: Buying Wall-to-Wall Carpet: What Do I Need to Know?

This past year I had a whole-house remodel, including floors, walls, new kitchen. I used a contractor for the job, so I can't add anything to the discussion about ins and outs of selecting a carpet company, but I do have one bit of advice to make whatever carpet you choose last longer: Don't wear sh...
by GerryL
Tue Nov 26, 2013 1:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: This Article Made Me Laugh, Re: Rollovers
Replies: 18
Views: 2555

Re: This Article Made Me Laugh, Re: Rollovers

Regarding investment advice through 401K manager, in my case, Fidelity. Over the years I attended workshops offered to our company by Fidelity. Not out-and-out sales pitches, but I found that they didn't always live up to the description. One was supposed to be about how to create a revenue stream f...
by GerryL
Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wireless Blu-Ray Players
Replies: 24
Views: 2462

Re: Wireless Blu-Ray Players

I've had a Panasonic Blu-ray with built-in wireless for about 3 years now. Back when I got it the trick was making sure a model had built-in wireless and was not just "wireless capable" and needed a dongle. I don't think that's an issue anymore. I was just in Costco today and noticed they ...
by GerryL
Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If index funds didn't exist, what would you do?
Replies: 60
Views: 4368

Re: If index funds didn't exist, what would you do?

When I started investing I didn't know anything about indexing, but I did get a good tutorial on loads and expenses from Consumer Reports. So, as an earlier commenter said, I'd probably have more funds in Dodge & Cox than I have now.
by GerryL
Sun Nov 24, 2013 7:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: In-service 401(k) distribution at at 59 1/2?
Replies: 6
Views: 689

Re: In-service 401(k) distribution at at 59 1/2?

I did it a few months ago. Yes, your plan needs to allow it. I seem to recall as well that you can do only one in-service distribution in a year (although that may be the employer's or Fidelity's rule). So if your husband is continuing to work at the company and will be contributing to the 401k, he ...
by GerryL
Fri Nov 22, 2013 11:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mailed in my pay off for my home today!
Replies: 26
Views: 2873

Re: Mailed in my pay off for my home today!

Congrats. You beat me to the punch. I plan to pay off my mortgage next month and was intending to ask how one celebrates the event. I expect this will be the only house I own and so the only one I pay off. I was going to pay off in February 2014, when some bonuses come through. If I did nothing, it ...
by GerryL
Fri Nov 22, 2013 1:37 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Annuity or Social Security at 70
Replies: 14
Views: 1830

Re: Annuity or Social Security at 70

I don't get a pension, but my company does contribute to a profit sharing account in which I am fully vested. I plan to annuitize that to create my own pension to supplement SS, which I aim to put off until 68. The rest of my portfolio (tax-deferred and taxable) is for beyond-living-expenses stuff. ...
by GerryL
Wed Nov 20, 2013 11:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: who here is tempted to pullback on stocks?
Replies: 238
Views: 47090

Re: who here is tempted to pullback on stocks?

I like the hold-steady approach because I'm the type of person who would constantly be second guessing my decisions. I just keep the monthly investments running on automatic. Since I reorganized my holdings a few months ago when I did an in-service roll over from my company 401k to my IRA, I probabl...
by GerryL
Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toaster Over Recommendation
Replies: 13
Views: 1399

Re: Toaster Over Recommendation

Shortly after I moved into my house 23 years ago, my brother gave me a DeLonghi counter top oven -- toast/bake/broil. I used it much more than my full-size oven. Lasted for about 17-18 years. So I went out and bought another DeLonghi. Comparable model, but I noticed that it is not quite as solid as ...
by GerryL
Sun Nov 17, 2013 9:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Laddering target date funds?
Replies: 8
Views: 2504

Re: Laddering target date funds?

I think the explanations given here are what the Vanguard guy was trying to say, but he didn't put enough words around it to drill into my head. I think the threat to the AA is probably the most cogent point. I posted the question more as an "I'm curious" issue since I have already put my ...
by GerryL
Sun Nov 17, 2013 7:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Laddering target date funds?
Replies: 8
Views: 2504

Laddering target date funds?

I had been read about laddering CDs (a concept I find easy to understand) and bonds (a little more challenging to understand, for me anyway) and was thinking about some sort of laddering to stage money I would need for living expenses during retirement. Then one day I got what I thought might be a g...
by GerryL
Sun Nov 17, 2013 1:09 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Motley Fool: Jack Bogle Answers Your Questions
Replies: 26
Views: 4707

Re: Motley Fool: Jack Bogle Answers Your Questions

I was tickled when he mentioned Dodge & Cox as a managed fund he admires! D&C Stock was the first mutual fund I ever invested in when I needed a place to put my little IRA. I have never touched it (in over 20 years) and the ~$17K I started with has grown to over $180K. There was at least one...