Search found 250 matches

by anonenigma
Sat Jul 18, 2015 4:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TIAA Life Insurance and Taxes
Replies: 4
Views: 437

Re: TIAA Life Insurance and Taxes

This is a first. Are you absolutely, positively sure that this person actually works for TIAA-CREF? Perhaps for some semi-affiliated company that you sort of clicked thru to from the TIAA web site, or he called you and SAID or implied that he was from TIAA-CREF? Ralph Absolutely works for TIAA. Tha...
by anonenigma
Sat Jul 18, 2015 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TIAA Life Insurance and Taxes
Replies: 4
Views: 437

TIAA Life Insurance and Taxes

An advisor at TIAA-CREF recommended that we consider life insurance as a tax strategy. I'll be retiring in a couple of years with a good pension, and I've saved a lot in a 403b and 457b. Over the years my taxable income has been low because of the deferrals, but I'm sure I won't enjoy how much my ta...
by anonenigma
Tue Jul 07, 2015 1:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 403b allocation help
Replies: 5
Views: 301

Re: 403b allocation help

Is there a plan cost in addition to the expense ratios on the mutual funds?
by anonenigma
Mon Jul 06, 2015 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 403b Loan and switch of provider?
Replies: 4
Views: 152

Re: 403b Loan and switch of provider?

Your friend should call HR or Benefits at the school district to confirm the legitimacy of the communication. Find the district's contact person for the program.

And, no, it doesn't make sense, but switching third party administrators can be very complicated, so anything is possible.
by anonenigma
Fri Jul 03, 2015 9:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best albums of 2015
Replies: 91
Views: 10607

Re: Best albums of 2015

THE EPIC, by Kamasi Washington - great jazz from the next generation.
by anonenigma
Wed Jul 01, 2015 5:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New tires - where to buy, how to get a good deal?
Replies: 50
Views: 5271

Re: New tires - where to buy, how to get a good deal?

Thanks for recommending Discount Tire Centers. I bought my new tires at Costco, as always, but I needed an alignment and Costco doesn't do that (and neither does my trusted mechanic). On the strength of your kind words, I went to the Discount Tire Center on Sunset Blvd. here in L.A., and they couldn...
by anonenigma
Mon Jun 29, 2015 12:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Housing Market in Southern California
Replies: 32
Views: 4567

Re: Housing Market in Southern California

NAHB/WFB Housing Opportunity Index for LA/Long Beach/Glendale is 17.7, meaning that only 17.7% of houses are affordable to a family earning the median income of $63,245. (Median house price is $475,000 - not where you were looking. Imagine how few people can afford that $800-900K fixer upper with th...
by anonenigma
Sat Jun 27, 2015 2:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Re-Eval TIAA-CREF Funds
Replies: 19
Views: 1536

Re: Re-Eval TIAA-CREF Funds

It looks like I can contribute the $6,500 to my existing Roth IRA with TIAA CREF. Does that make sense? Or does it have to be opened specifically as a Spousal IRA? As for mutual funds, I'm looking for a tax-efficient fund with minimal to moderate risk. Target date funds are balanced but many people...
by anonenigma
Fri Jun 26, 2015 3:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Re-Eval TIAA-CREF Funds
Replies: 19
Views: 1536

Re: Re-Eval TIAA-CREF Funds

Stay with TIAA-CREF - it's hard to get ripped off there.

They have better than average annuitization options on their accounts so that you can protect against running out of money.

Good luck.
by anonenigma
Tue Jun 23, 2015 12:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When is a Roth 401k the Better Option?
Replies: 27
Views: 1941

Re: When is a Roth 401k the Better Option?

Also depends on your age. The younger you are, the more advantageous the Roth option.
by anonenigma
Fri Jun 12, 2015 1:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA Traditional and Rising Interest Rates
Replies: 49
Views: 3254

Re: TIAA Traditional and Rising Interest Rates

I have the Traditional Annuity in my 403(b), 457(b) and Roth IRA. They are all different. The 403(b) has a 3% minimum and pays exactly 3%. The 457(b) has a 1% minimum and is currently paying 3.25%. The Roth has a 3% minimum but closed to new contributions with that guarantee two years ago. New contr...
by anonenigma
Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 457 - Should I?
Replies: 3
Views: 480

Re: 457 - Should I?

If it's a governmental 457b with decent investment options, it seems like a smart move. I did something like that a few years back.
by anonenigma
Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth and 403B help
Replies: 24
Views: 1162

Re: Roth and 403B help

joetown2001 wrote:I look at it this way. Subtract the withdraw fee of 1377, and the balance would be at 17,750. If I put that into Vanguard and it makes 7% in the first year, I would make back what i lost in a year. Yes or no?


What are the guaranteed minimum interest rates on the LSW contracts?
by anonenigma
Sun May 31, 2015 5:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth and 403B help
Replies: 24
Views: 1162

Re: Roth and 403B help

It is an ending index annuity. Do you think I should continue the current contributions to the Roth I have, or should I open an new one with Vanguard and contribute the 350 a month I put in the current Roth to a new account with Vanguard? Don't give LSW another dime. Open a second Roth at Vanguard....
by anonenigma
Sun May 31, 2015 5:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth and 403B help
Replies: 24
Views: 1162

Re: Roth and 403B help

i also have it in an 100% SP 500 ending index account. Would it be better to shift some or all of it to an average index account? It sounds like you may be in an equity index annuity, which is not good. Salespeople like to move you to a different product because they get another commission. It woul...
by anonenigma
Sun May 31, 2015 4:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth and 403B help
Replies: 24
Views: 1162

Re: Roth and 403B help

The 403B withdraw charge is 796 dollars on an account with 17,705 in it and the roth withdraw charge is 1377.53 on an account with 19,132 in it. The both have a 14 year period that goes down by 1% a year. That's a pretty steep charge. What minimum interest rate does it guarantee? Your Roth also wit...
by anonenigma
Sun May 31, 2015 3:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth and 403B help
Replies: 24
Views: 1162

Re: Roth and 403B help

There will be if you haven't passed the period (up to 14 years on some annuities) when surrender charges apply. It's like breaking a CD before maturity.
by anonenigma
Sun May 31, 2015 1:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth and 403B help
Replies: 24
Views: 1162

Re: Roth and 403B help

Be very careful not to pay huge surrender charges. Look carefully at your LSW contract. Also see what the minimum guaranteed interest rate is. It might be worth waiting out the surrender charges. For future reference, use the CalSTRS website, http://www.403bcompare.com to research fees and expenses ...
by anonenigma
Thu May 28, 2015 9:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth and 403B help
Replies: 24
Views: 1162

Re: Roth and 403B help

TIAA-CREF is excellent.
by anonenigma
Thu May 28, 2015 9:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth and 403B help
Replies: 24
Views: 1162

Re: Roth and 403B help

Run for the hills. LSW is the worst of the worst. Imagine there are big surrender charges for at least a dozen years to make up for the high commissions paid to the salespeople. List options for vendors at your new job. Educate yourself at http://www.403bwise.com As for the Roth IRA, just move it to...
by anonenigma
Sun May 24, 2015 11:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 457(b) questions with state pension
Replies: 14
Views: 1074

Re: 457(b) questions with state pension

Save as much as you can. With a 457b, you CAN access the money without penalty upon separation from your job, but you don't need to begin taking any distributions until age 70.5 By no means do you have to distribute all the funds by that age. With a defined benefit pension, you can't run out of mone...
by anonenigma
Sat May 23, 2015 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SEP or Solo 401k
Replies: 7
Views: 452

SEP or Solo 401k

As an employee, I make the maximum allowable contributions to my 403(b), 457(b) and Roth IRA. I have just been presented with a significant consulting opportunity and am wondering whether I should just make the maximum allowable employer contribution to my SEP or whether I could contribute more (and...
by anonenigma
Sun May 17, 2015 5:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Teacher retirement accounts
Replies: 7
Views: 1048

Re: Teacher retirement accounts

Who is/are the vendor(s)? 403b or 457b? Valik and the other is axis I believe. Can do either a 403b or 457. If VALIC and AXA are you only two options, I'm not optimistic. Check the plan cost and the expense ratios on the fund choices. Avoid annuities. Check the CalSTRS website http://www.403bcompar...
by anonenigma
Fri May 15, 2015 11:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Teacher retirement accounts
Replies: 7
Views: 1048

Re: Teacher retirement accounts

Who is/are the vendor(s)? 403b or 457b?
by anonenigma
Fri Apr 24, 2015 8:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 1 day in San Francisco, no car
Replies: 29
Views: 1901

Re: 1 day in San Francisco, no car

North Beach is the literary center. City Lights Bookshop. Breakfast at Mama's on Washington Square or get an amazing sandwich to take out at Molinari's on Columbus (and eat it in Washington Square). Coffee at Cafe Trieste. Chinatown is adjacent. Coit Tower is up the hill. The tourist stuff isn't far...
by anonenigma
Mon Apr 20, 2015 7:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need advice for buying a blu ray player
Replies: 15
Views: 995

Re: Need advice for buying a blu ray player

I bought a Sony BDP-S3100 (2013 model) with wi-fi, and it does exactly what you want - play discs well and stream. I'm not sure what the newer version is, but I'm really happy with mine.
by anonenigma
Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Portable Air Conditioners
Replies: 9
Views: 932

Re: Portable Air Conditioners

ralph124cf wrote:You need an outside air connection. I believe it is something like a 5" hose. You will also need a drain for the water that condenses.

Would a window unit work for you?

Ralph


We don't want to lose a window for a few weeks a year.

What sort of drain is required?
by anonenigma
Mon Apr 13, 2015 7:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Portable Air Conditioners
Replies: 9
Views: 932

Portable Air Conditioners

Here in Southern California, there are a few weeks every year when a fan won't quite do the job. We're looking for a machine that will cool down the bedroom before we go to sleep. Does anyone have any recommendations? Costco has a 12,500 btu Delonghi Pinguino on sale for $349, though a store manager...
by anonenigma
Sat Apr 11, 2015 8:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mailing tax returns
Replies: 56
Views: 4279

Re: Mailing tax returns

This year I e-filed for the first time. We had big refunds coming our way, and I was concerned about the tax fraud stories, particularly following the Anthem data theft. I didn't want to wait weeks to find out whether a fraudulent return had already been filed in our name, so it was worth the $24.95...
by anonenigma
Sat Apr 04, 2015 4:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sunglasses $6 to $200
Replies: 30
Views: 3259

Re: Sunglasses $6 to $200

In Los Angeles, Big 5 Sporting Goods often has Serengeti sunglasses for half off or more. They're also good for Swiss Army watches on sale.
by anonenigma
Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Run Around...Transfer from Thrivent 403B to T Rowe Price
Replies: 3
Views: 247

Re: Run Around...Transfer from Thrivent 403B to T Rowe Price

Call the employer or its third party administrator.
by anonenigma
Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Orleans Destinations
Replies: 21
Views: 1725

Re: New Orleans Destinations

I loved the meal I had at Gallatoire years ago. Is it still good?
by anonenigma
Sat Mar 14, 2015 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help teacher with pension decision
Replies: 9
Views: 1276

Re: Help teacher with pension decision

I'm surprised that you can't go back into the plan if you return to public education. Can you go on leave rather than resign? In my district, I can go on leave for up to 39 months. It's hard to know what the future holds. As a public school teacher for 25 years, I've never seriously thought about sw...
by anonenigma
Wed Mar 11, 2015 11:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Classical Music Box Sets?
Replies: 31
Views: 3126

Re: Best Classical Music Box Sets?

Two really great values are Rubinstein's Chopin collection and the Tokyo Quartet's complete Beethoven string quartets. Each $15.99 on Amazon at the moment. Too bad I already have all of Rubinstein's Chopin and several readings (Lindsay, Vegh, Berg and Guarneri) of the Beethoven. Too many discs, not ...
by anonenigma
Sun Mar 01, 2015 1:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Would you buy into this state defined benefit pension?
Replies: 16
Views: 1397

Re: Would you buy into this state defined benefit pension?

Do you have any DB pension from state without the transfer from DC? You'll want to compare this to what you could get for the same amount from a SPIA (try the Berkshire Hathaway SPIA website - though it doesn't seem to be working at the moment). If you need income at 55, it sounds like it could be a...
by anonenigma
Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Questions about portfolio and TIAA-CREF, old and new
Replies: 13
Views: 1204

Re: Questions about portfolio and TIAA-CREF, old and new

One thing to be aware of: When you deposit any money into TIAA traditional, you can only get out it as some type of annuity. You cannot roll it over to an IRA or to a Vanguard 401(k), or even to other CREF funds. Ralph I don't believe that this is correct. I have the TIAA Traditional in both my 403...
by anonenigma
Tue Feb 17, 2015 8:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone have issues streaming Amazon Prime instant video???
Replies: 9
Views: 1364

Re: Anyone have issues streaming Amazon Prime instant video?

Can you use your blu-ray player if you have one? That's what we do, and Amazon Prime generally works fine for us.
by anonenigma
Fri Feb 06, 2015 2:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Verizon Wireless Modifies 'More Everything Plans'
Replies: 14
Views: 2916

Re: Verizon Wireless Modifies 'More Everything Plans'

My wife and I were sharing 1 GB of data but, for reasons I have yet to understand, we had gone almost to our limit in half the month. Tonight I upgraded to 2gb, going back to the beginning of this billing cycle, for the same $40 we were previously paying for 1 gb (less company discount).
by anonenigma
Sat Jan 31, 2015 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone still keep DVDs?
Replies: 27
Views: 2079

Re: Anyone still keep DVDs?

You guys should send your DVDs to anonenigma. Good thought, but only those I'd want to watch and don't already own. That will limit the influx. Please send Bob le flambeur, Touchex pas au grisbi, For Jonah Who Will Be 25 in the Year 2000 (all out of print) Abel Gance's Napoleon, and Hunger (Danish ...
by anonenigma
Sun Jan 25, 2015 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone still keep DVDs?
Replies: 27
Views: 2079

Re: Anyone still keep DVDs?

Yes, and I continue to buy them. There are a lot of films and television series that aren't available on Netflix/Hulu/Amazon Prime, and I'm really not interested in most of what they stream. As long as there are blu-ray players, I don't have to worry about whether a film I want to watch is available...
by anonenigma
Mon Jan 12, 2015 1:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should pension plans be relied upon for retirement?
Replies: 35
Views: 3331

Re: Should pension plans be relied upon for retirement?

The best book I know on the subject is THE RETIREMENT HEIST, by Wall St. Journal writer/editor Ellen Schultz. Companies sometimes took back pension funds because they could, not because the plans (or companies) were in financial difficulty. A sad story.
by anonenigma
Tue Jan 06, 2015 12:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help my 67 y/o mother retire
Replies: 14
Views: 1980

Re: Help my 67 y/o mother retire

You're fortunate that the annuity is TIAA Traditional. It's either completely liquid or can be annuitized, as you wish.
by anonenigma
Wed Dec 31, 2014 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheapest Way to Watch Netflix
Replies: 27
Views: 3372

Re: Cheapest Way to Watch Netflix

I use my Blu-ray player to stream wirelessly. Works well.
by anonenigma
Tue Dec 30, 2014 2:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Recommendations for about 25k
Replies: 36
Views: 5650

Re: Car Recommendations for about 25k

mtbouchard wrote:Hey,

4) Commute isn't currently an issue and take public transit and have a garage.


Why buy a new car at all? You'll spend a huge amount of money (remember insurance, registration) for a vehicle you'll mostly use on weekends.
by anonenigma
Tue Dec 23, 2014 2:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taking pensions into account
Replies: 8
Views: 860

Re: Taking pensions into account

The CalSTRS funding problems were fixed by the recent change in contributions, though pension enemies will quibble with the 7.5% expected return on investments (though CalSTRS has historically achieved this, and this may be easier to achieve in the future as interest rates rise). Under the circumsta...
by anonenigma
Sun Dec 07, 2014 3:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Intuit TurboTax 2014 Basic/Deluxe $0, Premier $9.99
Replies: 49
Views: 4666

Re: Intuit TurboTax 2014 Basic/Deluxe $0, Premier $9.99

Just downloaded Premier for $9.99 but note that it requires OS 10.7 or higher. Will have to upgrade system software to use.

Assume I can upgrade to Home and Business at any point for small fee?
by anonenigma
Sun Dec 07, 2014 1:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Intuit TurboTax 2014 Basic/Deluxe $0, Premier $9.99
Replies: 49
Views: 4666

Re: Intuit TurboTax 2014 Basic/Deluxe $0, Premier $9.99

There wasn't a similar discount for Home and Office, and we need Schedule C. Is there an inexpensive upgrade path from Premier if I purchase it? I mean, would I pay the $20 differential between the products' list prices, or would I have to pay the difference between $9.99 and the cost of Home and Of...
by anonenigma
Sat Nov 29, 2014 1:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Documentaries to recommend?
Replies: 138
Views: 17726

Re: Documentaries to recommend?

The Act of Killing (stunning - unique, really)
Man on Wire
Food, inc.
Super-Size Me
The Up Series
anything by the Maysles brothers
by anonenigma
Mon Nov 24, 2014 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogleheads, any "Black Friday" [recommendations]
Replies: 59
Views: 6514

Re: Bogleheads, anyone doing "Black Friday"

Bought a new Aeron chair to replace my 14 year-old one, which needs to be replaced. Comes with 12 year warranty. 15% off at both Herman Miller online and their Design Within Reach stores. Saved about $150.
by anonenigma
Sat Nov 22, 2014 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: best bank for online billpay
Replies: 24
Views: 2730

Re: best bank for online billpay

I've been very happy with Wells Fargo billpay. Interface is better, as far as I'm concerned, than B of A.

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