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by anonenigma
Thu May 28, 2015 9:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth and 403B help
Replies: 5
Views: 298

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: 5
Views: 298

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: 1011

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: 409

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: 925

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: 925

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: 1570

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: 882

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: 825

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: 825

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: 3962

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: 2968

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: 220

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: 1604

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: 1209

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: 2553

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: 1308

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: 1090

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: 865

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: 2843

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: 1970

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: 1970

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: 3213

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: 1967

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: 3266

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: 5520

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: 823

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: 4559

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: 4559

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: 16992

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: 6468

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: 2531

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.
by anonenigma
Sat Nov 15, 2014 6:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just signed up Obamacare again.
Replies: 41
Views: 4149

Re: Just signed up Obamacare again.

The New York Times has a great interactive graphic that shows how prices are changing, up and down, across the country. Quite a range.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014 ... -Rise.html?
by anonenigma
Sat Nov 08, 2014 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Questions for Experienced Aeron Chair Owners
Replies: 2
Views: 361

Re: Questions for Experienced Aeron Chair Owners

Saving$ wrote:Why does it need to be replaced?


An arm broke off. It periodically just goes down to the bottom. Service with parts would be expensive (more than a third the cost of a new chair) now that I'm out of warranty. Time to start on a new 12 year warranty.
by anonenigma
Sat Nov 08, 2014 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Questions for Experienced Aeron Chair Owners
Replies: 2
Views: 361

Questions for Experienced Aeron Chair Owners

My Aeron, now 13 years old, needs to be replaced. The annual Herman Miller sale begins in a couple of weeks, so I'll at least save 15%, but I have a few questions. I have never really used all of the adjustability options - frankly, I don't know how to use some of them. Should I care about the tilt ...
by anonenigma
Tue Oct 28, 2014 9:17 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Adding low cost index funds to 457b? What's involved?
Replies: 8
Views: 989

Re: Adding low cost index funds to 457b? What's involved?

Do you have an oversight committee that advises the CFO (or whoever is the plan's fiduciary)? My employer does, and we have an average weighted ER of .26% plus the plan cost of .33%. No revenue sharing on funds, which is presumably one of the ways Mass Mutual makes money.
by anonenigma
Mon Oct 13, 2014 8:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Question - 457 Plan with High Expense Ratios?
Replies: 16
Views: 1688

Re: Portfolio Question - 457 Plan with High Expense Ratios?

Plan level expenses are unavoidable. The governmental 457b that I am in charges 0.37% for a plan with about $70 million in assets. It will likely be going down in the next two years. The investment choices are another story, and you have to look into whether there's any revenue sharing going on - if...
by anonenigma
Tue Oct 07, 2014 6:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hyundai vs. Toyota
Replies: 45
Views: 5581

Re: Hyundai vs. Toyota

If you have an AutoZone nearby, you can have them read the code for free and they'll give you a little printout with the most likely causes in order. I don't always tackle the problem in that order though, as sometimes it is better to go from cheap to expensive (hey, if spark plugs can be a problem...
by anonenigma
Mon Oct 06, 2014 8:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hyundai vs. Toyota
Replies: 45
Views: 5581

Re: Hyundai vs. Toyota

My Camry is 15 years old and the Check Engine light has been on for the past few months. This is not generally a problem, but I won't pass the required smog check unless I spend some money to get it turned off. It cost me a few hundred dollars two years ago to accomplish that - annoying how it's no...
by anonenigma
Sun Oct 05, 2014 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hyundai vs. Toyota
Replies: 45
Views: 5581

Re: Hyundai vs. Toyota

flyingaway wrote:Backup camera will be a REQUIRED thing in all cars sold in the U.S. in 2015 or 2016.


By May, 2018. Can't wait that long.

http://money.cnn.com/2014/03/31/autos/r ... index.html
by anonenigma
Sun Oct 05, 2014 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hyundai vs. Toyota
Replies: 45
Views: 5581

Hyundai vs. Toyota

My Camry is 15 years old and the Check Engine light has been on for the past few months. This is not generally a problem, but I won't pass the required smog check unless I spend some money to get it turned off. It cost me a few hundred dollars two years ago to accomplish that - annoying how it's not...
by anonenigma
Fri Oct 03, 2014 8:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ira, 403b or 457b or other suggestions?
Replies: 8
Views: 678

Re: Ira, 403b or 457b or other suggestions?

TIAA-CREF is the best of your 403b options - the only one worth considering.
by anonenigma
Sat Sep 13, 2014 1:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: CalSTRS 403(b) Pension2 to migrate to Voya/ING
Replies: 17
Views: 2602

Re: CalSTRS 403(b) Pension2 to migrate to Voya/ING

The cost will not go up and may go down, as Voya will be charging CalSTRS slightly less than TIAA-CREF did.

CalSTRS is contemplating some changes to the funds (beyond the loss of the TIAA-CREF options), but these will be improvements.

You won't have to worry about Voya in this change.
by anonenigma
Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: CalSTRS 403(b) Pension2 to migrate to Voya/ING
Replies: 17
Views: 2602

Re: CalSTRS 403(b) Pension2 to migrate to Voya/ING

The fund lineup will not change except for the TIAA-CREF funds. Stay where you are. Voya appears to be a very competent administrator, but it's CalSTRS's plan, and the choices are excellent.
by anonenigma
Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nipomo/Pismo/Obispo: Where to stay?
Replies: 18
Views: 1033

Re: Nipomo/Pismo/Obispo: Where to stay?

We like Back Bay Inn in Los Osos/Baywood Park. Good Thai a couple of blocks away at Noi's. Includes a decent free breakfast on site. Montana De Oro State Park is nearby and gorgeous. Avoid the waterfront restaurants in Morro Bay, though the restaurant (there's only one) in the Morro Bay State Park i...
by anonenigma
Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Zegna Suits
Replies: 197
Views: 11467

Re: Zegna Suits

I've been a fan of Joseph Abboud suits, which I used to buy on sale at Nordstrom. I very much like the quality, and they fit me perfectly without alterations (other than finishing the legs). I believe that the company was recently bought out by Men's Wearhouse. Take a look. Should be under $700.
by anonenigma
Sat Aug 23, 2014 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bedbugs and Wood Furniture
Replies: 3
Views: 782

Bedbugs and Wood Furniture

My mother's apartment, in a large building, has had bedbug issues over the past few months. The apartment has been treated multiple times, but bedbugs are notoriously difficult to get rid of. Mom is giving up her apartment and moving to assisted living (not due to the bedbugs), and there are a few p...
by anonenigma
Sun Aug 17, 2014 1:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College Counselors
Replies: 44
Views: 2750

Re: College Counselors

Focus on the UCs, especially since he wants a larger school. They're highly rated and a great deal for students who qualify for in-state tuition. Take a couple of road trips and see the campuses in person. If his SAT is just okay, focus on all but UCB, UCLA and UCSD. Davis, Irvine and Santa Barbara ...
by anonenigma
Sun Aug 17, 2014 1:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medicare or Other for Caregiver Emergency?
Replies: 7
Views: 517

Re: Medicare or Other for Caregiver Emergency?

What kind of care does your father need? Does someone need to be there 24x7, or does he just need help for a few hours a day? Does he need care for medical issues or just assistance with basic tasks? I doubt that Medicare will help much with this, as it's your mother who is having the surgery. There...
by anonenigma
Sat Aug 02, 2014 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Medigap insurance really needed?
Replies: 83
Views: 5237

Re: Is Medigap insurance really needed?

One more thing. As I understand it, Medicare covers 100% of all hospitalizations plus lab tests and medications during a hospitalization - after the deductible is paid. What I've seen from my parents' hospitalizations is small charges from doctors, including those who read x-rays and EKGs.

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