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Re: New Orleans Destinations

I loved the meal I had at Gallatoire years ago. Is it still good?
by anonenigma
Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Orleans Destinations
Replies: 15
Views: 732

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
Sat Mar 14, 2015 1:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help teacher with pension decision
Replies: 9
Views: 1134

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
Wed Mar 11, 2015 11:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Classical Music Box Sets?
Replies: 29
Views: 1980

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
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: 1183

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
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: 988

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
Tue Feb 17, 2015 8:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone have issues streaming Amazon Prime instant video???
Replies: 9
Views: 691

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
Fri Feb 06, 2015 2:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Verizon Wireless Modifies 'More Everything Plans'
Replies: 14
Views: 2754

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
Sat Jan 31, 2015 2:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone still keep DVDs?
Replies: 27
Views: 1922

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
Sun Jan 25, 2015 2:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone still keep DVDs?
Replies: 27
Views: 1922

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
Mon Jan 12, 2015 1:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should pension plans be relied upon for retirement?
Replies: 35
Views: 3159

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
Tue Jan 06, 2015 12:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help my 67 y/o mother retire
Replies: 14
Views: 1937

Re: Cheapest Way to Watch Netflix

I use my Blu-ray player to stream wirelessly. Works well.
by anonenigma
Wed Dec 31, 2014 2:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheapest Way to Watch Netflix
Replies: 27
Views: 3124

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 30, 2014 2:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Recommendations for about 25k
Replies: 36
Views: 5357

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
Tue Dec 23, 2014 2:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taking pensions into account
Replies: 8
Views: 785

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 3:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Intuit TurboTax 2014 Basic/Deluxe $0, Premier $9.99
Replies: 49
Views: 4368

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
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: 4368

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
Sat Nov 29, 2014 1:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Documentaries to recommend?
Replies: 128
Views: 15429

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
Mon Nov 24, 2014 1:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogleheads, any "Black Friday" [recommendations]
Replies: 59
Views: 6410

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 22, 2014 2:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: best bank for online billpay
Replies: 24
Views: 2460

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 15, 2014 6:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just signed up Obamacare again.
Replies: 41
Views: 4034

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 3:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Questions for Experienced Aeron Chair Owners
Replies: 2
Views: 349

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
Sat Nov 08, 2014 3:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Questions for Experienced Aeron Chair Owners
Replies: 2
Views: 349

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
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: 941

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
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: 1588

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
Tue Oct 07, 2014 6:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hyundai vs. Toyota
Replies: 45
Views: 5481

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
Mon Oct 06, 2014 8:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hyundai vs. Toyota
Replies: 45
Views: 5481

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 2:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hyundai vs. Toyota
Replies: 45
Views: 5481

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
Sun Oct 05, 2014 2:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hyundai vs. Toyota
Replies: 45
Views: 5481

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

TIAA-CREF is the best of your 403b options - the only one worth considering.
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: 647

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
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: 2386

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 11, 2014 6:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: CalSTRS 403(b) Pension2 to migrate to Voya/ING
Replies: 17
Views: 2386

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
Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nipomo/Pismo/Obispo: Where to stay?
Replies: 18
Views: 1015

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
Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Zegna Suits
Replies: 197
Views: 11010

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
Sat Aug 23, 2014 11:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bedbugs and Wood Furniture
Replies: 3
Views: 773

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 1:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College Counselors
Replies: 44
Views: 2719

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
Sun Aug 17, 2014 1:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medicare or Other for Caregiver Emergency?
Replies: 7
Views: 506

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.
by anonenigma
Sat Aug 02, 2014 10:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Medigap insurance really needed?
Replies: 83
Views: 4991

Re: Is Medigap insurance really needed?

Very provocative. I'd had that thought about my mother but decided to play it safe and keep a Medicare F supplement in place. In addition to what the doctor discusses, it covers additional days in skilled nursing (if needed - pretty unlikely) as well as the fees of doctors who do not accept Medicare...
by anonenigma
Sat Aug 02, 2014 10:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Medigap insurance really needed?
Replies: 83
Views: 4991

401(k) to SEP or Roth

My wife, who is 44, has about $30,000 in a 401(k) from a job she left two years ago. Planning to move to VG, where she has both a SEP and a Roth. Given her age, is it smarter to pay the tax (25% federal plus 7-8% state - assume there's no self-employment tax) and go Roth?

Thanks for your guidance.
by anonenigma
Sat Jul 26, 2014 10:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401(k) to SEP or Roth
Replies: 1
Views: 188

Re: 2 days in San Francisco

Consider a couple of hours in North Beach, home of the Beat poets and San Francisco's Italian community. Visit City Lights Bookstore, have an amazing sandwich from Molinari's (eat it in Washington Square Park?), and an espresso at Cafe Trieste. Perhaps purchase of pound of coffee beans at Graffeo an...
by anonenigma
Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2 days in San Francisco
Replies: 25
Views: 1840

Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

The administration at your school may well have been toxic, but it all comes down to how you feel about the kids. If you fundamentally enjoy working with them, teaching is a great profession. Also, how deeply do you believe in the importance of your subject matter? You were an econ major teaching ma...
by anonenigma
Thu Jul 17, 2014 1:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teacher Considering Career Change
Replies: 49
Views: 4145

Re: Continue subscribing to local newspaper?

Dropped L.A. Times a few years ago because its coverage of education (my field) is totally dishonest.

We happily pay for the New York Times to be delivered, though we mostly read it online.
by anonenigma
Sat Jul 05, 2014 2:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Continue subscribing to local newspaper?
Replies: 86
Views: 6647

Re: Anyone use Wells Fargo Bank?

I've been with Wells Fargo for more than 40 years - they were the bank on campus. I haven't had any negative episodes, and I don't recall paying them fees. I just keep the required minimum balance in my checking account, and that's that. Their bill pay is excellent. Their ATMs are better than those ...
by anonenigma
Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone use Wells Fargo Bank?
Replies: 57
Views: 8020

Re: No Foreign Transaction Fee, No Annual Fee

Amex Platinum card doesn't charge the foreign transaction fees (or will refund them if such shows up), according to the rep just now. Yes, yes, the annual fee is high. We make up for it many times over each year with the other direct monetary perks, in addition to often getting free upgrades (even ...
by anonenigma
Sat Jun 28, 2014 12:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No Foreign Transaction Fee, No Annual Fee
Replies: 33
Views: 17188

Re: Favorite guitarist...

Paco de Lucia, Julian Bream, Antonio Bribiesca, Barney Kessel, Django Reinhardt, Andres Segovia
by anonenigma
Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite guitarist...
Replies: 207
Views: 21578

Re: Restaurants in New York City?

Luzzo's for pizza. Junior's for strawberry cheesecake. Russ and Daughters for smoked fish (not sit down). Second Avenue Deli for deli. Cafe Mogador.
by anonenigma
Tue May 20, 2014 1:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Restaurants in New York City?
Replies: 42
Views: 3044

Re: Why did I just get a 2012 CA income tax refund check?

I didn't get a check from FTB, but I did get a bill recently (May 7th) for just under $1,200. I called FTB and, while I was waiting on the phone for half an hour, compared the bill with my return. It didn't take long to figure out what happened: They had not credited the check I mailed with my retur...
by anonenigma
Sun May 18, 2014 9:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why did I just get a 2012 CA income tax refund check?
Replies: 15
Views: 1500

Re: "Moshe Milevsky on Tontines"

I knew about tontines because of the television series, "The Wild, Wild West," which had an episode titled, "The Night of the Tottering Tontines."

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0748583/
by anonenigma
Sat May 17, 2014 8:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Moshe Milevsky on Tontines"
Replies: 28
Views: 2814

Re: 403b Mess

They are exempt from ERISA.

It doesn't appear like there are any good choices there.

In response to the poster who mentioned PlanMember Services, all of their offerings are extremely high cost except the Direct. Watch out for them.
by anonenigma
Sat May 03, 2014 12:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 403b Mess
Replies: 8
Views: 739

Re: True cost of owning a house

The New York Times has an interactive graphic on this - might help refine your methodology:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/busi ... lator.html
by anonenigma
Tue Apr 29, 2014 8:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: True cost of owning a house
Replies: 47
Views: 3591
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