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Re: Reading material on mortgages?

I'd also recommend http://www.mortgageporter.com -- she's in Washington state, and some things vary by locale, but there are still many generally-applicable articles. It's a great educational site, and if you're in Washington state, we're did have a great experience with the two mortgages we got fro...
by archbish99
Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reading material on mortgages?
Replies: 9
Views: 474

Re: SS Strategy Metric

You're asking, essentially, what scale should be used to judge various strategies? That's a good question. There are several metrics to consider, and it's unlikely that any plan comes out ahead on all of them, so deciding which metric matters to you the most will determine which strategy you ultimat...
by archbish99
Wed Apr 16, 2014 3:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS Strategy Metric
Replies: 23
Views: 1267

Re: Expensive med. test not covered by insurance

Pregnancy is not an illness. Neither is wanting to become pregnant. Next time ask yourself why you are being offered the test and what actionable information would come from such a test. What actionable information? Let's see -- "Mrs. Bungalow, this test shows you're a carrier for disease X. W...
by archbish99
Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:04 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Expensive med. test not covered by insurance
Replies: 71
Views: 3286

Re: Expensive med. test not covered by insurance

I suspect the lab that did the tests is used to this and has a policy. Pre-conception testing is rarely covered, though I personally think it ought to be. See what they actually bill you before you freak out too much. In our case, they did a general panel on my wife, found that she was a carrier for...
by archbish99
Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Expensive med. test not covered by insurance
Replies: 71
Views: 3286

Re: Ugh, Another Mortgage Question - Help Me Decide

If you think there's a strong chance you're moving, go for the 5/5 to get the lowest rate for the years you remain in the house. (And if you don't move, 4.75% worst-case is still marginally better than your current loan, so you're in a better situation for the first ten years.) As for what to do wit...
by archbish99
Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ugh, Another Mortgage Question - Help Me Decide
Replies: 10
Views: 1041

Re: Do I take the separation package offer?

I was also under the impression that any amounts you're paid as severance push out when you can start unemployment, so the OP would be 46 weeks retired before becoming eligible. But no, I agree with unanimous (how often does that happen on Bogleheads?) opinion -- take the money and go celebrate. Con...
by archbish99
Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:04 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I take the separation package offer?
Replies: 50
Views: 4369

Re: 85 yr old dad making financial moves

Not familiar with them in particular, but there are lots of companies that take shameless advantage of older folks. I consolidated my parents investments at Vanguard and saved them a lot in fees; they did a power of attorney when dad was in the hospital for a while.
by archbish99
Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 85 yr old dad making financial moves
Replies: 7
Views: 1609

Re: Financial question about a Doctor’s Visit

I suspect it also depends how prevalent your plan is. If it's the group plan of a major area employer, and a quarter of the doctor's patients are either employees or spouses of employees, they probably know very well what is/isn't in network. If it's something out-of-state, individual, etc.? I'd be ...
by archbish99
Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial question about a Doctor’s Visit
Replies: 77
Views: 3437

Re: How to Handle Death of a Tenant

The lease is a standard Chicago lease. States that there are 2 tenants, 1 amount due, nothing about a split between the two. Then the remaining tenant is responsible for the lease. That may mean they get a roommate to help, and it may mean they'll want to negotiate kinder exit terms than eviction, ...
by archbish99
Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Handle Death of a Tenant
Replies: 19
Views: 1530

Re: Tax Question--IRA Recharacterization and Filing

Another thing you NEED TO KNOW , is that if you are doing any conversions this year from the same traditional IRA, you need to do them before you put recharacterized money back into the account, since the account will then be "locked" for the rest of the year, as far as conversions go. Th...
by archbish99
Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Question--IRA Recharacterization and Filing
Replies: 15
Views: 583

Re: Are there any downsides to amending a tax return?

...in part, because the people who usually have to amend are beneficiaries of trusts and other things that give them K-1s, and so they have more esoteric things than most people. The less "normal" your return looks, the more likely you are to be audited, generally. I think your risk is goi...
by archbish99
Mon Apr 07, 2014 3:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are there any downsides to amending a tax return?
Replies: 2
Views: 320

Re: To convert to Roth or not to?

No -- a recharacterization makes it as if you'd done something else in the first place, but it doesn't change your investments. You'll just have gotten that return in a Roth IRA.

However, that does assume you were eligible to contribute to a Roth in 2013; $178k for married, I think?
by archbish99
Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: To convert to Roth or not to?
Replies: 10
Views: 1108

Re: Preventing Office Theft of Food and Other Stuff

I once swapped out my bag of frozen meals with a note saying how sorry I was that whoever had stolen my food couldn't afford to buy their own, and giving them the address and phone number of a local food bank. Have no idea if it had any impact, but it was cathartic. Ultimately, I got a mini-fridge f...
by archbish99
Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Preventing Office Theft of Food and Other Stuff
Replies: 77
Views: 4958

Re: Death of co-worker

My opinion is that it's just the fear of death, that mainly comes from the fear of the unknown. That's why, like you said, people of any age want to hang on to life. But generally people with terminal illnesses that know when their time will be up gradually accept that and come to peace with their ...
by archbish99
Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Death of co-worker
Replies: 94
Views: 9255

Re: Signing bonus as 401k contribution?

could you increase your 401(k) contribution limits to contribute the equivalent amount, while living off the signing bonus? Unfortuantly (for this case), I'll already be maxing out my pre-tax contributions for the year regardless. That's why I was hoping that I could get the bonus as an employer co...
by archbish99
Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Signing bonus as 401k contribution?
Replies: 14
Views: 1235

Re: IRS letter claiming return is late - anyone experience t

I still maintain certified mail won't buy you anything without some other proof that you didn't just mail an envelope, you mailed a form. I have heard of people who want proof of a letter doing two certified copies -- one to the recipient, and one to yourself, which you keep unopened. Still doesn't...
by archbish99
Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS letter claiming return is late - anyone experience this?
Replies: 34
Views: 3414

Re: "Spinning Off" my 20 Year Old Son

I got my own checking account in high school, and a monthly amount (determined by my parents) for my "expenses" (gas, books, eating out). Parents paid car insurance, no cell phone. Scholarships covered college tuition, a meal plan, and a dorm; for living expenses, that arrangement continue...
by archbish99
Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Spinning Off" my 20 Year Old Son
Replies: 71
Views: 5937

Re: Lowes Install Services- anyone use them for a new bathro

Obviously, you're going to get primarily anecdotes on this, but here's mine: My parents hired Lowes to do one bathroom, and were very unhappy with the shoddy results even after repeatedly complaining (and getting people sent back out to redo with a semi-decent job). They hired a local contractor to ...
by archbish99
Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lowes Install Services- anyone use them for a new bathroom?
Replies: 22
Views: 1772

Re: Another Salary Negotiation Post...(Total Compensation)

We can get cash if we opt for no coverage, but it's a tiny fraction of what they would have paid toward the premium. Can't hurt to ask, but don't be surprised if they already have a standard option in place and it's not to your advantage. Also, unless your army coverage is 100% for everything, think...
by archbish99
Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another Salary Negotiation Post...(Total Compensation)
Replies: 4
Views: 677

Re: Tax and ACA ?

I have an opportunity to work 6 months for a U.S company in a Mexican Border Town. I was/am retired and have kept my income low so that I could have a ACA subsidized health care. I would live in Texas and travel across the border every day. I would be a contract employee. I have dos questions. 1. W...
by archbish99
Sun Mar 16, 2014 12:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax and ACA ?
Replies: 12
Views: 999

Re: Bogleheads.org Home Page Updated

BrandonBogle - It's a work laptop? That's a different problem to solve. :) Yup, and it's been around 10 years since I did Windows support. My last "desktop" IT job was back in the Windows 2003 Server days (got hired just as they were upgrading from NT, but I didn't work that project) with...
by archbish99
Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:30 am
 
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Bogleheads.org Home Page Updated
Replies: 230
Views: 9064

Re: Bogleheads.org Home Page Updated

Well done! I'm happy to see this!
by archbish99
Tue Mar 04, 2014 8:44 pm
 
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Bogleheads.org Home Page Updated
Replies: 230
Views: 9064

Re: Social Security name confusion

When you get married you have to go to the Social Security Office to request a new Social Security Card with your new name. Simple, end of story. You might want to re-think this. Most men don't change their names when they marry. Many women don't changes their names when they marry. This does not m...
by archbish99
Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security name confusion
Replies: 35
Views: 1871

Re: company stock

It's still worth investing in your 401k, so keep doing it. Just be happy they allow you to transfer out of that fund. Look on the positive side -- it gives you ready funds to rebalance from. Just stick them into whichever real asset class is underweight in the rest of your portfolio.
by archbish99
Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: company stock
Replies: 3
Views: 261

Re: Risky investment with a "guaranteed" principal return

2. You cannot put 100% and only have 10% in return. A better deal would then be to put that 100% in the stock market and you might be likely to have more in return with less risk. This is what makes me question the proposition. They're fronting none of the money, why should they have a share in the...
by archbish99
Sat Mar 01, 2014 9:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Risky investment with a "guaranteed" principal return
Replies: 55
Views: 3355

Re: Can my grandfather take out his IRA and buy a house to r

If you can find an insurance company that will sell him a SPIA at his age, I'd advocate buying one for the $800/month desired from the rental if the additional monthly income actually matters to him. That will be much cheaper than buying a house, without an ongoing maintenance investment. Then, depe...
by archbish99
Sat Mar 01, 2014 9:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can my grandfather take out his IRA and buy a house to rent?
Replies: 42
Views: 2440

Re: HELP! Medical costs

That's correct -- an HDHP holder does pay the negotiated rate. Sounds like you got bad advice at the Urgent Care, and there's really not anything else you can do. Sue the assailant in small claims if you want to try it, but you'll have to prove what the DA doesn't feel they can.
by archbish99
Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HELP! Medical costs
Replies: 57
Views: 2828

Re: Help with Mortgage-speak!

Yeah -- I got confused the other direction, having to fight my wife's student loan servicers to get them to apply payments to principal rather than just saying we were six months early with her payments. But I have also had a mortgage servicer refuse to apply an extra payment because it "wasn't...
by archbish99
Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with Mortgage-speak!
Replies: 27
Views: 1468

Re: Keeping internet provider without price hikes

I've posted this before, but this is what I do for Comcast. 1. Sign up for 6 month promotional price under ThatGuy. 2. In Month 5 cancel service, it takes Comcast 2 weeks to actually turn off the service. 3. Sign up for 6 month promotional price under ThatGal. 4. In Month 11 cancel service. 5. Sign...
by archbish99
Tue Feb 04, 2014 9:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keeping internet provider without price hikes
Replies: 53
Views: 3890

Re: Keep funds with broker and start investing with Vangard?

The simplest way to do the transfer is just to call Vanguard. Their "concierge" department is specifically for this, and they'll set you up with the appropriate forms mostly pre-filled with what you tell them over the phone. Stop trying to sort it out yourself and just call.
by archbish99
Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Keep funds with broker and start investing with Vangard?
Replies: 21
Views: 1190

Re: Creating a Budget

If you live below your means (LBYM), then you don't need a formal budget, you just need to manage the money flows in/out---money has to be in checking before you spend it. The problem with the "checking balance" approach is that expenses are lumpy. You have plenty in your checking account...
by archbish99
Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Creating a Budget
Replies: 38
Views: 2148

Re: Vanguard and Florida Power of Attorney

And isn't that the whole issue with Internet sales tax? When a company does business over the Internet without a physical presence in the state, they *aren't* subject to that states specific rules, including sales tax. They're contemplating a federal law to require sales tax compliance, but that doe...
by archbish99
Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard and Florida Power of Attorney
Replies: 56
Views: 2404

Re: Vanguard and Florida Power of Attorney

Why does Maryland law apply to Vanguard? They're not located in Maryland.
by archbish99
Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard and Florida Power of Attorney
Replies: 56
Views: 2404

Re: Delay Social Security to age 70 and Spend more money at

You can look at it that way, but delaying Social Security is basically an annuity -- you're reducing your present capital (and thus your possible return on it), but buying an income stream that's guaranteed for life. Even if the life-expectancy doesn't work in your favor, there's still inherent valu...
by archbish99
Sat Jan 11, 2014 5:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Delay Social Security to age 70 and Spend more money at 62
Replies: 46
Views: 4931

Re: Bogleheads.org Homepage

NOOOO! Don't change the homepage. That is where I go to see what recent articles have been posted. I go to "view your posts" and the homepage. Do not take away the magical way of seeing what posts have been made recently without having to go category by category! Let's be clear: No one ha...
by archbish99
Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:54 pm
 
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Bogleheads.org Homepage
Replies: 76
Views: 4235

Re: Brokered CD Survivor Option

Yes, through fraud as the URL and title emphasizes: The Stapleses deceived brokerage firms and bond issuers by casting themselves as survivors of a joint ownership situation when the deceased had no legal ties to the bonds at all. The deceased, in this case, had opened a joint brokerage account with...
by archbish99
Fri Jan 10, 2014 2:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Brokered CD Survivor Option
Replies: 23
Views: 1336

Re: Bogleheads.org Homepage

Would be interesting to know how many of those clamoring for change have made a cash contribution to help support the effort. Just saying. Yes, I have. If you'd like to get into specific amounts, I'd be happy to do so in a PM, not that it's either your business or relevant to the conversation. I'm ...
by archbish99
Thu Jan 09, 2014 1:36 am
 
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Bogleheads.org Homepage
Replies: 76
Views: 4235

Re: How much a baby costs?

ejvyas wrote:around here? where? who?

Sorry -- "here" being my physical location, the Seattle area, not here the boards. I don't know that lactation is discussed too heavily here-the-boards, though it does certainly make a difference in how much it costs to feed a newborn.
by archbish99
Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much a baby costs?
Replies: 86
Views: 4009

Re: How much a baby costs?

I EBF but took the free formula as just in case. Sadly, not every woman can BF so hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Thanks for remembering this -- many "breast is best" advocates around here make it sound like people who don't breastfeed are committing child abuse, even when it...
by archbish99
Mon Jan 06, 2014 6:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much a baby costs?
Replies: 86
Views: 4009

Re: Bogleheads.org Homepage

I'm clearly the minority. Like a good Boglehead, I bow to the judgment of the market. :sharebeer
by archbish99
Mon Jan 06, 2014 1:33 am
 
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Bogleheads.org Homepage
Replies: 76
Views: 4235

Re: Bogleheads.org Homepage

For those of us who know the format of the boards already, it's not really much different from the "View unread posts" link from the main forum page. If it's a commonly-used way to read the boards, then I agree we shouldn't get rid of it. However, I found it confusing when I first came her...
by archbish99
Sun Jan 05, 2014 6:38 pm
 
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Bogleheads.org Homepage
Replies: 76
Views: 4235

Bogleheads.org Homepage

The /forum page looks great, and is my usual landing page for my bookmarks. The /wiki page is likewise clean and organized, and a great place to direct people from other online media. But when I'm referring someone in person, it's usually easiest to just give a domain name. The landing page at http:...
by archbish99
Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:09 pm
 
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Bogleheads.org Homepage
Replies: 76
Views: 4235

Re: Credit Cards with Annual Fees?

I have one fee card and the rest are non-fee. When deciding whether or not to keep it I compare my rewards on the fee card, subtract out the cost, and compare to rewards if I had used another one of my cards or a hypothetical card I think we could get. In your case, it looks like you are doing bett...
by archbish99
Wed Jan 01, 2014 1:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Cards with Annual Fees?
Replies: 19
Views: 1747

Re: Streaming to televison

This is a more generic question, and responses are going to come in a couple of different categories. They pretty much all involve attaching something to your TV that talks over the network, but precisely how depends. There's the build-it-yourself solution -- you can pick up a small computer with HD...
by archbish99
Tue Dec 31, 2013 1:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Streaming to televison
Replies: 33
Views: 3205

Re: Employer Botched Paycheck

The bigger point will be the FSA -- you opted in to a certain amount contributed for the year, and they should only withhold that amount. If they withheld more, that's a mistake and they need to correct that. The HSA is easier -- excess contributions can be removed by calling the HSA administrator, ...
by archbish99
Tue Dec 31, 2013 1:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employer Botched Paycheck
Replies: 31
Views: 2238

Re: Benefits of Living Will / Healthcare PoA

So a will is a necessity too. Plus, somebody other than the spouse needs to have access to the bank accounts, safe deposit box, etc, and maybe joint access to a checking account. Without that, some utilities won't even allow a non-official family member to even pay the electric or water or phone bi...
by archbish99
Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Benefits of Living Will / Healthcare PoA
Replies: 8
Views: 639

Benefits of Living Will / Healthcare PoA

Quick question.... The purpose of a Living Will is to express your end-of-life choices in advance so your doctors know what to do in those circumstances. The purpose of a Healthcare Power of Attorney is to nominate who makes decisions in the event you're incapacitated and your Living Will doesn't sp...
by archbish99
Mon Dec 30, 2013 3:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Benefits of Living Will / Healthcare PoA
Replies: 8
Views: 639

Re: Investing for Child's Retirement

Putting the accounts in your kids names will shoot them as far as college financial aid is concerned, but if you make/have enough to consider contributing to retirement accounts, that's probably not a consideration anyway. Still something to be aware of. I would present it as a matching program, par...
by archbish99
Thu Dec 26, 2013 6:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing for Child's Retirement
Replies: 11
Views: 919

Re: Spousal Social Security Benefits

At risk of sounding like a total neophyte, what I am gathering here is that it's best to delay payments from "defined benefit-type" plans since obviously the longer we wait, the monthly income is higher and guaranteed, like an annuity- and to utilize personal savings and income from other...
by archbish99
Mon Dec 23, 2013 5:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spousal Social Security Benefits
Replies: 15
Views: 960

Re: Best way to contribute to HSA?

My goal is to max out the HSA, as I plan on using it as an IRA, for now the payroll deductions of $10 are small but I can certainly increase those to reach the $2800 if needed (would need to bump it to around $107) but would prefer to use after tax money at the end of 2014/beginning of 2015 before ...
by archbish99
Mon Dec 23, 2013 1:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best way to contribute to HSA?
Replies: 9
Views: 866
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