Search found 52 matches

by 168gr
Mon May 23, 2016 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon has no head to head competitors?
Replies: 71
Views: 4166

Re: Amazon has no head to head competitors?

My brother is a contractor that does mostly store remodels for large chains. He's starting a series of jobs this month doing work for Walmart, something like 80 or 100 stores. Apparently they are expanding their online ordering and in addition to local pick up, delivery is in the works. It makes a l...
by 168gr
Sun Mar 27, 2016 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you pay more for USAA?
Replies: 23
Views: 2468

Re: Would you pay more for USAA?

...Why would you say YES for USAA for checking? Perhaps it's the no fee, no minimum protocol? And if you're direct depositing your paycheck, USAA gives you access to your money 6 hours after the "24 hour notice of deposit". I get paid on Friday's...I can spend the money as of 0600 hrs Thu...
by 168gr
Sun Mar 27, 2016 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: does solar increase the value of a house
Replies: 15
Views: 1323

Re: does solar increase the value of a house

Speaking of Texas hail, what is the insurability/insurance cost of solar panels? Also, eventually those panels will deteriorate and need to be replaced or removed. Maintenance cost might be considered. Modern solar panels are surprisingly durable. They look like fragile glass but they're not. An ad...
by 168gr
Wed Feb 24, 2016 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Military Retirement System
Replies: 84
Views: 8638

Re: New Military Retirement System

Apologies for bumping an old thread. I was away for a while and just saw this reply to my post - Not to argue with the overall point here, but I have to disagree with the value of the pension you quoted above for a 45-ish year old retiree. Are there doctors retiring from the military at age 45? Even...
by 168gr
Sun Dec 13, 2015 11:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Military Retirement System
Replies: 84
Views: 8638

Re: New Military Retirement System

As a military physician, you are financially better off leaving the service with or without a change in the retirement system. The benefit to remaining in the service as a physician is lower healthcare costs and the tax advantage of your BAH and BAS. [Comments have been deleted --admin LadyGeek] Th...
by 168gr
Sun Dec 13, 2015 4:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Military Retirement System
Replies: 84
Views: 8638

Re: New Military Retirement System

Retirement pay is just one piece of a complicated system that manages recruiting and retention. It has nothing to do with what is fair or what anyone deserves; it's about how much we need to pay, and when, to recruit and retain enough of the right people. A prime example is that you can't break it ...
by 168gr
Sun Dec 06, 2015 8:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Doctor Strategies
Replies: 74
Views: 10118

Re: Doctor Strategies

Physicians make higher gross incomes in small to mid sized cities in flyover country than in the major urban centers in the coasts. Since cost of living is lower in flyover country, you are also able to save more there than in the coasts. This is one thing that's unique to the medical profession, i...
by 168gr
Sat Oct 31, 2015 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace safe Deposit Box with home safe?
Replies: 46
Views: 5353

Re: Replace safe Deposit Box with home safe?

A floor safe is an excellent option, though there's a small hassle and cost to get it installed. They're by far the best option for new construction, if your primary purpose is to store items you won't need access to often. They're inherently superior to other safes with regard to fire protection, b...
by 168gr
Mon Aug 10, 2015 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 withdrawal and contribution same year
Replies: 4
Views: 550

529 withdrawal and contribution same year

I'd like some confirmation that my undestanding of the tax implications of this plan are correct. Background: 1) My son is starting college this year at an in-state public university. 2) Our income is above the thresholds for the AOTC or LLC federal tax credits. 3) He will collect Post 9/11 GI Bill ...
by 168gr
Fri Jan 09, 2015 8:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth or Traditional TSP?
Replies: 5
Views: 1106

Re: Roth or Traditional TSP?

You can earn $90K+ and still remain in the 15% bracket if married filing jointly with the standard deductions. Will your military pension be that large? You need to look at the average tax rate on your tax deferred withdrawals in order to make the Roth vs. Traditional calculation. Will there be a g...
by 168gr
Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth or Traditional TSP?
Replies: 5
Views: 1106

Roth or Traditional TSP?

Curious what general thoughts the forum has on this. I'm a military physician. I was just logged in to DFAS adjusting my contribution % in order to max out TSP for 2015 ($18,000). I've been maxing it for a number of years now, in addition to saving in a SEP IRA and taxable account at Schwab. My tota...
by 168gr
Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long to keep previous years Income tax returns????
Replies: 43
Views: 3455

Re: How long to keep previous years Income tax returns????

Starting in 2000, I would keep a PDF of each return and scans of any paper documents on a CD. For several years, I created a new updated CD each year and destroyed the previous year CD. It's good that you create a new CD every year, otherwise your first CDs would probably be coasters by now. Lots o...
by 168gr
Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax question related to Roth conversion
Replies: 2
Views: 373

Re: Tax question related to Roth conversion

Thank you, that's what I thought. Appreciate the reply.
by 168gr
Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax question related to Roth conversion
Replies: 2
Views: 373

Tax question related to Roth conversion

I'm a resident of Virginia, stationed in California on PCS orders. VA taxes my military income, CA does not. I earn some money via 1099 contracting in California. This income is taxed by CA, not VA. (There is a very odd mechanism by which CA and VA resolve this; it consists of filing CA and VA tax r...
by 168gr
Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cost of inflation indexed SPIA
Replies: 8
Views: 1569

Re: Cost of inflation indexed SPIA

Thank you all. I appreciate the information. It's hard to put a dollar value on a military retirement benefit but this helps.
by 168gr
Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cost of inflation indexed SPIA
Replies: 8
Views: 1569

Cost of inflation indexed SPIA

I'm playing with some numbers, trying to make rough estimates of the value of a military retirement benefit. On the day of retirement from military service, the value of the pension benefit, in cash, at that instant, would seem to be equal to what one would have to pay, in cash, at that instant, for...
by 168gr
Sat Aug 03, 2013 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Some things a teen could do to help out parents college-wise
Replies: 74
Views: 5791

Re: Some things a teen could do to help out parents college-

Go to community college the first two years then transfer. I don't agree with that plan, unless a 4-year university is truly unaffordable, or there is no plan/goal for a major or career. Then sure, knock out the general education requirements cheap while you aimlessly find yourself and your ambitio...
by 168gr
Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: pick up double major or finish college in 3 years?
Replies: 112
Views: 7195

Re: pick up double major or finish college in 3 years?

At the risk of going a little further off topic - how long ago was that exactly? I served on our admissions committee as a medical student in the mid-2000s...people with lower scores and a better story/background had a much better chance of getting in than someone with a perfect gpa and high MCAT w...
by 168gr
Thu Jul 25, 2013 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: pick up double major or finish college in 3 years?
Replies: 112
Views: 7195

Re: pick up double major or finish college in 3 years?

Here's an alternative perspective - if she decides to go to medical school, admissions committees will eat up a candidate with a double major in non-science fields (assuming she has the prereqs or goes back and does them later). Not to derail the thread too much (I didn't see the OP say his daughte...
by 168gr
Wed Jul 17, 2013 2:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay keeping up with inflation for your job?
Replies: 52
Views: 5726

Re: Pay keeping up with inflation for your job?

So what do you think is acceptable for raises/pay vs. inflation? Acceptable is kind of a vague word. Do you mean acceptable is "good enough for me to not quit and go work elsewhere" or simply "fair"? Good enough depends on you. Fair depends on whether or not the value of one's w...
by 168gr
Tue Jul 16, 2013 12:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Conversion of Coverdell ESA to 529 plan, state tax benefits?
Replies: 3
Views: 301

Re: Conversion of Coverdell ESA to 529 plan, state tax benef

Thanks. As far as I can tell it'll be deductible in Virginia too.

I emailed the VA 529 people a few days ago, still waiting on an answer. I bet they'll just tell me to consult my tax adviser and dodge the question.
by 168gr
Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Conversion of Coverdell ESA to 529 plan, state tax benefits?
Replies: 3
Views: 301

Conversion of Coverdell ESA to 529 plan, state tax benefits?

Years ago we opened "Education IRA" accounts for our kids at our credit union. These days I guess they're called Coverdell education savings accounts. The only investment options were CDs (around 3.5% so not too bad for this era) and they'll mature soon. We quit putting money in those acco...
by 168gr
Sat Jul 13, 2013 7:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how bad would it hurt to spend an extra 10k on a car (24 yo)
Replies: 93
Views: 6229

Re: how bad would it hurt to spend an extra 10k on a car (24

Of course if you ask an investing forum what you should do with $1 or $5 or $100 or $10,000 everyone's going to tell you to invest it. Here's the right answer, IMHO: Make a conservative plan to meet your retirement goals, both in terms of timing and dollar value, with a cushion sufficient to let you...
by 168gr
Sat Jul 13, 2013 3:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Questions re SEP-IRA & TSP
Replies: 2
Views: 472

Re: Questions re SEP-IRA & TSP

I too am a cog in the government machine and contribute to TSP. I also have a SEP-IRA funded from non-goverment 1099 work. The IRA has investment options not available in TSP, most importantly (for me) REITs and emerging market equities. For that reason I very much like not having everything in TSP ...
by 168gr
Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Merchant costs on 2% cash back cards
Replies: 125
Views: 26064

Re: Merchant costs on 2% cash back cards

Its worth noting that those of you who proudly pull out your Platinum Whatever card and present it to the merchant thinking it signals that you are an elite customer, that to the contrary, the merchant hates you. Those cards cost them an extra half to one percent for the transaction. They feel like...
by 168gr
Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which TSP option to choose?
Replies: 7
Views: 945

Re: Which TSP option to choose?

Since you are in the military, if you ever get sent to a "combat zone" I think you can put money in your TSP that is tax-exempt. That's right. I'm just about to leave a combat zone, and put the max $17.5K into Roth TSP while I was here. Tax free going in, tax free growth, tax free coming ...
by 168gr
Thu Jul 04, 2013 12:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Quick ETF vs mutual fund question
Replies: 1
Views: 274

Quick ETF vs mutual fund question

I have a SEP-IRA account at Schwab. A few of the funds I own there are SWPPX (Schwab S&P 500 Index Fund, ER .09) SWSSX (Schwab Small Cap Index Fund, ER .17) SWISX (Schwab International Index Fund, developed market, ER .21) But I was looking through the ETF offerings recently SCHB (Schwab U.S. Br...
by 168gr
Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 3 funders with a pinch of gold, silv
Replies: 22
Views: 1452

Re: 3 funders with a pinch of gold, silv

It might be prudent to own gold and silver as a hedge in a portfolio. The problem is that these can be dead money for years. If one were interested in something like this, I would wait until the masses lose interest in precious metals. Gold in particular has had a great run up in price, though it i...
by 168gr
Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard's Bogle: Yesterday Sound & Fury Signifying Nothing
Replies: 16
Views: 2679

Re: Vanguard's Bogle: Yesterday Sound & Fury Signifying Noth

I'm amazed that they keep inviting him back. What he says goes against what they hype. But he does say it politely. Maybe they don't understand what he is saying? I keep hoping for a "Jon Stewart on Crossfire Moment" that exposes them for what they really are, in a way that even the regul...
by 168gr
Mon Jun 03, 2013 8:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Navy Mutual for Term Life Insurance?
Replies: 4
Views: 786

Re: Navy Mutual for Term Life Insurance?

My wife and I have had term life insurance policies with them since 1997. Low premiums, good reputation. Haven't had occasion to file a claim :happy but overall happy with them. And a big +1 on insuring the wife for more than $250K. Whether she has a career or is to be a stay-at-home mom with no inc...
by 168gr
Sat May 18, 2013 2:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: future of medical practice - career help - physician
Replies: 17
Views: 1882

Re: future of medical practice - career help - physician

One of the recurring themes on this forum is the idea of assessing your "need" to take risk. Along with that is the concept that once you've reached a goal, or that goal is within easy and assured reach, it's reasonable to take some risk off the table. I don't think that choosing a practic...
by 168gr
Fri May 17, 2013 11:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Gold
Replies: 78
Views: 4733

Re: Gold

Ged wrote:No, it is not silly. It is a very commonly used example of how gold is an inflation hedge.

It's silly because it's wrong. The fact that people commonly use it as a (wrong) example is what makes it silly.
by 168gr
Fri May 17, 2013 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College - The new scam
Replies: 33
Views: 2295

Re: College - The new scam

One of my buddies did the GI bill for college and honestly... it was not worth it. He served as an enlisted military police and routinely performed some very hazardous jobs escorting supply trucks during the Iraq War. What did he get for his trouble? A few hundred bucks per month which did not come...
by 168gr
Fri May 17, 2013 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College - The new scam
Replies: 33
Views: 2295

Re: College - The new scam

Bah. These articles are usually garbage. This one's worse than most, with it's 1%-er and education-industrial-complex conspiracy ranting. The author even praises the greatness of his "free" UK education but then acknowledges that the taxpayers got a great ROI because of the high taxes he p...
by 168gr
Fri May 17, 2013 10:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Gold
Replies: 78
Views: 4733

Re: Gold

The best projection of gold performance over time is that it will match inflation. One ounce of gold buys a nice suit today, and will continue to do so in the future. I need better performance than that. That's simply not true, even with some cursory fact checking. I don't know why people keep trot...
by 168gr
Sat May 11, 2013 7:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Yet another backdoor Roth question
Replies: 1
Views: 261

Yet another backdoor Roth question

I'm in the military and deployed for most of 2013. This year, because of the combat zone tax exclusion and the fact that I can't earn money from my usual off-duty employment, my taxable income is about as low as it will ever be until I retire. The bulk of my retirement savings are in TSP. When I'm n...
by 168gr
Sun Apr 21, 2013 3:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is My Federal Pension a Substitute for a Bond Fund?
Replies: 29
Views: 3243

Re: Is My Federal Pension a Substitute for a Bond Fund?

Isn't a large part of the point of holding bonds to allow for rebalancing when the equity portion fluctuates, thereby increasing overall returns and reducing overall risk? If you have no bonds and stocks take a hit, you can't just sell part of your SS benefits or pension. You may think of SS and the...
by 168gr
Sat Apr 20, 2013 3:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: harvard med school vs. penn med+full tuition scholarship
Replies: 115
Views: 13402

Re: harvard med school vs. penn med+full tuition scholarship

Oh my god, how did I miss this thread for 5 days.

Easiest question ever posed to this forum. Take the scholarship. Let someone else borrow money to go to Harvard.
by 168gr
Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should my wife keep working or become a stay-at-home mom?
Replies: 112
Views: 9437

Re: Should my wife keep working or become a stay-at-home mom

OverTheHill wrote:I'm OverTheHill, and I never made the above quote.


You're right, I screwed up the attribution when getting fancy with the multi-quoting. Fixed. My apologies.
by 168gr
Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should my wife keep working or become a stay-at-home mom?
Replies: 112
Views: 9437

Re: Should my wife keep working or become a stay-at-home mom

You realize time spent with your child/children is precious. The job will always be there, but your children are with you for a very short period of time. No, it won't. That's a large part of the dilemma. Professionals who exit the work force to raise kids frequently find that the job isn't there w...
by 168gr
Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Physicians: Are cash Medicare rates acceptable to you?]
Replies: 37
Views: 5034

Re: [Physicians: Are cash Medicare rates acceptable to you?]

It's an interesting question. You're going to get very, very different answers from two groups of physicians though. 1) Those who have been in practice for 10+ years and/or have no educational debt. 2) Those who are just now exiting residency with $200-300K+ in student loans at 6.8%+. Doing a little...
by 168gr
Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Well compensated, not so knowledgeable Dr.=Beginner
Replies: 107
Views: 10260

Re: What an advisor says about doctors.

The biggest financial mistake male doctors make is marrying trophy wives. (giggle) No, the biggest mistake is marrying and divorcing them ... rinse and repeat. Closely followed by extravagant toys. An orthopedic surgeon I work with is on wife number 3, or maybe it's 4. I can't remember. He also &qu...
by 168gr
Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TSP Performance
Replies: 39
Views: 3277

Re: TSP Performance

grabiner wrote:The G fund also serves the purpose of a bond fund (and it's better than the F fund for most investors).

Why is G better than F for most investors?

For my asset allocation purposes, the difference between F and G didn't seem that important, so I have both as part of my bond %. What am I missing?
by 168gr
Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: AAPL
Replies: 232
Views: 56771

Re: AAPL

bought some at 497 today. just about 4% of my port. 704 to 484 in two months for arguably the smartest company in the world on no material bad news is too quick, even for the fast changing tech world. You mean, aside from cutting their display orders in half because they think they'll sell less stu...
by 168gr
Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: SEP to Roth conversion question
Replies: 4
Views: 759

SEP to Roth conversion question

I'm active duty military. For the last few years I've done some contracting work on the side, paid by 1099, and from that income have funded a SEP IRA. Presently nearly everything in the SEP is invested in a handful of index funds. All of my other tax-advantaged retirement savings are in TSP. My tax...
by 168gr
Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:31 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Quick 529 benefit transfer question
Replies: 3
Views: 295

Re: Quick 529 benefit transfer question

Thank you.

So - no 529 penalties to transfer benefits from parent to child, but if the transfer exceeds the $13K annual exclusion the gift tax applies.

I think my wife and I need our own Virginia 529 accounts. :happy
by 168gr
Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Quick 529 benefit transfer question
Replies: 3
Views: 295

Quick 529 benefit transfer question

Maybe my google-fu is weak but I can't find a clear answer to this. I've read that lateral transfers are OK (from one kid to another, or to a cousin), and that 1-step-up transfers are OK (kid to parent), but are 1-step-down transfers OK (parent to kid)? We have 3 kids. As Virginia residents, contrib...
by 168gr
Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Interesting question & challenge
Replies: 25
Views: 1895

Re: Interesting question & challenge:endowments & private we

I'm a novice with a simple (perhaps naive) question: Is it possible that one reason Harvard and Yale do well is because of insider training writ large? Consider the huge alumni network, and the types of positions those alumni end up in. Maybe the reason they seem to be a step ahead of the market is ...
by 168gr
Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [Military] Deploying in a week - seeking investing advice
Replies: 38
Views: 2012

Re: [Military] Deploying in a week - seeking investing advic

baw703916 wrote:https://www.tsp.gov/planparticipation/eligibility/traditionalRothContributions.shtml

There are no income limits for Roth TSP contributions.


Ooh, that's interesting, thanks. :D
by 168gr
Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [Military] Deploying in a week - seeking investing advice
Replies: 38
Views: 2012

Re: [Military] Deploying in a week - seeking investing advic

Roth TSP is still subject to the income limits, isn't it?

If one was, hypothetically speaking, married filing jointly and getting paid more than $178K/year by the military, the Roth TSP would not be an option while deployed.


Please correct me if I'm wrong, preferably before January 1st. :happy

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