Search found 262 matches

by Bammerman
Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace TVs with Smart Tvs or not?
Replies: 57
Views: 4418

Re: Replace TVs with Smart Tvs or not?

I "cut the cord" five or seven years ago and have been using successive generations of Apple TV's to stream content to my "dumb" lcd tv since then, very happily. Until last week I'd have echoed what nearly everyone here's been saying: never mind smart tv's, just get a (Roku, Apple TV, whatever) stre...
by Bammerman
Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you budget for vacation?
Replies: 94
Views: 5770

Re: How much do you budget for vacation?

My dad was a manufacturer's representative and traveled frequently. Here is his advice on packing for a trip:

"First, lay out on your bed, all the clothes you plan to take with you. Next, lay out all the money you think you will need. Finally, take away half of the clothes, and double the money."
by Bammerman
Sun Oct 29, 2017 4:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sunscreen: use it all the time? (And what's a good one w/o sting?)
Replies: 58
Views: 3565

Re: Sunscreen: use it all the time? (And what's a good one w/o sting?)

I buy the CVS (cheaper) version of Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch SPF100+, then I water it down 50% so it ends up being SPF 50. The pharmacist confirmed that the result is actually the maximum SPF protection that your skin can use (the SPF 100 product is 50% wasted money).
by Bammerman
Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Include whole life policies as "retirement investment"?
Replies: 5
Views: 625

Include whole life policies as "retirement investment"?

Many many years ago my wife and I took out (small) whole life insurance policies from The Equitable (when there was such a thing). We finished paying premiums on them long ago, and they are paid-up, and/or premiums are being paid from dividends. Their cash value is now about equal to their life insu...
by Bammerman
Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Two Nights in Quebec City - Must See Suggestions, anyone?
Replies: 16
Views: 1342

Re: Two Nights in Quebec City - Must See Suggestions, anyone?

My wife and I spent some days in QC two years ago -- really enjoyed just walking around in the old city and using our rusty French, which the locals actually seemed to appreciate (and to enjoy).
by Bammerman
Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Seeking word-of-mouth on financial advisors in Asheville, NC
Replies: 1
Views: 337

Seeking word-of-mouth on financial advisors in Asheville, NC

I am seeking personal recommendations of fee-only financial advisors in Asheville, North Carolina. If you have comments (pro or con) based on your own experience that you are willing to share with me about any financial advisors in Asheville, I would appreciate your sending them to me in a private m...
by Bammerman
Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Start TSP disbursements and delay social security -- or the other way around?
Replies: 50
Views: 3896

Re: Start TSP disbursements and delay social security -- or the other way around?

It's amazing how much useful information there is in this forum, or should I say, how many helpful people participate here. That's not to say that I understand everything, but that's par for the course. I am leaning toward making a "restricted filing" just for social security spousal benefits as soo...
by Bammerman
Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Start TSP disbursements and delay social security -- or the other way around?
Replies: 50
Views: 3896

RMDs - so what?

What is the fundamental problem with having to take RMDs? Sorry to ask a probably ignorant question.
by Bammerman
Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Start TSP disbursements and delay social security -- or the other way around?
Replies: 50
Views: 3896

Re: Start TSP disbursements and delay social security -- or the other way around?

"...so your RMDs will be smaller."

And, I guess, there will be less tax to pay.
by Bammerman
Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Start TSP disbursements and delay social security -- or the other way around?
Replies: 50
Views: 3896

??? about " Tapping TSP earlier will reduce RMDs as well" and more info

Regarding MRC 's comment that " Tapping TSP earlier will reduce RMDs as well" : I don't really understand this idea very well at all. I know what RMD's are and that it means I must at least start tapping my tax-deferred funds at 70 1/2. But I don't understand how I can control or mitigate this, such...
by Bammerman
Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:31 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Start TSP disbursements and delay social security -- or the other way around?
Replies: 50
Views: 3896

Re: how long do we plan to live

We're both "planning" to live to ripe old ages. We both have LTC insurance, btw.
by Bammerman
Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Start TSP disbursements and delay social security -- or the other way around?
Replies: 50
Views: 3896

Start TSP disbursements and delay social security -- or the other way around?

Hi and here's what I'm wondering. I'm 66 and considering starting social security (my wife will be 66 in a few months and has not started yet either). Assuming we want to increase our monthly income (mostly my government COLA'd pension) by $3,000 -- Should we (a) both start taking social security be...
by Bammerman
Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A request to authors of investing advice
Replies: 16
Views: 1420

Re: A request to authors of investing advice

I apologize for what apparently was a confusing post. Maybe I erred in not providing more specifics regarding my personal situation. Actually, I began composing this post with a short description of my own situation, but then I decided not to make this post about me , but about what I see as a gener...
by Bammerman
Sat Aug 26, 2017 2:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A request to authors of investing advice
Replies: 16
Views: 1420

A request to authors of investing advice

Thank goodness for this website and all the people who've been writing on it. I discovered it a dozen or so years ago when I was floundering around trying to figure out how to even begin to educate myself about investing. Thank goodness also for people like William Bernstein, whose Four Pillars book...
by Bammerman
Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Places worth seeing in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Montreal in mid September
Replies: 6
Views: 565

Re: Places worth seeing in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Montreal in mid September

We visited Halifax last year and had a good time there. It's a walkable city. One very interesting place we visited was the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, which has an art exhibit in the basement that includes the entire (little) house that Nova Scotia "primitive" artist Maud Lewis once lived in with h...
by Bammerman
Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should $100K for remodeling come from savings or from refinance?
Replies: 14
Views: 1999

Re: Should $100K for remodeling come from savings or from refinance?

Already I have benefited from some very helpful replies! "I would agree that a cash out refinance seems unlikely if you're living on 'a pension and some small side jobs.'" Why is that? I'm unclear on the connection between these two things. We have refinanced before but never a "cash-out" refinance,...
by Bammerman
Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should $100K for remodeling come from savings or from refinance?
Replies: 14
Views: 1999

Re: Should $100K for remodeling come from savings or from refinance?

No. I thought I'd start here first for suggestions and comments. What do you mean by the "burden" of a cash out refinance? Do you mean the costs/fees of the refinance? The extension of the mortgage payments?
by Bammerman
Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should $100K for remodeling come from savings or from refinance?
Replies: 14
Views: 1999

Should $100K for remodeling come from savings or from refinance?

The subject line pretty much sums up my question. After living in our old (1925) house for 10 years, just doing basic maintenance, we're ready to do some larger repairs, remodeling (bathrooms, kitchen) and painting. We are just beginning the process and do not have a contractor or cost estimates yet...
by Bammerman
Fri May 26, 2017 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off car loan?
Replies: 17
Views: 1892

Pay off car loan?

A Bank of Mom and Dad loan is about to be paid off (whoopee!) and I was thinking of using the cash infusion to pay off a car loan. I only have nine car payments left -- but the interest rate is only 1.09%. Is paying this off even worth the trouble? I'll probably just keep this cash in my credit unio...
by Bammerman
Sun Feb 19, 2017 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Model 3 or Chevy Bolt?
Replies: 330
Views: 35693

"50 mile commute and will probably do some road trips"

Seconding other posts here, I too suggest that the OP's neighbor consider the Chevy Volt (vice Bolt). I have a 2013 Volt and could almost do a 50 mile commute in it just on battery power without charging (I get about 43 miles from my Volt's battery in the summertime, about 33 miles in the winter). (...
by Bammerman
Sat Feb 11, 2017 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Making prints from iPhone photos
Replies: 12
Views: 1268

Re: Making prints from iPhone photos

I've used Shutterfly and Walgreens, and have found both fine, but since Walgreens is just down the street from me, I tend to go there. Usually I upload my files from home and the prints are ready by the time I drive to Walgreens.
by Bammerman
Sat Feb 11, 2017 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Wall Street Journal to close Google loophole entirely
Replies: 155
Views: 26229

WSJ subscription "for free"

FYI, you can "buy" a WSJ subscription with frequent flyer miles. I have been doing that for years.
by Bammerman
Sun Feb 05, 2017 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anybody else out there still pay for an email address?
Replies: 74
Views: 8915

Thanks, everybody!

I appreciate the comments and the suggestions. So many options, so many choices ... reminds me of the cereal aisle in the grocery store. Considering how rare it is nowadays for me to receive a "real" email -- I mean, a personal email from a person, not a commercial/spam email -- it hardly ...
by Bammerman
Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anybody else out there still pay for an email address?
Replies: 74
Views: 8915

Does anybody else out there still pay for an email address?

I am somewhat embarrassed to write this, especially to Bogleheadians. For years now I have been paying Earthlink $5.95 per month for an email address (okay, actually two: mine and my wife's). That's $72 each year for the privilege of sticking with Earthlink, while (nearly) everybody else on the plan...
by Bammerman
Fri Feb 03, 2017 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is there a problem with my new glass solar roof tiles?
Replies: 7
Views: 962

Is there a problem with my new glass solar roof tiles?

Well, to be honest, I don't actually have Elon Musk's fascinating solar tiles on my roof yet, although I've been thinking about re-roofing with them in a few years when my present roof is worn out, and when my Boat Comes In. I really do like the concept a lot (take a look at the video of Musk announ...
by Bammerman
Wed Nov 16, 2016 6:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Products to cope with other drivers' LED headlight
Replies: 66
Views: 9268

condition of your windshield

The only thing that I have not seen mentioned so far here is the possibility that your windshield has become eroded or "crazed" by sand or other tiny impacts over several years. I don't recall if you mentioned how old your car, or, more specifically, your windshield is, but this is at leas...
by Bammerman
Thu Oct 27, 2016 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What podcasts do you listen to?
Replies: 67
Views: 8427

The History of English

I have listened to and enjoyed the history of Rome and the history of Byzantium, and I'm currently listening to The History of English. Fascinating and very well done. Funny how people change. When I was in the accumulation phase, and, by the way, when the market was generally more up, I used to enj...
by Bammerman
Wed Oct 19, 2016 5:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What iPhone podcast application do you use?
Replies: 25
Views: 2593

Re: What iPhone podcast application do you use?

I'm quite happy using Apple's podcast app to listen to The History of the English Language. I only listen in my car, and all I have to do to start the podcast when I get into the car is to select Bluetooth as the source from my car's infotainment center.
by Bammerman
Sat Sep 24, 2016 1:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best iPhone warranty value
Replies: 15
Views: 1985

Re: Best iPhone warranty value

Re: (kjvmartin) If you're getting a Macbook Pro or an iMac, go for AppleCare and use a credit card with a +1 year warranty. That's 4 years of warranty coverage, a beautiful thing. I'm aware of the doubling of the manufacturer's warranty offered by some credit cards but had not thought about this asp...
by Bammerman
Thu Jul 07, 2016 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Power surge protector for tv, soundbar??
Replies: 30
Views: 3160

Re: Power surge protector for tv, soundbar??

I route all power to my home theatre setup through a switched surge protector and I only turn the power on when it's time for the evening news and I turn it off when it's time to go upstairs to read and sleep. =No electrical path for surges, strikes, etc. while the setup is not in actual use.
by Bammerman
Sun Jun 26, 2016 3:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Was my fund buying or selling on Brexit-bust Friday?
Replies: 4
Views: 868

Was my fund buying or selling on Brexit-bust Friday?

My TSP L-Income fund "is rebalanced daily to maintain its target investment mix" -- so, was it buying stocks (=good) or selling stocks (=not so good) on Friday?
by Bammerman
Tue May 31, 2016 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Refrigerator Water Filters -- OEM or Generic?
Replies: 26
Views: 30773

Re: Refrigerator Water Filters -- OEM or Generic?

I replaced the filter that came with our refrigerator exactly once. When that replacement died I just removed it. That was about ... say, five years ago. Everything's still working well and nobody's been sick. We have very good municipal water. Why do you bother with these refrigerator filters?
by Bammerman
Tue May 17, 2016 3:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My silly math skills
Replies: 25
Views: 2621

Re: My silly math skills

At this point I feel like Dr. Frankenstein.
by Bammerman
Tue May 17, 2016 11:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My silly math skills
Replies: 25
Views: 2621

Re: My silly math skills

After reading the previous post I decided I had to revisit my arithmetic and must now, in the interests of honesty, confess that my first calculation was a tiny bit off. It seems that my L fund actually grew by 37% over the 9.5 years! For whatever that is worth... I had not seen this tspfolio.com we...
by Bammerman
Tue May 17, 2016 9:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My silly math skills
Replies: 25
Views: 2621

Re: My silly math skills

The OP is not consternated by the foregoing -- rather, he finds it risible. No, just kidding. In fact he finds it impressive, even awesome, in the sense that the Grand Canyon is awesome. (Perhaps "useful" in the same sense.) The OP took college courses in economics about 10 years ago: macr...
by Bammerman
Tue May 17, 2016 7:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My silly math skills
Replies: 25
Views: 2621

My silly math skills

This morning I was musing about how flat my TSP fund has been for quite a while. I know, that can be a good thing, depending on what other investments are doing. I've had it all in the L income fund since I retired 9.5 years ago (which also means I have not been adding anything to the fund in that t...
by Bammerman
Wed May 04, 2016 4:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Family member asks my advice about Employee Stock Purchase Plan
Replies: 18
Views: 1782

Re: Family member asks my advice about Employee Stock Purchase Plan

The ticker symbol is EVDY. The employee stock discount is 15%. That's all I really know. So far the few people responding seem to think these plans are often a good deal. And they may well be. But for a young, starting-out investor with few investments, it sill means putting a big bet on one horse. ...
by Bammerman
Wed May 04, 2016 7:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Family member asks my advice about Employee Stock Purchase Plan
Replies: 18
Views: 1782

Family member asks my advice about Employee Stock Purchase Plan

A close family member has asked my advice about whether to participate in a "Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP)." Here's what I'm thinking about saying: "I know very little about your new employer except that they have been rapidly expanding (including hiring you recently). They may ...
by Bammerman
Wed Feb 10, 2016 5:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mailing a US Passport in for Renewal
Replies: 19
Views: 18519

Re: Mailing a US Passport in for Renewal

Priority mail worked great for me and saved me the cost of an envelope; got our new passports back in about two weeks. (Although the expired passports haven't been returned yet.) That time may begin to lengthen, however, as millions of passports are about to reach their 10-year expiration dates. Bet...
by Bammerman
Sat Jan 23, 2016 5:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What 55" TV to Buy
Replies: 51
Views: 5133

What things are worth in money (value)

Reading through this thread and one of the earlier, related ones, got me thinking again about how much I "should" (or would) spend on a TV set. When I retired 8 years ago I promised myself three things: a good LCD TV set, a Miata, and a mistress. Just kidding about the third one, but I got...
by Bammerman
Thu Dec 17, 2015 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Use of Nest Thermostat in a non-forced-air (steam radiator) heat system?
Replies: 7
Views: 4330

Re: Use of Nest Thermostat in a non-forced-air (steam radiator) heat system?

Thanks for the replies (and links). I don't think a Nest is for me. I love gadgets, but I don't think this one could make back the investment. In theory I like it that it would turn down the heat when you leave the house, but since I'm retired, I'm in or around the house most of the time, so that wo...
by Bammerman
Tue Dec 15, 2015 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Use of Nest Thermostat in a non-forced-air (steam radiator) heat system?
Replies: 7
Views: 4330

Use of Nest Thermostat in a non-forced-air (steam radiator) heat system?

I've been reading a lot about the Nest thermostat, but I'm not sure it would "work" in my home: I have a rather old (1925), biggish house with a natural-gas-fired furnace in the basement that heats up steam radiators (the original ones!). There's one simple thermostat on the main floor. No...
by Bammerman
Mon Dec 07, 2015 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Brilliant Energy-Saving Idea -- Or Just Really Stupid?
Replies: 54
Views: 7515

Re: Brilliant Energy-Saving Idea -- Or Just Really Stupid?

All bulbs are LED (some are even wi-fi controlled, for the fun and security-scheduling benefits!). Air tightness: storm windows on all windows, storm doors on doors (nothing I can do about the brick-and-stucco construction). Thick rock wool insulation up in the attic. HE washer. Now, on to other mat...
by Bammerman
Mon Dec 07, 2015 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Brilliant Energy-Saving Idea -- Or Just Really Stupid?
Replies: 54
Views: 7515

The Devil's in the Details

As with everything in life, the devil's in the details: + The dryer is electric (!) and a dehumidifier is installed on the shelf above it (set on automatic; drains into washer drain). + We normally only do two or three loads of laundry per week (= not much additional moisture). + Old (1925) house, n...
by Bammerman
Sat Dec 05, 2015 4:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Brilliant Energy-Saving Idea -- Or Just Really Stupid?
Replies: 54
Views: 7515

A comment about the Ace Dryer Heater Diverter

Just a note about the Ace Dryer Heater Diverter. I installed it today and ran a load of clothes through the dryer, and the diverter does work as advertised. But beware! THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE DEVICE IS EXTREMELY FLIMSY. It reminded me of one of those kids' toy cars that's designed to fly into piece...
by Bammerman
Fri Dec 04, 2015 8:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Brilliant Energy-Saving Idea -- Or Just Really Stupid?
Replies: 54
Views: 7515

Re: Brilliant Energy-Saving Idea -- Or Just Really Stupid?

I bought the Dryer Heat Diverter from Ace for $10* and plan to install it tomorrow. I don't think we wash enough clothes to worry about excess humidity in the basement, and anyway, we have a dehumidifier installed directly above the dryer that drains into the washer drain. Thanks everybody for your ...
by Bammerman
Fri Dec 04, 2015 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Brilliant Energy-Saving Idea -- Or Just Really Stupid?
Replies: 54
Views: 7515

Brilliant Energy-Saving Idea -- Or Just Really Stupid?

So I was just downstairs taking the towels out of the dryer, musing about all the (expensive) hot air being vented out of the dryer and the house, when I had one of my could-be-brilliant-but-probably-is-not, ideas: What if, during the wintertime, I vented the dryer exhaust directly into the basement...
by Bammerman
Mon Oct 26, 2015 7:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long Term Care Policy Poll
Replies: 60
Views: 6135

Re: Long Term Care Policy Poll

Age over 60. My wife and I have had LTC policies since we were 55.
by Bammerman
Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chandelier bulbs
Replies: 23
Views: 2326

Re: Chandelier bulbs

using LEDs to emulate incandescents emulating bee's vomit is faintly ridiculous.

I don't understand what this means.
by Bammerman
Tue Oct 06, 2015 4:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chandelier bulbs
Replies: 23
Views: 2326

Ugly LED Chandelier bulbs, imho

We have a similar situation in our house, with a large chandelier in the dining room, and several other hanging light fixtures that take candelabra bulbs. I have put LED bulbs in almost all of our other (table) lamps, but have not yet done so for the lamps requiring candelabra bulbs, because to my e...