Search found 298 matches

by TBillT
Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Premium gas at BJ's for Mercedes
Replies: 41
Views: 1787

Re: Premium gas at BJ's for Mercedes

Here is the American Petroleum Institute map of Gasoline requirements. Southwest Maine on the coast would appear to be reformulated gasoline. I was having trouble visualizing how western Maine is on the coast, but OK now I see. http://www.api.org/~/media/Files/Policy/Fuels-and-Renewables/2016-Oct-RF...
by TBillT
Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Premium gas at BJ's for Mercedes
Replies: 41
Views: 1787

Re: Premium gas at BJ's for Mercedes

Ditto I usually use TopTierGas.com, but I have not heard a problem with BJ's. The other consideration is where you live, here in northern Virginia we have EPA RFG (reformulated gasoline). I tend to think that RFG keeps regional gaso quality quite uniform, whereas if you get outside of RFG areas, the...
by TBillT
Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity American Express Card discontinuance
Replies: 10
Views: 1295

Re: Fidelity American Express Card discontinuance

I have saved up a lot of AMEX points dreaming that is for a Maui vacation.
Sounds like we could open a new AMEX account to take the points?
But maybe I should just transfer the points to Hilton...not sure.
Had this AMEX card petty much my entire adult life.
by TBillT
Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: AMEX ending Fidelity Gold Card
Replies: 1
Views: 231

AMEX ending Fidelity Gold Card

We received snail mail and email today saying AMEX is discontinuing the Fidelity Gold Card program.
Has this been already discussed?
We've had this AMEX card maybe since inception whenever that was (1980's?).
by TBillT
Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Did everyone in the early 80s have their money in CDs?
Replies: 77
Views: 6142

Re: Did everyone in the early 80s have their money in CDs?

...and of course in those days we had Wall $treet Week with Louis Rukeyser every Friday nite at 7PM on PBS TV.
by TBillT
Tue Jan 02, 2018 1:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Did everyone in the early 80s have their money in CDs?
Replies: 77
Views: 6142

Re: Did everyone in the early 80s have their money in CDs?

Early 80's was when everyone started hearing about Money Market funds and started accounts with Fidelity/Vanguard/etc....but despite the high interest rates, the stock market and real estate were the popular investments. We had to pay big brokerage fees to trade stocks. Economist Gary Shilling predi...
by TBillT
Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oil filled space heaters
Replies: 39
Views: 4008

Re: Oil filled space heaters

We have had a Delongi for many years.
The first one developed an oil leak, after many years use.
So we are on the second one, right now we do not use too often.
Sometimes I try to place it near the air duct as the air flowing over it carries the heat to the room.
by TBillT
Mon Jan 01, 2018 6:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SALT Tax Deduction Max of $10K is NOT indexed to Inflation
Replies: 29
Views: 4265

Re: SALT Tax Deduction Max of $10K is NOT indexed to Inflation

For 2018 many will move to the standard deduction due to this. Some few of us will be trying to hang on to Itemizing, which may include me...not sure yet. Got a few tricks up my sleeve but obviously maybe fiddling with mortgage/home purchases would allow max out on home interest. Donations with appr...
by TBillT
Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Roth Conversions without ability to Recharacterize
Replies: 45
Views: 2396

Re: Roth Conversions without ability to Recharacterize

....The remaining conversion will be made in December 2018 when I have a much clearer idea of our income for the year, have obtained a copy of 2018 tax software, and decided whether we will itemize under the new tax regime. This will depend on what our medical expenses are and how much I have decid...
by TBillT
Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your travel tips for Vienna and Budapest?
Replies: 23
Views: 1181

Re: Your travel tips for Vienna and Budapest?

Vienna the thing you probably want to do is walk around the Ringstrasse at night to see the historic buildings all lit up. Vienna is all about music and art, so we like the Klimpt and other paintings at the Bellvedere. There is the Opera and Strauss statue and music shows. There is the Sigmund Freud...
by TBillT
Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: too much $ in my company of work?
Replies: 51
Views: 4100

Re: too much $ in my company of work?

I am late to the thread, and I am confused about where the company stock is being held. But if it is in the company saving plan/401K, one thing to be aware of the NUA option - tax advantaged withdrawal upon retirement. So what I did while working was sell off some stock in the plan, but saved some l...
by TBillT
Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Grandfather's 529, gift?
Replies: 4
Views: 339

Re: Grandfather's 529, gift?

Yes I think you have the $14000 limit per child (but see below you can apparently do a 5-year lump) http://www.savingforcollege.com/grandparents/answer.php?grandparent_faq_id=11 "Total 529 plan contribution limits are set by the states and can be as high as $380,000. However, to avoid gift tax conse...
by TBillT
Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fuel Additives for 2017 Toyota Camry
Replies: 50
Views: 2955

Re: Fuel Additives for 2017 Toyota Camry

Even w/ my rudimentary understanding of microbiology. I'm fairly certain there aren't any bacteria that can thrive in an environment of gasoline and ethanol. Well microbial growth in fuels is a generic problem, apparently including E10 gaso in some cases, but I don't think it a big deal in your car...
by TBillT
Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fuel Additives for 2017 Toyota Camry
Replies: 50
Views: 2955

Re: Fuel Additives for 2017 Toyota Camry

The southeast Toyota dealer district, if that's whee you are, has somewhat of a maverick reputation.
by TBillT
Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fuel Additives for 2017 Toyota Camry
Replies: 50
Views: 2955

Re: Fuel Additives for 2017 Toyota Camry

I agree this is strange recommendation. The question is: is this a dealer recommendation, or Toyota USA recommendation? Ethanol separation can be a problem for a lawn mowers, but these days your car fuel tank is a complex system and does not usually allow exposure to air (moisture). One thing you ca...
by TBillT
Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Who keeps more money out of 100k? Self-employed vs Employed?
Replies: 39
Views: 2918

Re: Who keeps more money out of 100k? Self-employed vs Employed?

The way social security FICA deduction works only charging the first $127,000 income seems like it was designed to screw the self-employed in that income bracket. That's the way it feels to me in self-employment.
by TBillT
Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Stable Value funds in 529 Plans
Replies: 11
Views: 799

Re: Stable Value funds in 529 Plans

Sounds like they are saying CO was the 2nd highest of all SVF funds... it was very high.
There are not too many SVF options in 529 plans, you had CO, Vanguard 529, VA 529 has one that I am in but it is crappy low rates.
by TBillT
Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: National Park trip w/1 year old infant
Replies: 35
Views: 1961

Re: National Park trip w/1 year old infant

We stayed in Yellowstone Lodge got a room adjacent to Old Faithful.
And there is a walking path there that goes by a lot of great little geysers and thermal pools and things.
by TBillT
Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a dishwasher
Replies: 54
Views: 3703

Re: Buying a dishwasher

Hmm...they all look the same with the control panel hidden on the top of the door. My daughter is having a huge hassle with a new Kenmore becuase that control panel is exposed to the steam coming out and thus fails electronically right away. There are getting used to washing dishes the "old fashione...
by TBillT
Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles
Replies: 112
Views: 8699

Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

About 50% of plug-ins are sold in Ca. so the effect is quite diluted outside of Ca. One reference said 75% of plug-ins on the road are in Ca. but so far I have not confirmed that one. Sales statistics are hard to come by as Ca. is the only state I know that publishes (CNCDA.org). If you want to dril...
by TBillT
Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POAs may not be that powerful
Replies: 94
Views: 5462

Re: POAs may not be that powerful

We just had something like this OP. We lost a family member, unfortunately in a hospital on travel outside of USA. So overseas Hospitals often want to be paid immediately, and put the burden on you to get reimbursement. We tried to pay via POA (before the death) which was assigned to a Bank as trust...
by TBillT
Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NUA (Net Unrealized Appreciation) and Tax Returns
Replies: 9
Views: 650

Re: NUA (Net Unrealized Appreciation) and Tax Returns

I just did this last year. There are several options: (1) There is a "no tax" approach, at least our plan had it, if you have "After Tax" dollars invested in the plan, you can that stock at cost basis instead of taking the cash out; so we were told to try to have enough AFTER TAX dollars to do this ...
by TBillT
Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best no sweat athletic/work socks
Replies: 28
Views: 2237

Re: Best no sweat athletic/work socks

For running I use Wrightsock double layer...they have some cool colors but I only use white so far
by TBillT
Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First visit to Hawaii (flight, Amex Plat benefits, extend stay?)
Replies: 53
Views: 4129

Re: First visit to Hawaii (flight, Amex Plat benefits, extend stay?)

We are also dreaming a Hawaii vaca possibly with AMEX points. I don't immediately see it mentioned above, but don't forget if you have AMEX points you can sometimes convert them to Hotel points. We've saved up a bunch of points but having trouble seeing how to use them in Maui, with Grand Wailea in ...
by TBillT
Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Phone Calls/Mailings from Vanguard Proxy Tabulator
Replies: 1
Views: 376

Phone Calls/Mailings from Vanguard Proxy Tabulator

Do we have a thread on the blitz of phone calls and mailings from the Vanguard proxy vote handlers?
I could use some guidance if there is an important issue that needs a vote.
by TBillT
Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Stable value fund
Replies: 27
Views: 2180

Re: Stable value fund

3% would be good as <2% has been the SVF norm (have not checked rates lately)
by TBillT
Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:16 am
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: DC Bogleheads Meeting in Ballston with Sita Slavov
Replies: 24
Views: 2616

Re: DC Bogleheads Meeting in Ballston with Sita Slavov

Oh wow sounds like a good presentation ...maybe next time...did not realize we had a chapter
by TBillT
Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Transferring I Bonds to Son
Replies: 14
Views: 779

Re: Transferring I Bonds to Son

Gee need to check ... I thought you could make a transfer, and one reason you might want to is because a parent can use the proceeds for education expenses thereby saving taxes. That's limited and benefits the parent. Parent has to be at least 24 when the bond was purchased and have an income limit...
by TBillT
Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Transferring I Bonds to Son
Replies: 14
Views: 779

Re: Transferring I Bonds to Son

Gee need to check ... I thought you could make a transfer, and one reason you might want to is because a parent can use the proceeds for education expenses thereby saving taxes.
by TBillT
Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Distressing news -> Flight to Safety ?
Replies: 75
Views: 7608

Re: Distressing news -> Flight to Safety ?

There are Treasuries, and then there are TREASURIES If you are very brave you would buy 20-30-year Zero coupon long term Treasury Bonds. If the market tanks and the 30-year goes from 2.7% yield to 2% yield, you could have a huge capital gain. Gary Shilling (economist) has discussed this concept for...
by TBillT
Sat Sep 16, 2017 3:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Distressing news -> Flight to Safety ?
Replies: 75
Views: 7608

Re: Distressing news -> Flight to Safety ?

There are Treasuries, and then there are TREASURIES
If you are very brave you would buy 20-30-year Zero coupon long term Treasury Bonds.
If the market tanks and the 30-year goes from 2.7% yield to 2% yield, you could have a huge capital gain.
by TBillT
Fri Sep 15, 2017 4:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Redeeming high yielding I-Bonds / financing pre Social Security
Replies: 5
Views: 875

Re: Redeeming high yielding I-Bonds / financing pre Social Security

Wow and I thought my 1% I-Bond was good! I am same age as you, but right now I am selling some stocks. After that, my plan is to defer SS and max out (within reasonable 25% taxes) IRA withdrawals and convert to Roth IRA/cash. In other words, we need to look ahead to the age 70.5 required minimum dis...
by TBillT
Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which Bond Fund Will Perform Best With Rising Rates?
Replies: 27
Views: 3386

Re: Which Bond Fund Will Perform Best With Rising Rates?

Perhaps somebody already mentioned Bank Loan Funds such as Fidelity FFRHX, which I use to balance against rising rates.
by TBillT
Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best Resources to understand self-employed retirement savings options
Replies: 4
Views: 329

Re: Best Resources to understand self-employed retirement savings options

There are a lot of ideas on the threads here if you can find them.
I used SEP IRA but it was just me no employees, there are better options in some cases.
The nice thing on SEP IRA was you can delay until tax form filed so basically up to October for the prior tax year.
by TBillT
Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Harvesting of capital gains
Replies: 7
Views: 408

Re: Harvesting of capital gains

You are not giving us too much help as far as your tax bracket, your age, filing status, and amount$ we are talking about. I am currently harvesting cap gains due to lower income tax bracket in retirement. Based on current tax laws (forbidden topic but obviously change is in the air) one target to d...
by TBillT
Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pimco PONDX increasing fee in 3 weeks - stay in?
Replies: 10
Views: 1334

Re: Pimco PONDX increasing fee in 3 weeks - stay in?

Do me a favor and go to Morningstar.com and look at performance and ratings. On the growth chart compare to VWINX Wellesley. We have a 5-star fund rated at Below Average cost performing extremely well. You could also chat on the Morningstar site to see if others or Morningstar itself are concerned. ...
by TBillT
Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is tall Fescue really tall?
Replies: 12
Views: 1559

Re: Is tall Fescue really tall?

All - OK thank you - I have some backyard areas where it might work best. I have about an acre in tall fescue with a little perennial rye mixed in. Normally keep it cut at 4.25 inches for most of the season - a little shorter in cooler weather -- especially if it is rainy. Never water. Very sparingl...
by TBillT
Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is tall Fescue really tall?
Replies: 12
Views: 1559

Is tall Fescue really tall?

I was a pretty good lawn expert in my day, but we never used Tall Fescue.
Now that's about all you can buy, although I usually avoid it if possible.
Are the new tall fescue varieties better(shorter) or something than the old days?
Need some help here.
by TBillT
Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Yes Virginia, you can lose money in bonds
Replies: 36
Views: 5446

Re: Yes Virginia, you can lose money in bonds

You have to put this (misleading?) thread in perspective- A 30-yr TBond purchased in 1982 at 15% interest has out-performed 5.5x times better than the S&P index (per gov't bond bull A. Gary Shilling). And a few threads ago we verified his math. So there. Let's hope for 1982 all over again. Lemme se...
by TBillT
Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Yes Virginia, you can lose money in bonds
Replies: 36
Views: 5446

Re: Yes Virginia, you can lose money in bonds

You have to put this (misleading?) thread in perspective-
A 30-yr TBond purchased in 1982 at 15% interest has out-performed 5.5x times better than the S&P index (per gov't bond bull A. Gary Shilling). And a few threads ago we verified his math.

So there.
by TBillT
Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Electric car in evacuation situation
Replies: 61
Views: 4832

Re: Electric car in evacuation situation

As far as emergency situations, flexibility wins. So if gasoline is unavailable, electric wins, and vice versa. I believe electric vehicles helped in Japan for the tsunami recovery. Hybrids such as Prius can be very handy for running an inverter to get back up power for the home. I thought you were ...
by TBillT
Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Contemplating an Electric Car
Replies: 147
Views: 10179

Re: Contemplating an Electric Car

I am not a huge EV supporter, but I call attention that NISSAN is apparently giving add'l $10k off 2017 LEAF in some markets thru your utility. So we are talking after discounts/rebates as low as $10k net new LEAF cost in some markets. This apparently to clear 2017 inventory. Check the web pages,
by TBillT
Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: things to do during lean patch of income
Replies: 4
Views: 1015

Re: things to do during lean patch of income

Well $150k is not too shabby. Without recalling all the rules, the things I did in that Self-employed bracket was Roth IRA, SEP IRA. Currently I am even lower income in retirement and now selling stocks with long term gains because we have really low long term cap gains tax. I always felt $150k self...
by TBillT
Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: State Farm won't insure my rooftop solar
Replies: 10
Views: 2045

Re: State Farm won't insure my rooftop solar

I assume you live in a pro-solar state as evidenced by the net-metering agreement. I'd check in with the state to see if they are aware of the issue and which insurance cos. they are suggesting. Allstate ruled out covering our house for some technicality unrelated to solar, so we had to go with Stat...
by TBillT
Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sitting on the sidelines...for now
Replies: 32
Views: 4141

Re: Sitting on the sidelines...for now

I am sitting on the sidelines too. But Boglehead's recommend it's usually best to invest the lump sum right away in a 3-fund portfolio. Something like VG Life Strategy Moderate would be an all-in-1 total market fund approach. That uses 4 funds. For sitting on the sidelines you have VG money market f...
by TBillT
Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Eclipse Traffic: predictions vs reality?
Replies: 64
Views: 5502

Re: Eclipse Traffic: predictions vs reality?

We were near but outside Carbondale IL. Not much traffic, although we used WAZE to work around one traffic jam on the way home. Probably we went around the main Carbondale traffic. My neighbor in northern VA reports extreme traffic 18 vs. 5 hours getting home from SC I think he said it was I81 was a...
by TBillT
Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: DC 529 Plan vs other states'
Replies: 17
Views: 1447

Re: DC 529 Plan vs other states'

We might have a winner!. This is what I needed to hear. This makes the most amount of sense I think. However, theoretically if I somehow do not find a lower cost plan after I move, naturally I assume I'm still allowed to contribute to the plan (but give up the tax benefit) since it's irrelevant whe...
by TBillT
Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Core position in Fidelity
Replies: 24
Views: 4475

Re: Core position in Fidelity

I have recently changed to my Fidelity core accounts to money market funds to get more interest. I am willing to take more risk than the gov't money market fund. I ended up with a variety of money market fund tickers, depending on balance size and sometimes they let you have certain funds if you his...
by TBillT
Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to buy glasses for eclipse viewing ?
Replies: 70
Views: 6901

Re: Where to buy glasses for eclipse viewing ?

There is quite a variety on Amazon.
Ditto above however, Amazon emailed me yesterday to say some of the ones I bought there could no longer be verified as certified.
I suspect this recent issue may have the result of creating a backlog in Amazon for the properly certified glasses/viewers.
by TBillT
Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: DC 529 Plan vs other states'
Replies: 17
Views: 1447

Re: DC 529 Plan vs other states'

main reason for sticking with the DC plan is the probably tax deduction. PS- in your case, planning to move, not sure DC plan is in your long term interest. Usually you have to give any tax deduction back if you transfer out later. Since the tax deduction is an attractive feature, would it potentia...