Search found 331 matches

by TBillT
Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MAGI and Medicare Premium
Replies: 10
Views: 1196

Re: MAGI and Medicare Premium

I am in the same boat: I would rather use 2017 income over 2016. My approach was to file my 2017 FORM 1040 early in hopes they will see that latest return when I apply. But my guess is they will use 2016 return, even if 2017 is available to them. Your guess is right. If you want them to look at a l...
by TBillT
Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Got hit with a $2800 Medical bill. Can I negotiate?
Replies: 187
Views: 9029

Re: Got hit with a $2800 Medical bill. Can I negotiate?

One thing too is where you were injured...I had fallen once on a common path in our town due to maintenance issue, and I got a letter from my insurer asking where this happened. Town paid the Bill in the end.
by TBillT
Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MAGI and Medicare Premium
Replies: 10
Views: 1196

Re: MAGI and Medicare Premium

I am in the same boat: I would rather use 2017 income over 2016.
My approach was to file my 2017 FORM 1040 early in hopes they will see that latest return when I apply.
But my guess is they will use 2016 return, even if 2017 is available to them.
by TBillT
Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: VW Atlas
Replies: 46
Views: 3074

Re: VW Atlas

My daughter has the Atlas for her family, replacement for Odessey.
They have had some recall issues with gaso tank leak, which they had repaired took about 2 weeks they had a loaner.
Otherwise they seem to like it.
I would go minivan route, but SUV's are the hot sell these days.
by TBillT
Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity 4-in-one
Replies: 9
Views: 1177

Re: Fidelity 4-in-one

Yes now that you mention it, it is interesting.
I like Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate which has the international bond component, and roughly approximates the total stock+bond market.
That would be the fund I would compare to as far as performance.
by TBillT
Sun Mar 25, 2018 12:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Pls Help me understand 2018 SALT deductions.
Replies: 17
Views: 1894

Re: Pls Help me understand 2018 SALT deductions.

So as far as loopholes, some states give generous state tax credits for donations to certain state-favored non-profits. If your state has this type of program, presumably that is one possible way to essentially convert state tax owed into a donation. NJ is talking about re-defining state tax as a do...
by TBillT
Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bond question
Replies: 6
Views: 556

Re: Bond question

Yes to above sometimes bonds are callable, so you will have yield to first call (worst), and yield to maturity, if it does not get called. Sometimes I will take a 3% yield to worst, and 5% yield to maturity, hoping if interest rates go up, I'll have a 5% bond yield. So far I've lost most of those bo...
by TBillT
Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is buying $50,000 worth of TSLA at this time advisable?
Replies: 46
Views: 3449

Re: Is buying $50,000 worth of TSLA at this time advisable?

Goldman downgraded yesterday. The immediate risk would be any issue with Model-3 ...right now a successful Model-3 launch is baked into the price. In general, scale-up is a problem that many assume is duck soup. Who needs R&D anymore? Too expensive., Let's just build a huge plant and it should work ...
by TBillT
Sun Mar 18, 2018 9:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Money Market Yield Gaps
Replies: 8
Views: 1893

Re: Vanguard Money Market Yield Gaps

Cool I think we have some of each including Treasury MMF...did not realize it was keeping pace quite so well.
by TBillT
Sun Mar 18, 2018 9:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Question - NJ vs PA + DC vs NY vs PA
Replies: 7
Views: 429

Re: Tax Question - NJ vs PA + DC vs NY vs PA

We lived in South Jersey outside Philly a long time, but I can only offer general trends due to time away. You already know about the Philly wage tax, which it sounds like they are working very hard to minimize by 2022. When they first implemented that tax in 1985, it tended to force an population o...
by TBillT
Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tires on a 15 year old car....Replace or not?
Replies: 79
Views: 5115

Re: Tires on a 15 year old car....Replace or not?

Must replace. The problem is rain and you could fishtail.
by TBillT
Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 0W-20 Synthetic Motor Oil
Replies: 58
Views: 7221

Re: 0W-20 Synthetic Motor Oil

If the question is just where to buy cheap I go to Walmart.
by TBillT
Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Zealand - Bucket list trip
Replies: 22
Views: 1967

Re: New Zealand - Bucket list trip

We actually lived there 5 months, but it was so long ago now. We lived with Mount Taranaki behind our home which is photogenic volcano like Mt Fuji, but probably off the tourist path. North Island you have the Rotorua/Lake Taupo areas and the volcanos. Besides thermal areas, I am thinking Rotorua ha...
by TBillT
Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Emergency Medevac - costs and options
Replies: 35
Views: 3327

Re: Emergency Medevac - costs and options

What do you mean by this: " trip insurance only covers $10000-20000 in medical overages " What type of trip insurance did you/they have? RM When you take a cruise ship (which I do not) you can get trip insurance. My understanding, typically that's going to cover MediVac to a major hospital if neede...
by TBillT
Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Emergency Medevac - costs and options
Replies: 35
Views: 3327

Re: Emergency Medevac - costs and options

We went through all this last year when a close relative got sick on a cruise ship - major cruise line - overseas. The insurance has not all settled yet so we are not sure the financial outcome. But we are thinking the trip insurance covered the Medivac (very expensive) from the ship quite a distanc...
by TBillT
Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New tax law and QCD's - article
Replies: 18
Views: 1654

Re: New tax law and QCD's - article

Good post, read something similar and was wondering if Bogleheads were doing that.
Does it make as much sense before 70.5 RMD age, when your are moving IRA money to Roth IRA?
Can you still do matching Corporate donation to the charity?
by TBillT
Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VWINX vs VWENX vs VTCIX vs VTINX vs VHDYX with 250K
Replies: 37
Views: 2973

Re: VWINX vs VWENX vs VTCIX vs VTINX vs VHDYX with 250K

Guys, Question 4 Everyone here that is at retirement age. in hindsight do you wish you had bought some houses in you younger years and held them and paid them off and used that as retirement income? or if not paid off maybe close to paid off when you retired and then use whats left as income? For p...
by TBillT
Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VWINX vs VWENX vs VTCIX vs VTINX vs VHDYX with 250K
Replies: 37
Views: 2973

Re: VWINX vs VWENX vs VTCIX vs VTINX vs VHDYX with 250K

The VSMGX (Life Strategy Moderate) is an interesting fund because it mimics the overall USA+International Stock+Bond markets, which is an overall market approach some like. I have not used the fund yet but I probably will soon.
by TBillT
Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: used Prius (or Chevy Volt?)
Replies: 50
Views: 3959

Re: used Prius (or Chevy Volt?)

Looks like I am late to the Prius party here we have a 2006 Prius at 170k miles You can go to PriusChat.com for more info. Younger Prius will have warranty up to 150k miles in certain states. Older Prii off warranty can sometimes have repair needs (battery etc) so a heavily used Prii sometimes is a ...
by TBillT
Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Simple question regarding caring for elderly parents
Replies: 16
Views: 2326

Re: Simple question regarding caring for elderly parents

I run my elderly Mom's stuff in Fidelity. We met together with Fidelity one time at their office. Her account shows up under my accounts and I can invest for her. They gave me control access..she also has normal access if she wants to pull out cash to the bank. She is 90 god bless. Life Strategy fun...
by TBillT
Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New vehicle research
Replies: 48
Views: 3462

Re: New vehicle research

You might add Prius to the list, but I understand the new Camry hybrid gets up to 50 MPG - not too shabby. I think Camry Hybrid MPG depends on whether you want the basic or luxury (for which some MPG is sacrificed for power etc). Also Toyota knows how to put the hybrid battery under the back seat no...
by TBillT
Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Leaving HCOL state for financial reasons
Replies: 48
Views: 5005

Re: Leaving HCOL state for financial reasons

It seems in the NY metro area everybody around in any walk of life who doesn't have a high paying job or public job is picking up stakes and leaving or planning for this. The taxes and housing costs (and many other costs) are just way too high. That's what's going on. Yes we were going to move back...
by TBillT
Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting Rid of Ants in the House?
Replies: 46
Views: 2682

Re: Getting Rid of Ants in the House?

I assume small ants.
The Terro liquid traps is borax (safe) and they take it back to the next
by TBillT
Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Jogging in the cold.
Replies: 50
Views: 3673

Re: Jogging in the cold.

My rule is need about 30 Deg F for running ...50 deg F for biking
by TBillT
Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I sell PONDX?
Replies: 10
Views: 1185

Re: Should I sell PONDX?

I don't understand selling PONDX due solely to price level. If you look at Growth of $$$, it is one of the best bond funds. Clearly some bond funds have the strategy leak share price in favor of higher overall returns. Now obviously it is good time to reassess, but PONDX would be low on my list to s...
by TBillT
Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax CD Install Problem/Solved
Replies: 2
Views: 412

TurboTax CD Install Problem/Solved

Had trouble installing TurboTax BASIC 2017 from CD purchased, until I saw an explanation that a recent Windows 10 update causes the installation to freeze up due to antivirus program (eg AVAST). Fix is to update or temporarily disable antivirus, then it installs.
by TBillT
Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paris Hotel Recommendations
Replies: 21
Views: 1628

Re: Paris Hotel Recommendations

It's been over 10-yrs ago, and we stayed in smaller hotels, but the one memorable room was indeed the Hilton by the airport, which we only had one night probably with some points. It is not in the thick of Paris itself but public transit is good.
by TBillT
Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to pay cap gain tax
Replies: 3
Views: 451

Re: How to pay cap gain tax

As above, but what I do is just go to EFTPS.gov and make a payment...you'll have to create a login. Same idea for state tax. At tax time, I then refer back to EFTPS.gov for payment history, and hand enter that onto Turbo Tax. I do not worry about making equal payments or any forms.
by TBillT
Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Core Position-Fidelity
Replies: 5
Views: 1138

Re: Core Position-Fidelity

During the period 2009-2016 when money market funds were paying essentially zero, then we had cash in the CD sweep. Worked fine. Now that money market funds are paying interest again, I switched everything over to money market funds for the core accounts.
by TBillT
Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Seeking Yosemite advice for late March
Replies: 9
Views: 714

Re: Seeking Yosemite advice for late March

We went 2 years ago right about that time of year late March. There had been some snow, but it was clear roads into the main part of the park, with a rental Cruze and no chains from SFO area. We went the main valley Rt 140 from Merced. What was confusing was understanding the road conditions from th...
by TBillT
Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ready to give up on bond fund, Lost 2.25% past 6 months
Replies: 85
Views: 11020

Re: Ready to give up on bond fund, Lost 2.25% past 6 months

I use PONDX and PTIAX as stronger performers. LQD might be good but I have trouble holding it due to volatility.
by TBillT
Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard New Issue Brokered CDs (again)
Replies: 5
Views: 749

Re: Vanguard New Issue Brokered CDs (again)

I have used my Fidelity account for these types of CD's. How do you know what the demand is? Anyways if you are considering selling before maturity, you could want a large offering for marketability. Also need to look at monthly vs. semi payments. I see Wells Fargo at 1.9% and a huge offering with m...
by TBillT
Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing in Individual Corporate Bonds
Replies: 8
Views: 638

Re: Investing in Individual Corporate Bonds

I've done quite a bit of individual bonds at Fidelity. I tend to do many smaller positions, and do corporate, Treasuries, agency bonds. I go for longer maturity dates. Over the last several years I have a much harder time seeing good deals, so I do not do too much. I might benefit from a professiona...
by TBillT
Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Premium gas at BJ's for Mercedes
Replies: 42
Views: 2240

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: 42
Views: 2240

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: 1488

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: 308

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: 6438

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: 6438

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: 4216

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: 4495

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: 2582

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: 1304

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: 4442

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: 379

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: 3250

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: 3250

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: 3250

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: 3173

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: 936

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.