Search found 269 matches

by Taz
Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spending help: Best use for $800 per month ?
Replies: 18
Views: 1508

Re: Spending help: Best use for $800 per month ?

Jumping into the briar patch here: My wife became a SAHM with the birth of our son and several years later, our daughter. We felt strongly that one parent should stay at home. I took my turn after retiring from the navy and we "swapped." Of course she did all the hard work so I didn't ruin them. Eas...
by Taz
Thu Aug 10, 2017 6:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do I have enough to retire-retire from the military
Replies: 42
Views: 3521

Re: Do I have enough to retire-retire from the military

Retired navy almost 11 years -- I think you'll be fine. Random thoughts: - Rather than speculate on your particular specialty, I'll just say that it might be nice to come back to CONUS for a short tour so you can figure out where to live long term and perhaps situate yourself for a job. You might no...
by Taz
Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?
Replies: 84
Views: 6852

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

One data point: Toro Personal Pace with larger Briggs & Stratton engine. Three years zero problems & one day it decided not to run for more than 2-3 seconds. I replaced the carburetor & it works fine. Just remember to securely reattach the governor spring. If this happens again, you mig...
by Taz
Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?
Replies: 84
Views: 6852

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

One data point: Toro Personal Pace with larger Briggs & Stratton engine. Three years zero problems & one day it decided not to run for more than 2-3 seconds. I replaced the carburetor & it works fine. Just remember to securely reattach the governor spring.
by Taz
Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Echo vs. Google Home: which to get?
Replies: 41
Views: 2872

Re: Amazon Echo vs. Google Home: which to get?

so it sounds like music integration and playback is the MOST significant and used feature of these devices? It's like any non-essential piece of technology - how much effort and expense do you want to put into it. I've always dreamed of having a house computer that I could talk to. I use it to play...
by Taz
Sun Jun 18, 2017 7:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Income Tax Calculation?
Replies: 18
Views: 1829

Re: Income Tax Calculation?

Why does an additional $20,000 distribution increase the total tax by so much ... ? Because the extra $20,000 income makes $17,000 more of your Social Security benefits taxable. This makes your tax go up $5,550 (37000 * 15%), 27.75% of the extra income. See the Wiki's Taxation of Social Security be...
by Taz
Sat Jun 17, 2017 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 30 Year Mortgage from Navy Federal Credit Union
Replies: 10
Views: 1292

Re: 30 Year Mortgage from Navy Federal Credit Union

2. When a lender reports to credit bureaus, there are very specific and strict rules about reporting any and everything accurately. Because of such rules, regulations, credit bureau contracts, etc. NFCU probably had no flexibility in this matter. The agent may have been accurately conveying the req...
by Taz
Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 30 Year Mortgage from Navy Federal Credit Union
Replies: 10
Views: 1292

Re: 30 Year Mortgage from Navy Federal Credit Union

They may or may not keep the loan in-house. We refinanced a 30 yr loan to 15 yrs with a much lower rate. Soon after the close they sold it but continued to service the loan. They do a good job with that. I did have one negative incident which soured me a little on NFCU. My wife was laid off during t...
by Taz
Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Construction Buying Advice
Replies: 24
Views: 1793

Re: New Construction Buying Advice

Visit the site often during construction and look over everything that they are doing to make sure it is going well. Do not accept shoddy construction or any significant unwanted variation from the model plan that you purchased. They will of course promise to make it right in the end, but unless yo...
by Taz
Sat May 20, 2017 6:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Maximizing Deployment
Replies: 7
Views: 809

Re: Maximizing Deployment

You may want to see if you are in the window for any retention or reenlistment bonuses that can be paid while you are in the qualifying AOR. We had some of our aircrewmen reenlist while across the magic line to get their bonus tax-free. Caveat: I've been out for 10+ years while so I'm not sure if so...
by Taz
Fri May 19, 2017 3:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fixing 20 Years of Mistakes
Replies: 9
Views: 1500

Re: Fixing 20 Years of Mistakes

No idea what "Hedgable" is. It doesn't sound good. Maybe start with Vanguard or Fidelity and consider (once you do some reading/learning) consolidating to a single, low cost, DIY firm. m - a robo advisor Concur with bloom2708. Hedgeable will charge you 0.75% on an account less than $50k, ...
by Taz
Fri May 19, 2017 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Best to Give?
Replies: 8
Views: 797

Re: How Best to Give?

If you want to help with operating expenses, gradual might be best. Good advice. Some organizations such as churches publish the total amounts received for the week/month (although not the names) which may result in others reducing their giving if budget vs. income for that particularly year would ...
by Taz
Fri May 19, 2017 6:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: For those with $500k-$1m in investments...
Replies: 138
Views: 13728

Re: For those with $500k-$1m in investments...

40% taxable 60% tax advantaged (28% Roth / 72% TSP+TIRAs) Taxable from early contractual plan contributions + extra money in savings over the years. TSP = rolled over my TIRAs after navy retirement + 8 years of wife TSP contributions Asset allocation is about 55/45 with SCV tilt (currently 15% of st...
by Taz
Mon May 15, 2017 6:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Echo (Alexa)
Replies: 91
Views: 16256

Re: Amazon Echo (Alexa) -- AMAZON SHOW

Has anyone taken a look at the Echo Show and might preorder it? m I went ahead & preordered two ($100 off if you buy two) as my Father's day present . I think the Amazon Show will add some value to the normal Echo functions & home automation integration we already have in place. I expect it...
by Taz
Fri May 12, 2017 6:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fitbit Blaze vs Apple Watch
Replies: 24
Views: 2364

Re: Fitbit Blaze vs Apple Watch

My wife has the Charge 2 (on sale for $130) & likes it. Besides the fitness tracking functions, she uses it for sleep monitoring, appointment, notifications and to glance at incoming text messages. While she hasn't used the feature, the Fitbit will sync with the Amazon Echo. We are not in the Ap...
by Taz
Mon May 01, 2017 4:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please Evaluate my portfolio
Replies: 15
Views: 1877

Re: Please Evaluate my portfolio

Tiredof work, I didn't see "401K is $200,000 @ 65% VIPIX / 35%VINIX" You gave this: His 401k 126,000 VIPIX 0.07% Vanguard Inflation-Protected Secs I Contributing 8% VINIX 0.04% Vanguard Institutional Index I Her 401k 76,000 VIPIX 0.07% Vanguard Inflation-Protected Secs I Contributing 8% VI...
by Taz
Fri Apr 28, 2017 7:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please Evaluate my portfolio
Replies: 15
Views: 1877

Re: Please Evaluate my portfolio

retiredjg asked a few good questions - particularly about how much you actually have available to save outside of your 401k. That will determine if you can afford to go the 529 + taxable account. If your expenses are $140k a year now then I can't see how you can reach your goal to stop working in 10...
by Taz
Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please Evaluate my portfolio
Replies: 15
Views: 1877

Re: Please Evaluate my portfolio

Tiredofwork, From your first post, you had $202k in your 401k all in TIPS (future contributions to an Index 500 fund) and $50k in the Roths in an 85/15 stock/bond fund). That is roughly a 20/80 asset allocation. Perhaps you are very risk adverse but I don't see that getting you where you want to be....
by Taz
Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do I choose and Financial Planner and what can I expect?
Replies: 16
Views: 1715

Re: How do I choose and Financial Planner and what can I expect?

Tiredofwork, I think you'll find quite a few retired military folks here on the forum. Some of us had previous not-so-good relationships with financial advisers/insurance firms and decided we could do a better job on our own, especially after spending some time here AND getting smarter. 95% of this ...
by Taz
Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice needed: Ibonds for College vs 529?
Replies: 6
Views: 899

Re: Advice needed: Ibonds for College vs 529?

Edited to add: I have no idea, but for the education tax credits, it would be interesting to find out if you could double dip by "paying out of pocket" with the I bonds and also claiming the credit...Anybody know if that's ok? You can't use 529, Coverdell ESA, or the tax-free savings bond...
by Taz
Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone have sod installed?
Replies: 16
Views: 1965

Re: Anyone have sod installed?

If you live in Florida check out the University of Florida's turf program http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/yourfloridalawn/

BTW, dealing with my lawn is the biggest downside to living in Florida.
by Taz
Sun Apr 16, 2017 9:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Same branded components for home theater?
Replies: 35
Views: 2309

Re: Same branded components for home theater?

Pretty knowledgeable folks here. Perhaps I missed this but many new TVs no longer have separate analog outputs. Long winded but perhaps useful when considering upgrading to the latest and greatest : My new Samsung 4k TV uses the One Connect box which receives an HDMI output from the TV. It has an op...
by Taz
Sun Apr 16, 2017 8:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to withdraw income from the Nest Egg?
Replies: 10
Views: 1506

Re: How to withdraw income from the Nest Egg?

It would be helpful to know if you (or spouse) are old enough that you must take RMDs.
by Taz
Fri Apr 14, 2017 4:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Low income investor...Federal Help via Tax Return ?
Replies: 14
Views: 995

Re: Low income investor...Federal Help via Tax Return ?

According to the instructions on Form 8880, she might not qualify if: You were a student if during any part of 5 calendar months of 2016 you: • Were enrolled as a full-time student at a school, or • Took a full-time, on-farm training course given by a school or a state, county, or local government a...
by Taz
Sat Apr 08, 2017 7:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best deals using restaurant apps
Replies: 4
Views: 719

Re: Best deals using restaurant apps

Starbuck's app. So many stars per dollar spent plus they entice you to spend more with "dashes" promising extra stars. Effective marketing.

edit: my daughter built her free reward once with 3 flavors, whipped cream, 2 types of spinkles and 6 expresso shots.
by Taz
Wed Apr 05, 2017 6:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are We on the Right Financial Path?
Replies: 5
Views: 855

Re: Are We on the Right Financial Path?

Couple of obvious ones for me:
- I question the need for universal life, especially at $1,000 a month. It is a cash cow for the financial planner. Buy more term if needed.
- Since you do not have a 401k (& his pension isn't guaranteed), I'd make sure you go ahead & max out IRAs.
by Taz
Sun Apr 02, 2017 3:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Finding a good financial planner
Replies: 12
Views: 1273

Re: Finding a good financial planner

I like Joshua Sheats of "Radicalpersonalfinance.com. If you go to his website you will find a link where he will talk to you by phone for 5 dollars a minute. I've listened to 20 or so of his podcasts. Generally provides good advice*** and is very personable. I've noticed that he takes a very l...
by Taz
Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Re: Where to buy a Vanguard hat? An Update and bad news
Replies: 72
Views: 10189

Re: Where to buy a Vanguard hat? An Update and bad news

Glad I just received my replacement free coffee mug. That's # 3. Love the mug. I've seen folks on Twitter thanking Vanguard for sending them one. I wonder what is the secret to getting one? Wouldn't mind buying one either. I figure I've saved quite a bit in expenses since escaping from contractual ...
by Taz
Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How should I evaluate these Vanguard funds?
Replies: 14
Views: 1470

Re: How should I evaluate these Vanguard funds?

OP - I don't think you need to have all 4 of the funds in your tax-advantaged portfolio. Expenses do matter and they are one thing you can control. For example Prime Cap has an ER of 0.33%; VTSAX 0.04%.
by Taz
Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hands free music for the home - Amazon or something else?
Replies: 7
Views: 927

Re: Hands free music for the home - Amazon or something else?

iHeart Radio is supported on Alexa. The Echo sounds much better than the Dot but does not have a wired output nor can it link to a Bluetooth speaker. The challenge with linking the Dot to a BT speaker is that all responses will come out of the connected speaker. Google Home just added iHeart Radio c...
by Taz
Sun Mar 05, 2017 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Echo Dot question
Replies: 9
Views: 1392

Re: Amazon Echo Dot question

Hey yolli71,
Looks like Amazon might be implementing what you are looking for. This article mentions possible whole house control of playback on the Echo devices.

http://www.aftvnews.com/audio-synchroni ... o-support/

Larry
by Taz
Sat Mar 04, 2017 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Echo Dot question
Replies: 9
Views: 1392

Re: Amazon Echo Dot question

Don't mean to hijack this thread but I have a quick question about the Echo Dot too... I have an Echo in my kitchen and we mostly use it to play music. Whenever we are in our family room (which is adjacent to the kitchen), we have to yell across the room for Alexa to hear us. If I purchase a Dot an...
by Taz
Sat Feb 18, 2017 7:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Interest on EE Bonds
Replies: 4
Views: 658

Re: Interest on EE Bonds

(snip) Did not ask because I think I know the answer but -- I’ll ask any way. Is there any way not to pay taxes on the interest? Roll over, reinvest in U S bonds etc? Subject to several restrictions, you may be able to exclude the interest if you use them to pay for higher education expenses. "...
by Taz
Sat Feb 11, 2017 6:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPhone SE 16GB - is memory adequate?
Replies: 44
Views: 2365

Re: iPhone SE 16GB - is memory adequate?

chw: Fully understand your reasoning. People do get comfortable with the iPhone's functionality & ease of use which makes it tough for some to go backwards.

We were using $35 Palm Pixi's until a few years ago. The price jump was painful.
by Taz
Sat Feb 11, 2017 6:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPhone SE 16GB - is memory adequate?
Replies: 44
Views: 2365

Re: iPhone SE 16GB - is memory adequate?

Bought our daughter a iPhone SE 64GB for HS graduation gift. Extra on-board storage is nice though she backs it up on iCloud & her laptop. Reasons: for 64GB? - She keeps most of her music on the phone so she isn't using data to stream it. - Higher trade in value. - Insurance for future iOS upgra...
by Taz
Fri Feb 10, 2017 7:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: mattresses and alcohol (bourbon, scotch, whiskey)
Replies: 45
Views: 4663

Re: mattresses and alcohol (bourbon, scotch, whiskey)

Random thoughts: - Pretty much can't go wrong with Knob Creek (sweeter; price keeps going up), Maker's Mark, Woodford, & Roses (it does seem to taste a little floral but perhaps it is marketing). - Have never bought cask strength but I have tried single barrel or small batch versions. Those do t...
by Taz
Tue Feb 07, 2017 7:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any downside to Grandparent 529
Replies: 20
Views: 2313

Re: Any downside to Grandparent 529

Starting this year grandparents may distribute from 529 with no effect on financial aid if distributed during junior or senior year. m ... ent-062016 Thanks for the update Penguin. Our kids' grandfather gifted my wife money over the years which we decided would be used for 529s owned by her so we a...
by Taz
Tue Feb 07, 2017 4:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any downside to Grandparent 529
Replies: 20
Views: 2313

Re: Any downside to Grandparent 529

A portion of the grandparent's 529 distribution counts in the child's income for financial aid purposes which will impact eligibility in future years. One strategy is to use it for the final year so no impact. Below is one article from Forbes on the matter. http://www.forbes.com/sites/troyonink/2015...
by Taz
Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Allocation across TSP, and HSA and Roth IRA with TD Ameritrade
Replies: 40
Views: 3164

Re: Asset Allocation across TSP, and HSA and Roth IRA with TD Ameritrade

There is nothing wrong with investing in taxable accounts, Total Stock Market index is fine. The wiki does a good job explaining. If you have a mind towards future charitable giving donating appreciated shares offers additional tax savings. It can be useful for TLH and saving for long-term, non-reti...
by Taz
Sat Jan 28, 2017 7:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Backyard Chefs out there? Do you have any specialties?
Replies: 54
Views: 3857

Re: Any Backyard Chefs out there? Do you have any specialties?

Try marinating chicken or pork tenderloin overnight with plain yogurt, olive oil and different spice blends such as Moroccan Ras-el-Hanout, Indian tandoori style, etc. You can make your own blends or find them at https://www.thespicehouse.com/ or Penzeys. I usually make tzatziki or raita (both yogur...
by Taz
Mon Jan 23, 2017 7:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA choices - Go with a current investment partner, or seek new?
Replies: 11
Views: 978

Re: Roth IRA choices - Go with a current investment partner, or seek new?

I would recommend either Vanguard (we use for Roths, rollover IRS, taxable and 529s) or Fidelity. Since you have a two year emergency fund, I'd start a Roth Ira and fully fund 2016 and 2027 using Total Stock Market Admiral. You didn't say anything about your preferred asset allocation but if you had...
by Taz
Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice on next steps - taxable account and portfolio
Replies: 11
Views: 1735

Re: Advice on next steps - taxable account and portfolio

50/50 in your mid-30s is not unreasonable but you may want to get a handle on where you need to be to meet your retirement income goals based on what you think you might need. I assume that you have a decent income now -- any idea what income you want to have when you are retired? That might influen...
by Taz
Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS Form 941 - Confusion Regarding 'Balance Due' Field
Replies: 2
Views: 276

Re: IRS Form 941 - Confusion Regarding 'Balance Due' Field

I do light bookkeeping and payroll for an S corporation. The owner & other employees receiving wages have to pay income tax on their earned wages and their portion of SS/Medicare (just like you). The corporation also pays the other half of SS/Medicare as a payroll expense, just like wages. The w...
by Taz
Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FL prepaid plan(4-Year Florida University Plan)
Replies: 21
Views: 2263

Re: FL prepaid plan(4-Year Florida University Plan)

Room and board run $9,900 a year depending on meal plan (open dining - go as often as you want, take out boxes).

Like anywhere, books are a killer. Both of ours are engineering majors so we encourage them to buy/keep all their books. Other students just buy online access.
by Taz
Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FL prepaid plan(4-Year Florida University Plan)
Replies: 21
Views: 2263

Re: FL prepaid plan(4-Year Florida University Plan)

We did the lump sum 4 yr university/fees prepaid plan in 2006 for 2 kids who are both at UF. it was approx $12k for each. Timing was perfect. Would do it again. Both received Bright Futures scholarships so I apply that for tuition & books, "pay" the rest of the tuition out of pocket to...
by Taz
Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Questions on Three-Fund Portfolio
Replies: 14
Views: 3308

Re: Questions on Three-Fund Portfolio

Your modified AGI for IRA considerations includes all of your taxable income including investment and other income sources. AGI has to be calculated on the return and is found on line 37 on the W2 (depending on the form you file). The modified AGI is then calculated by adding a few things back in. T...
by Taz
Sat Jan 07, 2017 8:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wake up lights?
Replies: 11
Views: 1328

Re: Wake up lights?

I have a smart colored LED strip behind the headboard which we set to come on at 10% brightness - usually in a dark color. Kinda like a pre-alarm warning. Generally any change in light tends to wake me up. We use an Echo Dot as the alarm. This kind of flexibility is one reason I enjoy tinkering with...
by Taz
Sat Jan 07, 2017 7:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Questions on Three-Fund Portfolio
Replies: 14
Views: 3308

Re: Questions on Three-Fund Portfolio

Sassy -- a few thoughts for you. First - when looking at income limits realize that the 61k limit is modified adjusted gross income so you subtract exemptions & deductions, & add back some other stuff. You may already know this but ..... Second - you can allocate your contributions to a trad...
by Taz
Sun Jan 01, 2017 6:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Military Retirement; Time value of drawing a pension at 20 years
Replies: 23
Views: 2512

Re: Military Retirement; Time value of drawing a pension at 20 years

Whether the CPI represents the actual inflation-affected spending of military retirees or individuals is a whole 'nother problem that can't be easily inserted into a spreadsheet. What assumptions or numbers would you put into the OP's spreadsheet? I would use CPI minus 0.75 to 1.0. In using online ...
by Taz
Sat Dec 31, 2016 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Military Retirement; Time value of drawing a pension at 20 years
Replies: 23
Views: 2512

Re: Military Retirement; Time value of drawing a pension at 20 years

I would not assume that retired military pay will keep up with inflation. Inflation for 2016 was approximately 1.7% depending on your source.

I received a 0.3% increase for 2017.