Search found 291 matches

by anonenigma
Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stovetop Tea Kettle Recommendations?
Replies: 19
Views: 1197

Re: Stovetop Tea Kettle Recommendations?

Qtman wrote:Simplex made in England, will last your life and your family for generations.


From reviews on Amazon, quality appears to have declined.
by anonenigma
Sun Jan 31, 2016 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stovetop Tea Kettle Recommendations?
Replies: 19
Views: 1197

Re: Stovetop Tea Kettle Recommendations?

Mudpuppy wrote:Have you considered a glass kettle?


The top seller on Amazon apparently doesn't hold up.
by anonenigma
Sun Jan 31, 2016 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stovetop Tea Kettle Recommendations?
Replies: 19
Views: 1197

Stovetop Tea Kettle Recommendations?

It's time to buy a new 2 quart stovetop tea kettle, but this is proving to be more complicated than I ever thought. From reading reviews (mostly the negative ones) on Amazon, it appears that, within a short time, many of the supposedly stainless steel ones rust, suggesting that they are not actually...
by anonenigma
Thu Jan 28, 2016 2:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard or Financial Adviser
Replies: 20
Views: 1974

Re: Vanguard or Financial Adviser

3DTV wrote:Plan is to use the RMD for vacation money each year and put other inheritance along with annual savings to work to go along with my pension when I retire.


You know that you can't access without penalty until you're 59.5 yo and that you don't need to take RMDs until you're 70.5 yo?
by anonenigma
Sat Jan 23, 2016 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Costco AMEX Update
Replies: 11
Views: 2287

Costco AMEX Update

The checker at a Costco here in Southern California told me that the transition from AMEX to Visa is more likely to occur in June than April. Costco hasn't done a good job of communicating with members, particularly about how the AMEX rebate will be handled now that 2015 has closed. My purchase toda...
by anonenigma
Sat Jan 23, 2016 11:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Arizona Teacher - 403b vs 457
Replies: 10
Views: 621

Re: Arizona Teacher - 403b vs 457

The 457b withdrawal upon separation from employer will be a great advantage if you retire early. But what if you retire at 64 but need access to your funds at age 60? The advantage to the 403b is that you can access the money without penalty at age 59.5 regardless of whether you've separated from em...
by anonenigma
Sat Jan 16, 2016 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Form an Entity?
Replies: 1
Views: 181

Form an Entity?

I'm planning to retire in 18 months. With a pension and savings, we should be pretty well set for our modest lifestyle. My wife will continue to work for at least a few years, so we may not need to touch savings until RMDs. Two income earning opportunities are on the horizon. One could be W-2 or 109...
by anonenigma
Mon Jan 11, 2016 1:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First Time Buying Furniture
Replies: 30
Views: 2546

Re: First Time Buying Furniture

Timing is important. We recently replaced our sofa and mattress at Macy's and just happened in on a Saturday when prices hit rock bottom. Macy's next sale of consequence will be this Friday/Saturday. Look at their furnishings online and ten see if the prices go down. It's a good time to pick up qual...
by anonenigma
Sat Jan 09, 2016 12:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Shipping Issues since move from UPS to USPS
Replies: 74
Views: 5145

Re: Amazon Prime Shipping Issues since move from UPS to USPS

I have had most of the same experiences others have mentioned. It's second nature now to e-mail Amazon CS to have my Prime extended by a month when the delivery date is missed. Yesterday may be my most ironic Amazon experience. I had ordered Moscovado sugar. The package arrived on time but, instead ...
by anonenigma
Wed Jan 06, 2016 2:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: receiver recommendations
Replies: 15
Views: 1122

Re: receiver recommendations

ShoogyBee wrote:It's been decades since I've shopped for home audio equipment, but you could do far worse than going with a 2-channel NAD integrated amplifier! I'm sure they still make a few such models these days.

...


+1
by anonenigma
Mon Jan 04, 2016 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Costco AMEX Transition - Costco has no answers
Replies: 18
Views: 2624

Re: Costco AMEX Transition - Costco has no answers

I'm a little unclear as to exactly what the question is. I believe that the current Amex is good to use in a Warehouse store, and online, until March 31. The question is whether cardholders will accumulate a rebate for charges incurred after this billing cycle until the AMEX is replaced by the Visa...
by anonenigma
Mon Jan 04, 2016 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Costco AMEX Transition - Costco has no answers
Replies: 18
Views: 2624

Costco AMEX Transition - Costco has no answers

At a Warehouse yesterday, and then today on the phone, Costco has no answers about what happens with purchases made on the American Express Card in 2016. Purchases made through the end of the current billing cycle will apply to the 2015 rebate (confirmed with Costco and AMEX), but what about purchas...
by anonenigma
Mon Dec 28, 2015 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax and Schedule C
Replies: 2
Views: 414

TurboTax and Schedule C

Amazon just lowered its prices on Turbotax, and the Costco coupon will kick in tomorrow, so it looks like it's buying time. I've been reading up on Schedule C and seen two different descriptions. One says that only $100 in expenses can be deducted in TurboTax Deluxe (that you need to upgrade to Home...
by anonenigma
Tue Dec 22, 2015 2:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Biggest lucky break in your personal finances?
Replies: 160
Views: 12126

Re: Biggest lucky break in your personal finances?

Timing. College was very cheap when I attended.
by anonenigma
Tue Dec 15, 2015 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is TIAA-CREF one of the "good guys"?
Replies: 43
Views: 4349

Re: Is TIAA-CREF one of the "good guys"?

I met once with a TIAA-CREF wealth adviser who contacted me. He pressure me to provide actual statements (rather than summaries) for accounts outside of TIAA-CREF. The advisers don't work on commission but are apparently incentivized to bring outside money into the company. I declined a second meeti...
by anonenigma
Sat Dec 12, 2015 5:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Verizon Cell Phone Plans
Replies: 23
Views: 2205

Re: Verizon Cell Phone Plans

At Best Buy, they offer the 6s 64 gb iPhone for $199 (instead of $299 on the Verizon website) with a $200 store credit for trading in my 5s - this can be applied to the purchase, so I'd only pay the sales tax on the full price of the phone. Does the $299 come off of the $749 full price for the purpo...
by anonenigma
Sat Dec 12, 2015 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital One Online Savings
Replies: 46
Views: 3794

Re: Capital One Online Savings

Even though I hardly touch the account, it sounds like I should leave Capital One. I have funds with Ally and AMEX Bank. For the sake of diversification and FDIC coverage, I'll need another option. Synchrony? Ever?
by anonenigma
Fri Dec 11, 2015 11:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital One Online Savings
Replies: 46
Views: 3794

Capital One Online Savings

I opened my account when Capital One had a deal with Costco, but the interest rate has declined to 0.37% plus a quarterly bonus. That's not close to what a number of other online banks are paying. Should I just move the funds?
by anonenigma
Sat Dec 05, 2015 12:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbo Tax Basic includes all forms
Replies: 13
Views: 1327

Re: Turbo Tax Basic includes all forms

On the page on the Costco website, there's a long list of the forms in TurboTax Deluxe. See http://www.costco.com/Turbo-Tax-Deluxe- ... 37381.html
by anonenigma
Fri Dec 04, 2015 9:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Verizon Cell Phone Plans
Replies: 23
Views: 2205

Verizon Cell Phone Plans

We're just at our contract date for 2 iphones. 2 gb data. I just got off the phone with Verizon and am more confused than before I spoke with them. The basic issue, is whether to buy new phones at full price or finance them over 24 months (0% apr) with Verizon. Everything after that is fuzzy. What I...
by anonenigma
Mon Nov 23, 2015 3:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best TV to buy
Replies: 96
Views: 9045

Re: Best TV to buy

We bought a Samsung 55" LED a couple of years ago and have been very satisfied. Decided not to get smart tv because of concerns about two way communication, so we use a Sony blu-ray player with wireless for streaming. Plenty smart.
by anonenigma
Tue Nov 17, 2015 2:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CalSTRS Pension and Municipal Bond Diversification
Replies: 2
Views: 290

Re: CalSTRS Pension and Municipal Bond Diversification

Municipal bankruptcies would not impact CalSTRS unless CalSTRS has investments in their bonds. Contributions to CalSTRS are made by school districts, employees, and the state - not cities.
by anonenigma
Sun Nov 08, 2015 1:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIAA-CREF Wealth Management Advisors
Replies: 12
Views: 1142

Re: TIAA-CREF Wealth Management Advisors

I was assigned one about a year ago and met with him once. Advice is free, but if a more active role was required, there was definitely an AUM fee - can't recall what it was. The only bad vibe (with mild to moderate pressure) I got was insistence on providing not just a summary of my assets outside ...
by anonenigma
Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is a $100 drip coffee machine significantly better than a <$50?
Replies: 57
Views: 4360

Re: Is a $100 drip coffee machine significantly better than a <$50?

Just three data points: d) My wife threatens that when the next part of the Technivorm needs replacement--and she's the one who patched up the cheap plastic lids with Superglue--that we are just going to boil water in an electric teakettle and pour it into a plain old cone filter. That's where I la...
by anonenigma
Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the best wine retailer?
Replies: 3
Views: 422

Re: What is the best wine retailer?

If you're looking for a specific wine, try Wine Searcher, which will show who carries it. You can limit it to your state and local geography.

We have a couple of very good retailers in our area that ship to states that permit it. K & L Wines and Woodland Hills Wine Company.
by anonenigma
Mon Oct 19, 2015 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Liable if I give 403b advice to colleagues?
Replies: 26
Views: 2501

Re: Liable if I give 403b advice to colleagues?

If you are in California, they are likely not RIAs. They are probably insurance salespeople who do not have fiduciary responsibility.
by anonenigma
Mon Oct 19, 2015 1:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 403b Fidelity vs. TIAACREF portfolio help
Replies: 30
Views: 1873

Re: 403b Fidelity vs. TIAACREF portfolio help

[quote Our 403b Traditional definitely has the regular withdrawal restriction of 10 approximately equal annual payments, non-reversible. (I thought most 403b's had this.) RM[/quote] I have TIAA for both 403b and 457b with no participant withdrawal restrictions for the Traditional Annuity. There are ...
by anonenigma
Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can I have 403b and solo 401k? Employee and self employed situation
Replies: 16
Views: 876

Re: Can I have 403b and solo 401k? Employee and self employed situation

I have a 403b and governmental 457b. I also have a Roth IRA. I make a small annual contribution to a SEP IRA but only as employer. If I contributed as an employee, it would lower what I can contribute to my Roth. Be careful with the employer contribution to a SEP IRA, though. It's not a fixed maximu...
by anonenigma
Thu Oct 01, 2015 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Primary Care Premium
Replies: 20
Views: 1574

Re: Annual Primary Care Premium

My longtime internist just retired due to health issues, and the doctor to whom his medical records were transferred charges patients a mandatory $350 per year fee - not covered by insurance - to perform such basics as interacting with the pharmacy over refills. I know that doctors, particularly sol...
by anonenigma
Sun Sep 20, 2015 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Taking a trip to Oregon
Replies: 36
Views: 2455

Re: Taking a trip to Oregon

gkaplan wrote:
anonenigma wrote:....Don't miss Powell's in Portland - probably the greatest bookstore ever.


The greatest bookstore ever is your local library.


Uh, libraries loan books. Didn't say Powell's is the greatest library.
by anonenigma
Sun Sep 20, 2015 7:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Taking a trip to Oregon
Replies: 36
Views: 2455

Re: Taking a trip to Oregon

Definitely go to the Columbia Gorge - only half an hour from Portland. Take Highway 30 East and stop at Edgefields in Troutdale for lunch - an interesting place. Continue along Highway 30, stopping at Portland Women's Forum and Vista House for astonishing views. Continue on to the waterfalls, partic...
by anonenigma
Sun Sep 20, 2015 7:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Government 457b help for 25 yr old newbie
Replies: 23
Views: 1446

Re: Government 457b help for 25 yr old newbie

The choices for both 403b and 457b for your district all appear to be lousy. Roth is better. If you ever consider changing employers, look for one that offers TIAA-CREF for defined contribution plans. Why do you think ASP Financial is lousy? They have thousands of funds and they don't appear to be ...
by anonenigma
Fri Sep 18, 2015 8:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Government 457b help for 25 yr old newbie
Replies: 23
Views: 1446

Re: Government 457b help for 25 yr old newbie

The choices for both 403b and 457b for your district all appear to be lousy. Roth is better. If you ever consider changing employers, look for one that offers TIAA-CREF for defined contribution plans.
by anonenigma
Wed Sep 16, 2015 7:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Benefits of Learning Another Language
Replies: 8
Views: 788

Re: Benefits of Learning Another Language

Your question is eloquently answered in this commercial:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyJDeF2RHMw
by anonenigma
Sat Sep 05, 2015 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Classical Music
Replies: 31
Views: 1797

Re: Classical Music

In living room on a great stereo system, mostly sitting on sofa. Sometimes just listening, sometimes reading. On CDs.

Very occasionally in car if NPR doesn't have something of interest - don't have a long commute to do a lot of listening.
by anonenigma
Sat Aug 29, 2015 6:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Costco American Express Card [going away]
Replies: 30
Views: 8001

Re: Costco American Express Card [going away]

Just got home from Costco (the happiest place on Earth - Disneyland lies!), and the checker told me that the rebate with the new Visa will be better than with Amex. We shall see.
by anonenigma
Sat Aug 29, 2015 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Costco American Express Card [going away]
Replies: 30
Views: 8001

Re: Costco American Express Card [going away]

I don't have any particular loyalty to Amex, though no complaints either. They'll have to make a decent offer to keep me as a customer after the Costco deal ends. I'm not very concerned about my credit score, and I'm not just about to buy a house, but after all more than 15 years of paying on time, ...
by anonenigma
Thu Aug 20, 2015 10:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting New York City this weekend. What pizza should I try?
Replies: 55
Views: 4837

Re: Visiting New York City this weekend. What pizza should I try?

Luzzo in the East Village. Best I've ever had.

Then to Junior's for strawberry cheesecake. (There's one in Schubert Alley near Times Square)
by anonenigma
Tue Aug 11, 2015 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Six Sigma
Replies: 17
Views: 2135

Re: Six Sigma

by anonenigma
Sat Aug 08, 2015 9:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When is a Roth 401k the Better Option?
Replies: 30
Views: 2626

Re: When is a Roth 401k the Better Option?

Also depends on your age. The younger you are, the more advantageous the Roth option. Why do you say this? Age, length of time, etc. have no impact on if it is better to chose the traditional or the Roth. The primary factor is if you expect your tax rate in retirement to be higher or lower. Seconda...
by anonenigma
Fri Aug 07, 2015 10:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying Quarterly Self Employment
Replies: 13
Views: 1035

Re: Paying Quarterly Self Employment

I recommend that you do not contribute too much to your SEP-IRA before you do your taxes in April. I did that a couple of years ago, and it wasn't easy to claw the overcontribution back and figure out how to reflect it on the tax return. To this day, I'm not sure I did it correctly.
by anonenigma
Sat Jul 18, 2015 4:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TIAA Life Insurance and Taxes
Replies: 4
Views: 480

Re: TIAA Life Insurance and Taxes

This is a first. Are you absolutely, positively sure that this person actually works for TIAA-CREF? Perhaps for some semi-affiliated company that you sort of clicked thru to from the TIAA web site, or he called you and SAID or implied that he was from TIAA-CREF? Ralph Absolutely works for TIAA. Tha...
by anonenigma
Sat Jul 18, 2015 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TIAA Life Insurance and Taxes
Replies: 4
Views: 480

TIAA Life Insurance and Taxes

An advisor at TIAA-CREF recommended that we consider life insurance as a tax strategy. I'll be retiring in a couple of years with a good pension, and I've saved a lot in a 403b and 457b. Over the years my taxable income has been low because of the deferrals, but I'm sure I won't enjoy how much my ta...
by anonenigma
Tue Jul 07, 2015 1:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 403b allocation help
Replies: 5
Views: 372

Re: 403b allocation help

Is there a plan cost in addition to the expense ratios on the mutual funds?
by anonenigma
Mon Jul 06, 2015 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 403b Loan and switch of provider?
Replies: 4
Views: 183

Re: 403b Loan and switch of provider?

Your friend should call HR or Benefits at the school district to confirm the legitimacy of the communication. Find the district's contact person for the program.

And, no, it doesn't make sense, but switching third party administrators can be very complicated, so anything is possible.
by anonenigma
Fri Jul 03, 2015 9:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best albums of 2015
Replies: 123
Views: 16031

Re: Best albums of 2015

THE EPIC, by Kamasi Washington - great jazz from the next generation.
by anonenigma
Wed Jul 01, 2015 5:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New tires - where to buy, how to get a good deal?
Replies: 50
Views: 7430

Re: New tires - where to buy, how to get a good deal?

Thanks for recommending Discount Tire Centers. I bought my new tires at Costco, as always, but I needed an alignment and Costco doesn't do that (and neither does my trusted mechanic). On the strength of your kind words, I went to the Discount Tire Center on Sunset Blvd. here in L.A., and they couldn...
by anonenigma
Mon Jun 29, 2015 12:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Housing Market in Southern California
Replies: 32
Views: 4727

Re: Housing Market in Southern California

NAHB/WFB Housing Opportunity Index for LA/Long Beach/Glendale is 17.7, meaning that only 17.7% of houses are affordable to a family earning the median income of $63,245. (Median house price is $475,000 - not where you were looking. Imagine how few people can afford that $800-900K fixer upper with th...
by anonenigma
Sat Jun 27, 2015 2:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Re-Eval TIAA-CREF Funds
Replies: 19
Views: 1634

Re: Re-Eval TIAA-CREF Funds

It looks like I can contribute the $6,500 to my existing Roth IRA with TIAA CREF. Does that make sense? Or does it have to be opened specifically as a Spousal IRA? As for mutual funds, I'm looking for a tax-efficient fund with minimal to moderate risk. Target date funds are balanced but many people...
by anonenigma
Fri Jun 26, 2015 3:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Re-Eval TIAA-CREF Funds
Replies: 19
Views: 1634

Re: Re-Eval TIAA-CREF Funds

Stay with TIAA-CREF - it's hard to get ripped off there.

They have better than average annuitization options on their accounts so that you can protect against running out of money.

Good luck.

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