Search found 419 matches

by anonenigma
Sat Aug 19, 2017 6:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Teacher 403(b) signup - any tips?
Replies: 8
Views: 607

Re: Teacher 403(b) signup - any tips?

TIAA or Fidelity. You're lucky to have two good options.
by anonenigma
Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension question: purchase 0.35 yrs of previous service?
Replies: 12
Views: 1167

Re: Pension question: purchase 0.35 yrs of previous service?

Do it! 20 years from now you will be glad you did. +1. Your salary will rise over the decades, making it even a better deal. Years ago, for about $10,000, I purchased .9 years of service in CalSTRS for work performed before CalSTRS was deducted. That's now $1,929 per year in additional pension - ta...
by anonenigma
Thu Aug 17, 2017 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension Survivor Benefit or Life Insurance -teenage daughter
Replies: 24
Views: 1541

Re: Pension Survivor Benefit or Life Insurance -teenage daughter

In CalSTRS, the survivor cannot be more than 19 years younger than the employee. Double check that there isn't a similar restriction in your system.
by anonenigma
Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your Movie Collection?
Replies: 41
Views: 2741

Re: Your Movie Collection?

If you are just looking for something to watch, then the streaming services and public library will suffice. They don't work as well if you want to watch a specific film, which may not be available on Netflix or Amazon Prime (or for which Amazon charges a $4.99 rental fee). I love my library and bor...
by anonenigma
Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: belts for dress pants
Replies: 37
Views: 2279

Re: belts for dress pants

Amazon sometimes has great clearance prices on Allen Edmonds belts. List prices are either $98 or $130, but I've bought great belts there for under $30. Sort for 75% discount.
by anonenigma
Fri Jul 28, 2017 4:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which 403(b) company is the least horrible?
Replies: 13
Views: 1000

Re: Which 403(b) company is the least horrible?

See www.403bcompare.com

They all seem awful. Most Oppenheimer funds have a 5.75% front end load, and the average expense ratio is about 1.4%.
by anonenigma
Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help - Buying Pension Credits
Replies: 4
Views: 529

Re: Help - Buying Pension Credits

If Nevada's system works like CalSTRS, something isn't quite right in your calculations. The age factor (which you have as a flat 2.5%) increases as you get older. In CalSTRS, it is 1.4% at age 55 and maxes out at 2.4% at age 63 (or age 61.5 if you have 30 years of service - not including any years ...
by anonenigma
Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Dealing with Expensive 457 Plan Options
Replies: 10
Views: 716

Re: Dealing with Expensive 457 Plan Options

Why did you roll the money in from the former employer's plan? Couldn't you have kept it there?
by anonenigma
Sat Jul 22, 2017 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 403b change and black out dates
Replies: 2
Views: 148

Re: 403b change and black out dates

The blackout period is generally a couple of weeks and may not be significant unless the new provider somehow limits withdrawals thereafter. Take a look at what surrender charges might be applicable if your investments are in annuities.
by anonenigma
Sat Jul 22, 2017 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Amazon Prime worth it?
Replies: 128
Views: 8864

Re: Is Amazon Prime worth it?

So I looked at the TV/video options last night, though there would be a lot of free stuff.Every quality movie I was interested in had a $3.99 rental fee. I can get that anywhere. The Amazon created content of shows was of no interest. . Some of the Amazon-created content is excellent. We really lik...
by anonenigma
Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard 403b Changes
Replies: 109
Views: 8139

Re: Vanguard 403b Changes

Is it Vanguard making the change, or the employer? Couldn't find anything on the Vanguard website about Newport Trust, but a google search for vanguard 403b newport - Google Search returns - 1150_TSA_Application.pdf (among others). That pdf notes that Newport Trust is the custodian retained by the ...
by anonenigma
Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: NYCDCP vs. Personal IRA Account for NYC Public School Teacher
Replies: 25
Views: 1056

Re: NYCDCP vs. Personal IRA Account for NYC Public School Teacher

I found that the fees for the self-directed portal in my 457(b) plan were unacceptably high.
by anonenigma
Wed Jul 05, 2017 11:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What is the advantage of deferring taxes vs paying them up front?
Replies: 57
Views: 5065

Re: What is the advantage of deferring taxes vs paying them up front?

The most persuasive argument for me is the changing value of the dollar. When I was a kid, gas was 25-30 cents a gallon. Milk, bread and most things were a lot less expensive than they are today, though wages were also considerably lower. Given that, I'd rather pay the same amount of taxes with 2017...
by anonenigma
Sat Jul 01, 2017 6:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thinking about lending money to parents to make money - Good or bad idea?
Replies: 34
Views: 1380

Re: Thinking about lending money to parents to make money - Good or bad idea?

My brother and I took an opposite approach. When rates went down on CDs, we borrowed from our parents and paid them back at 7% - way above what they could have earned at the time.
by anonenigma
Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: California State Teachers Pension
Replies: 4
Views: 508

Re: California State Teachers Pension

bhtomj wrote:The annuity is the only choice for payout.

+1

Check out 403bcompare.com for 403b plans for your district.


Stick to CalSTRS Pension 2 or TIAA-CREF if available.
by anonenigma
Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any Reason to Stay With USAA?
Replies: 21
Views: 1639

Re: Any Reason to Stay With USAA?

One additional consideration. I you are not eligible for a traditional or Roth IRA and the investment options available to you at TIAA are cost competitive with Vanguard, you might want to consider also rolling the SEP IRA (and any other pre-tax IRA assets) to TIAA as well. This will allow backdoor...
by anonenigma
Tue Jun 27, 2017 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any Reason to Stay With USAA?
Replies: 21
Views: 1639

Any Reason to Stay With USAA?

I have a 403(b) and a SEP at USAA. I have nothing bad to say about them, but their investment options aren't very appealing. I can consolidate the 403(b) funds with my other 403(b) at TIAA. I can move the SEP to Vanguard. I was not in the military, so I'm not eligible for insurance through them. Is ...
by anonenigma
Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Placement of TIAA Traditional and S&P 500
Replies: 7
Views: 609

Re: Placement of TIAA Traditional and S&P 500

Thanks for the responses, which validate what I'd been thinking. Just retired. Have DB pension and have been maxing both DC and Roth.

I'll check what TIAA offers in mutual funds, but I love the security of the Traditional and could lower fees by investing taxable at Vanguard.
by anonenigma
Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:50 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A bit more on Tontines
Replies: 8
Views: 1317

Re: A bit more on Tontines

Note the episode of The Wild, Wild West: "The NIght of the Tottering Tontine":

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0748583/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
by anonenigma
Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Placement of TIAA Traditional and S&P 500
Replies: 7
Views: 609

Placement of TIAA Traditional and S&P 500

I have a chunk of money in a 403(b) with USAA invested in their S&P 500 fund with an ER of 25 bp. Most of my 403(b) is with TIAA invested in a liquid version of the TIAA Traditional with a 3% guarantee. I also have taxable funds in money market funds and CDs. Would I be better advised to transfe...
by anonenigma
Mon Jun 12, 2017 1:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Advice Urgently - Are we in over our heads?
Replies: 45
Views: 6295

Re: Need Advice Urgently - Are we in over our heads?

What do you currently pay for housing?

You may not be able to pay as much into your 401(k), but you'll be developing equity in the house and have a much lower housing cost in 30 years when you've paid off the mortgage.

I just wish houses could be had for so little here in Los Angeles.
by anonenigma
Mon Jun 05, 2017 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help me choose an EXPENSIVE* red wine for a gift
Replies: 70
Views: 8446

Re: Help me choose an EXPENSIVE* red wine for a gift

K & L Wines here in California has a very effective website and a large stock. Here's their selection of Bordeaux wines:

http://www.klwines.com/Products/r?r=57+ ... =8&z=False

If you settle on something, try http://www.wine-searcher.com/ to find that wine in your geography.
by anonenigma
Sat Jun 03, 2017 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teachers: what are your best personal finance tips?
Replies: 78
Views: 7606

Re: Teachers: what are your best personal finance tips?

The last three years are important, if you have 30 years of service they highest wage within this time span is used to calculate your pension payout. So if you can pickup extra services that bump your salary it will pay dividends for as long as your pension lasts[/quote] Not quite correct for CalST...
by anonenigma
Sat Jun 03, 2017 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teachers: what are your best personal finance tips?
Replies: 78
Views: 7606

Re: Teachers: what are your best personal finance tips?

Your CalSTRS pension at 58 will have an age factor of 1.8. At age 61.5 (assuming 30 years), the age factor maxes at 2.4. Huge difference. Yes, it is interesting how the pension numbers can change quite a bit by moving the retirement age just slightly. I played with the CalSTRS pension calculator an...
by anonenigma
Thu Jun 01, 2017 8:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teachers: what are your best personal finance tips?
Replies: 78
Views: 7606

Re: Teachers: what are your best personal finance tips?

Not to mention in our state, teachers' pensions are reduced for SS benefits (including spousal SS) which makes them less generous then they may appear on the surface. Other way around. It's the Social Security benefits that are reduced, not the pension. Windfall Elimination Provision. Also, if the ...
by anonenigma
Thu Jun 01, 2017 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teachers: what are your best personal finance tips?
Replies: 78
Views: 7606

Re: Teachers: what are your best personal finance tips?

Ron Ronnerson wrote:
We're on a trajectory to be able to retire in our late 50s. However, I really love my job and may continue to do it for longer than that.


Your CalSTRS pension at 58 will have an age factor of 1.8. At age 61.5 (assuming 30 years), the age factor maxes at 2.4. Huge difference.
by anonenigma
Tue May 16, 2017 12:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Few days in Portland in July
Replies: 36
Views: 2718

Re: Few days in Portland in July

I'm also from the PDX area. Agree with texasdiver about the Columbia Gorge. I prefer the Hood River loop wineries over the Willamette Valley wineries, not really because of the wine but I think the area is nicer and it's never crowded. Stop by Multnomah Falls on the way out to Hood River, have lunc...
by anonenigma
Tue May 09, 2017 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What newspaper or magazine do you pay for?
Replies: 107
Views: 5680

Re: What newspaper or magazine do you pay for?

New York Times (M-F print + digital), Washington Post (digital), Los Angeles Times (Su + digital), The New Yorker, The Atlantic, London Review of Books, Los Angeles Review of Books, Talking Points Memo plus contributions to my local PBS and (two) NPR stations. Altogether, the cost is about $700 per ...
by anonenigma
Sun May 07, 2017 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Worth It Or Not? [to Retire]
Replies: 28
Views: 4993

Re: Worth It Or Not? [to Retire]

If you have to take an unneeded RMD and you invest it in a taxable account then you have just moved the money around since an after tax dollar in your taxable account is worth more than a tax deferred dollar in the IRA. It is all still savings. Exactly. Uncle Sam doesn't care whether you actually s...
by anonenigma
Sat May 06, 2017 10:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Worth It Or Not? [to Retire]
Replies: 28
Views: 4993

Re: Worth It Or Not? [to Retire]

I filed my retirement papers a few weeks ago. I've loved teaching these 27 years, and the program we've run has been very successful - sending hundreds of first generation kids off to college with the skills they'll need to do well when they get there. I took Taylor's advice very seriously - about t...
by anonenigma
Wed May 03, 2017 8:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 403b vs 457
Replies: 42
Views: 2704

Re: 403b vs 457

403(b) and 457(b) are very similar in that they are tax-deferred workplace retirement savings vehicles (except the Roth option, if available, which is not tax-deferred). There are differences in rules for accessing the funds in an emergency, but the biggest difference is when you can withdrawn funds...
by anonenigma
Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time savers - life on automation
Replies: 57
Views: 7863

Re: Time savers - life on automation

Our zojirushi handles brown rice well but the cook time is significantly longer...more like 1.5-2 hours for several cups vs. half the time for white rice. But it cooks the rice consistently and has worked flawlessly for several years. Definitely a big step up from our prior rice maker. Not all Zoji...
by anonenigma
Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me decide pension benefits, single life, 50%, 75% and/or 100% survival benefits
Replies: 41
Views: 3104

Re: Help me decide pension benefits, single life, 50%, 75% and/or 100% survival benefits

We chose 75%, but you should check one issue. In my system, I was able to make the designation at age 55, which protected my wife should I not live until retirement. What I did not realize until a few months ago was that I got a better detail, in terms of percentage of income, for having made the ch...
by anonenigma
Sat Apr 15, 2017 12:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Public School Teacher: Need help with 403b
Replies: 41
Views: 2183

Re: Public School Teacher: Need help with 403b

Check whether you have access to a 457(b) plan. There's a chance that there will be a decent provider.
by anonenigma
Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need help deciding whether to buy back service credit in a defined benefit pension plan
Replies: 8
Views: 699

Re: Need help deciding whether to buy back service credit in a defined benefit pension plan

Thanks for the input so far. The 6% rate of return and flexibility of withdrawal are two big factors in favor of doing the buyback. Curious if anyone has an opinion on my sending post-tax savings to contribute to a deferred-tax vehicle that would ultimately (were I to cash out again and roll over t...
by anonenigma
Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: You can never go "home" - retirement
Replies: 85
Views: 13242

Re: You can never go "home" - retirement

Read DOM CASMURRO by Machado de Assis. On topic. Narrator builds a replica of the home in which he grew up.
by anonenigma
Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Union Places Me in Crosshairs
Replies: 17
Views: 2134

Re: Credit Union Places Me in Crosshairs

The most likely explanation is that your mail was misdelivered. A neighbor opened it, realized the mistake, and kindly put it in your mailbox. If someone intended to steal your identity with that information, why return it to you? I would assume it was a well-meaning neighbor and not worry about it...
by anonenigma
Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Union Places Me in Crosshairs
Replies: 17
Views: 2134

Credit Union Places Me in Crosshairs

I recently called my credit union to take advantage of a 12 mo. CD offer (1.25%). On Saturday, a business-sized window envelope arrived in my locked mailbox, and it had been opened at the top using a letter opener. I was not happy, and my heart sank when I saw that it was a membership application (b...
by anonenigma
Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: planning to visit San Francisco for a short break
Replies: 23
Views: 1872

Re: planning to visit San Francisco for a short break

Walk around North Beach. Have breakfast at Mama's. Get an Italian sandwich for lunch at Molinari's and eat it in Washington Square Park if weather permits. Get a coffee at Cafe Trieste or one of the many other cafes. Get a raspberry ring at one of the bakeries. Browse at City Lights Bookshop. Visit ...
by anonenigma
Sat Mar 18, 2017 8:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 457(b) Enhanced limit
Replies: 5
Views: 410

Re: 457(b) Enhanced limit

If you have a good 403(b) option, I'd do that instead.

My employer messed up that catch up provision a number of years ago and the vendor didn't catch it until it was too late. I had to claw back the over-contribution, and that wasn't much fun.
by anonenigma
Fri Mar 10, 2017 11:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: CA: Car Won't Pass Smog Check
Replies: 8
Views: 981

Re: CA: Car Won't Pass Smog Check

Perhaps a Volkswagen dealer can help?
by anonenigma
Tue Mar 07, 2017 7:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Camry Redesign
Replies: 61
Views: 6704

Re: Camry Redesign

That 2018 sure looks nice. But I will probably pull the trigger on the 2017 XLE with the technology package for the added safety. THey can be had for quite a bit off sticker right now. Nice thought, but it appears that the safety packages all include a moonroof, and that won't work for a tall person.
by anonenigma
Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Camry Redesign
Replies: 61
Views: 6704

Re: Camry Redesign

Thank you for all the great insights. My conclusion is that I should take a closer look at the Prius, which in 2017 is in the first year of its redesign and has the full safety package standard. Maybe its second year, the 2018, would be the car to buy. If I decide that I prefer another Camry, I shou...
by anonenigma
Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Worth It Or Not? [to Retire]
Replies: 28
Views: 4993

Re: Worth It Or Not? [to Retire]

Lots of good dialogue. I'll add a non financial consideration .... I think it is important to cross the finish line strong. No matter what you decide it will be great for you continue your strong efforts for your students and school system through your last day. Thanks for your work in education! T...
by anonenigma
Sat Mar 04, 2017 6:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Worth It Or Not? [to Retire]
Replies: 28
Views: 4993

Re: Worth It Or Not?

[...] Whichever choice I make, we'll be fine economically. [...] This is the sticky point. The real question is what you mean by that. Basically, the value of earning more money decreases as your wealth increases. So the real question is, would the extra money get you something, or will it just cre...
by anonenigma
Sat Mar 04, 2017 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Worth It Or Not? [to Retire]
Replies: 28
Views: 4993

Re: Worth It Or Not?

[...] If I retire in June, the age factor in my pension calculation will be .0233. If I can arrange an out-of-classroom position for a few months, the age factor will increase to .024. [...] So you're looking at an increase of .0067 or roughly 29% in exchange for a small amount of extra work. This ...
by anonenigma
Sat Mar 04, 2017 4:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Camry Redesign
Replies: 61
Views: 6704

Re: Camry Redesign

I can't cite a reference, but I seem to recall some kind of merging the Camry and Prius platforms. What about a Camry Hybrid? I believe that you are correct, and the 2017 Prius has already implemented the TNGA architecture. With the small amount of driving I do, I'm not sure that the premium for a ...
by anonenigma
Sat Mar 04, 2017 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Worth It Or Not? [to Retire]
Replies: 28
Views: 4993

Re: Worth It Or Not?

Thank you for the thoughtful responses. By their nature, classroom teaching jobs are for a full year, so I will see if I can arrange an out-of-classroom job that will get me to my next birthday. I still have the commitment, but I don't want to stay up after midnight grading papers three or four nigh...
by anonenigma
Sat Mar 04, 2017 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Worth It Or Not? [to Retire]
Replies: 28
Views: 4993

Worth It Or Not? [to Retire]

I've been teaching for a long time and am ready to retire. I love the kids, but grading huge numbers of complicated writing assignments, which was never fun, is even less fun now that I'm in my 60s. When I entered the profession, I had no idea how valuable the pension would be to me, and I feel incr...