Search found 310 matches

by anonenigma
Sun Apr 24, 2016 11:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does Knowledge of Fellow Employees’ Retirement Contributions Encourage Greater Participation?
Replies: 6
Views: 568

Re: Does Knowledge of Fellow Employees’ Retirement Contributions Encourage Greater Participation?

If it's a small school, privacy concerns would presumably prevent disclosure. There are lots of reasons, mostly on the expenses side of life, that people are not in a position to defer the IRS maximums. Privacy matters.
by anonenigma
Sat Apr 09, 2016 10:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: best hospital and clinic for eye vision problems
Replies: 10
Views: 793

Re: best hospital and clinic for eye vision problems

You're close to Stanford if your local ophthalmologists don't meet your needs.
by anonenigma
Wed Apr 06, 2016 9:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [DOL Rule on Fiduciary Standard is Released]
Replies: 105
Views: 5182

New DOL Rules and 403b/457b

The new DOL fiduciary rule provides important protection for people saving for retirement. It applies to 401k, but I don't see that it applies to 403b or 457b. If not, why not? 403b here in California and other states is a market sorely in need of precisely that regulation.
by anonenigma
Sun Mar 20, 2016 10:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: continue with 403b or switch to CALPERS 457?
Replies: 6
Views: 433

Re: continue with 403b or switch to CALPERS 457?

What 403(b)? Is it CalSTRS Pension 2?
by anonenigma
Thu Mar 17, 2016 12:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 403B providers [how to choose]
Replies: 8
Views: 531

Re: 403B providers [how to choose]

Is this the CalSTRS Pension 2? If so, it's administered by Voya, not State Street.

CalSTRS Pension 2 is excellent. The rest on the list are not good choices.

Do you have access to a decent 457(b) plan?

See www.403bwise.com
by anonenigma
Wed Mar 16, 2016 8:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 403(b) Options for Teachers
Replies: 18
Views: 1193

Re: 403(b) Options for Teachers

Likely all high cost annuities. See if the state offers a 457(b) plan for teachers. Check out www.403bwise.com
by anonenigma
Sun Mar 13, 2016 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Planning a quick 3 day trip to Boston
Replies: 33
Views: 1926

Re: Planning a quick 3 day trip to Boston

Walk the Freedom Trail beginning at the Boston Common - lots of wonderful history. Rent a car and go to Concord for the day to see Walden Pond, the authors ridge at the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, where Thoreau, Hawthorne, Emerson and Alcott are buried next to each other, the homes of the transcendental...
by anonenigma
Sun Mar 13, 2016 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Additional Salary in Lieu of Benefits
Replies: 19
Views: 1566

Re: Additional Salary in Lieu of Benefits

P.S. Don't be so ready to discount the benefits ('not as good as my teach benefits') offered by the np. Many school districts are moving towards HMO's, while nonprofits still offer the choice of PPO's, and for those that want the flexibility.... Benefits at many small nonprofits are premised on hav...
by anonenigma
Sat Mar 12, 2016 4:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Additional Salary in Lieu of Benefits
Replies: 19
Views: 1566

Re: Additional Salary in Lieu of Benefits

Is there any reason why they could not do such a deal? Most likely they could do such a deal, but the real question is why should they? Most companies have a percent of employees who don't use all of the benefits. Good companies can estimate this percent and factor it into their budgets. Also remem...
by anonenigma
Sat Mar 12, 2016 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Additional Salary in Lieu of Benefits
Replies: 19
Views: 1566

Additional Salary in Lieu of Benefits

My wife is one of two finalists for a job at a nonprofit here in California. We are insured through my employment as a public school teacher, and it's unlikely that the benefits from the nonprofit would be as good. If they are premised on a HSA, we wouldn't be eligible for them anyway. I've suggeste...
by anonenigma
Sun Mar 06, 2016 6:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Coming Costco AMEX Rebate Problem
Replies: 19
Views: 2406

Re: The Coming Costco AMEX Rebate Problem

My 2 cents... if anyone is forking over 18k to the Costco in a year and is worried about losing eighty bucks they might want to strongly re-focus their priorities and see if there are better ways to make their dollars go further. Not to Costco. All spending of AMEX including recurring bills, busine...
by anonenigma
Sun Mar 06, 2016 6:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Coming Costco AMEX Rebate Problem
Replies: 19
Views: 2406

Re: The Coming Costco AMEX Rebate Problem

The current AMEX rebate, for those who don't carry a credit card balance, is .25% of the first $2,000, .5% for the next $5,500, and 1.5% thereafter. If a member charges $18,000 per year on the card, the rebate would be $190: $5 for the first $2,000; $27.50 for the next $5,500; and $157.50 for the l...
by anonenigma
Sun Mar 06, 2016 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Coming Costco AMEX Rebate Problem
Replies: 19
Views: 2406

Re: The Coming Costco AMEX Rebate Problem

Costco needs to find a way to prevent this, or there will be a lot of unhappy members once they do the math. The average Costco member spends $1,445 a year at Costco. The average Costco member has a household income of $96,000. That would put their take home pay around $85,000 a year. You presented...
by anonenigma
Sun Mar 06, 2016 2:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Coming Costco AMEX Rebate Problem
Replies: 19
Views: 2406

The Coming Costco AMEX Rebate Problem

As I cashed my 2015 Costco AMEX rebate today, I was thinking about how annoyed I will be when the 2016 rebate (or rebates arrive). The current AMEX rebate, for those who don't carry a credit card balance, is .25% of the first $2,000, .5% for the next $5,500, and 1.5% thereafter. If a member charges ...
by anonenigma
Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 403B Q: TRP Target Date vs Self Constructed Active Fund Allocation
Replies: 3
Views: 223

Re: 403B Q: TRP Target Date vs Self Constructed Active Fund Allocation

In our district's 457b, the T.Rowe Price target date funds were replaced with BlackRock Lifepath index funds with ER of under .2%. What company operates your plan? Does your district have a committee that oversees the plan, or does HR just handle it?
by anonenigma
Mon Feb 29, 2016 1:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 403(b) for a teacher in CA - Roth or Traditional
Replies: 14
Views: 1240

Re: 403(b) for a teacher in CA - Roth or Traditional

She can contribute to an IRA in addition to the 403b and the 457b. Use traditional 403b on dollars taxed at 25% federal. After that, it's a tossup. If she has a full career teaching (and the pension that goes with it), she could be taxed at 25% (today's rate) on some of her income, which suggests th...
by anonenigma
Mon Feb 08, 2016 11:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stovetop Tea Kettle Recommendations?
Replies: 22
Views: 1619

Re: Stovetop Tea Kettle Recommendations?

Have you considered a glass kettle? The top seller on Amazon apparently doesn't hold up. I have purchased Medelco 12-Cup Glass Stovetop Whistling Kettle and I am pleased with it. When I put it on my gas stove, I place it a bit off center so that the handle is farther from the flame. When I take off...
by anonenigma
Sun Feb 07, 2016 11:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Costco AMEX Transition - Costco has no answers
Replies: 118
Views: 15737

Re: Costco AMEX Update

Per p. 111 of SEC filing, the new rebate program seems tro be an improvement in that restaurant and travel purchases accumulate a 2% rebate from the beginning. Doesn't the current program begin at a much lower percentage and max out at 2%?
by anonenigma
Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stovetop Tea Kettle Recommendations?
Replies: 22
Views: 1619

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: 22
Views: 1619

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: 22
Views: 1619

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: 2148

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 Transition - Costco has no answers
Replies: 118
Views: 15737

Costco AMEX Update

[Thread merged into here, see below. --admin LadyGeek] 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 wi...
by anonenigma
Sat Jan 23, 2016 11:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Arizona Teacher - 403b vs 457
Replies: 10
Views: 759

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: 210

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: 2753

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: 6243

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: 1176

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: 118
Views: 15737

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: 118
Views: 15737

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: 535

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: 12823

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: 4790

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: 2401

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: 4253

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: 4253

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: 1456

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: 2401

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: 9606

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: 354

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: 1342

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: 4709

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: 466

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: 2564

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: 2113

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: 952

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: 1653

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: 2601

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: 2601

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...

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