Search found 106 matches

by bhtomj
Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Savings Bond Refresher
Replies: 1
Views: 371

Re: Savings Bond Refresher

Treasury Direct has the current rates: https://www.treasurydirect.gov/news/pre ... atespr.htm

I-Bond rates are currently better than 2011. EE not so much, doubling every 20 years to get around 3.5% if you can wait.

I am still a fan of both, but am only buying I-Bonds.
by bhtomj
Sat May 05, 2018 10:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Open-ended question about vacationing in Yosemite or a different national park
Replies: 49
Views: 3090

Re: Open-ended question about vacationing in Yosemite or a different national park

I will suggest two less crowded NPs that we have enjoyed:

Theodore Roosevelt NP, ND.
Badlands NP, SD.
by bhtomj
Wed May 02, 2018 12:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savings Bond Wizard replacement is available
Replies: 9
Views: 3093

Re: Savings Bond Wizard replacement is available

I prefer the calculator and converted to it a few years ago.
Once you save your inventory to an HTML file, you can reconnect to update values and bonds.
The problem is if you miss entering a bond they get out of sequence.
by bhtomj
Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CA Public School Teacher - Union Dues, Pension Contribution
Replies: 17
Views: 2249

Re: CA Public School Teacher - Union Dues, Pension Contribution

My wife pays just over $1000 PER year for union dues.

Here's a link for CalStrs on the contribution rates: https://www.calstrs.com/calstrs-2014-funding-plan
I did not realize the teacher contribution was over 10%. Better check a pay stub.
by bhtomj
Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy I-Bonds before May 1 or After?
Replies: 16
Views: 1904

Re: Buy I-Bonds before May 1 or After?

I buy monthly via payroll plan so both for me. But he is an opinion from a blog I follow: https://tipswatch.com/2018/04/12/i-bond ... able-rate/
by bhtomj
Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Custom-Made Orthotics: Digital Foot Imaging vs. Foot Mold
Replies: 2
Views: 596

Re: Custom-Made Orthotics: Digital Foot Imaging vs. Foot Mold

Last month I recieved new orthotics made from a digital image from my original foot mold. Initially the new inserts were too large and caused issues with my toes. My podiatrist trimmed them so they fit better, but so far I am more comfortable with the original. Time will tell. I only have only had t...
by bhtomj
Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TreasuryDirect website and 1099-INT taxable bonds
Replies: 7
Views: 998

Re: TreasuryDirect website and 1099-INT taxable bonds

I received an email in late January from TD saying "tax forms are available." But I cannot find it now.
by bhtomj
Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Take loan off net worth?
Replies: 17
Views: 1235

Re: Take loan off net worth?

Think of it this way. You have an asset with liquidation value and a loan obligation. A corporation would report it.

I include significant ($ value) assets in my net worth calculation. That includes my house and current valuation of vehicles.
by bhtomj
Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Movies of 2017
Replies: 35
Views: 3313

Re: Best Movies of 2017

Steelersfan wrote: ↑
Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:12 pm
It's animated so targeted to kids, but Coco is spectacular, even for adults.
I truly enjoyed Coco more than any of the other very good movies i saw.
by bhtomj
Mon Dec 25, 2017 1:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Samsung J3 or J7
Replies: 21
Views: 1623

Re: Samsung J3 or J7

I have had a J3 for 15 months with no issues. I recommend it but cannot say how it compares to J7 mentioned.
At $168, I paid for it up front.
by bhtomj
Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit protection for children?
Replies: 5
Views: 576

Re: Credit protection for children?

You cannot freeze a minors credit, or request a report online. You must mail in certain documents to the credit bureaus.

I am working on getting this together for my kids (12 yes old) as my daughter was listed on an Anthem breech..
by bhtomj
Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What the best identity theft co.?
Replies: 21
Views: 1807

Re: What the best identity theft co.?

As others have mentioned. Freeze your credit at all agencies. My wife had problems twice previously but not since we froze about ten years ago. 'Thawing' your credit to open a new account is just as easy as freezing it once you know which agency will be used for the credit check (just ask). We just ...
by bhtomj
Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Public vs Private Elementary
Replies: 57
Views: 4502

Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Our kids were in private Catholic school up to 4th grade. We just did not see the value in it so they switched to the local public school last year. Our kids loved it. More opportunities, our twins could be in separate rooms and larger class sizes meant more diversity. Starting public middle school ...
by bhtomj
Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wooden flooring in kitchen
Replies: 51
Views: 5471

Re: Wooden flooring in kitchen

We added Oak floors in our kitchen remodel in 2008 after removing carpeting throughout the house (prev owner). We really use our kitchen so the floors can get messy. The shark steam mop does a nice job cleaning those stuck on messes. Roomba gets the rest.
by bhtomj
Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coyote control
Replies: 66
Views: 5302

Re: Coyote control

Fencing in your yard should keep them out if you are doing the normal prevention of not leaving pet food out and keeping trash cans closed. I also live in the LA area and our city only provides the warnings to keep pets and small children inside in the evening and night. :idea: This reminds me to as...
by bhtomj
Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Payment to Dr's office
Replies: 11
Views: 1388

Re: Payment to Dr's office

I have UHC like the OP. My DR tells me they are the slowest of all insurers to pay.
I am in Southern CA.
by bhtomj
Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: California State Teachers Pension
Replies: 4
Views: 726

Re: California State Teachers Pension

The annuity is the only choice for payout.

Check out 403bcompare.com for 403b plans for your district.
by bhtomj
Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Educate me on Ibonds
Replies: 6
Views: 1343

Re: Educate me on Ibonds

I have found that any of my 'how' and 'what' questions are answered on the TreasuryDirect.gov site.
by bhtomj
Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How often do you redeem your credit card cash rewards?
Replies: 54
Views: 4612

Re: How often do you redeem your credit card cash rewards?

My Fidelity Rewards Visa transfers automatically to my IRA every month.
by bhtomj
Thu May 25, 2017 12:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suits: best bang for your buck?
Replies: 64
Views: 22285

Re: Suits: best bang for your buck?

I needed a suit for a funeral and of course did not have much time. We found a nice gray one at Kohl's for just over $100.00.
I have not worn a suit for work since 1997 but this is the least expensive suit I have ever worn and one of the nicest.
by bhtomj
Sun May 21, 2017 12:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Convert EE Savings Bonds at Treasury Direct?
Replies: 8
Views: 1549

Re: Convert EE Savings Bonds at Treasury Direct?

The conversion process works as easy as the TD instructions indicate. I converted all our paper bonds to TD in 2014. I split ours into 5 manifests and just dropped them as standard mail in 5 envelopes. One envelope never arrived at TD. I filed a report on the site, received a phone call a day later,...
by bhtomj
Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Fire HD 10" tablet
Replies: 8
Views: 1134

Re: Amazon Fire HD 10" tablet

I don't know about the current version but my kids have a prior version of 10" Fire HD tablets and they have held up well. Very solid with a beautiful display. If the Amazon app store is not good enough, the Google framework can be installed to get the Play store. I did this on my new 7" Fire. Just ...
by bhtomj
Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spin scrubbers
Replies: 4
Views: 973

Re: Spin scrubbers

I have not used one but my in-laws love the one they received as a Christmas gift. It makes reaching and scrubbing easier for them. They are almost 78 years young.
Not sure what brand they have.
by bhtomj
Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Convince Wife for Honda Odyssey
Replies: 48
Views: 3666

Re: Convince Wife for Honda Odyssey

As a owner of both vehicles in question I will say they both have benefits. The Tahoe is riding in luxury and nice in winter or rougher conditions and you sit much higher. The Odyssey is the ultimate utility vehicle. It it easier to load and reconfigure, has more cargo room and has better MPG. The t...
by bhtomj
Thu Jan 19, 2017 1:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best sweeping accounts
Replies: 4
Views: 606

Re: Best sweeping accounts

Fidelity Government Cash Reserves (FDRXX) says it returned .09 % over the last year. .86% over 10 years. It has paid me nothing over 16 years.
by bhtomj
Mon Jan 16, 2017 11:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buying BND vs. Paying Down HELOC
Replies: 14
Views: 1140

Re: Buying BND vs. Paying Down HELOC

If liquidity is not an issue in this scenario pay off the HELOC. BND future return is unknown but loan interest savings is guaranteed.
by bhtomj
Sat Jan 14, 2017 10:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Washing Machines
Replies: 12
Views: 1788

Re: Washing Machines

We just replaced our 10 year old high end GE front loader - that was leaking - with a middle of the road Kenmore front loader. We do a lot of laundry with 2 pre-teens. The new Kenmore (and I assume most new brands) does not have the issues of the older GE. It is very quiet even when out of balance, ...
by bhtomj
Sun Dec 18, 2016 12:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Earthquake insurance
Replies: 12
Views: 2031

Re: Earthquake insurance

I live in the LA area and have had CEA insurance through AAA for several years. Mine currently osts about the same as my homeowner's insurance. I will be checking on the new different CEA policies in January before I renew. Is it worth it? I won't know until we have earthquake damage but it gives me...
by bhtomj
Sun Dec 04, 2016 1:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Getting Stingy?
Replies: 90
Views: 14611

Re: Amazon Prime Getting Stingy?

Yesterday we experienced nearly the exact same issue as the OP. The shipper was USPS and the tracking info was not consistent with Amazon. Even the Amazon support associate could not figure it out after she put us on hold twice. They ask we give them until Monday to figure it out which was not an is...
by bhtomj
Sat Dec 03, 2016 12:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "E-E bonds" or "Double E bonds" ?
Replies: 8
Views: 1270

Re: "E-E bonds" or "Double E bonds" ?

Same here 'E-E'. I just assume that since prior series was not 'Single E'.
by bhtomj
Sun Oct 23, 2016 8:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Payroll deduction to spouse's IRA?
Replies: 2
Views: 404

Re: Payroll deduction to spouse's IRA?

It has not been an issue for me to do it for my wife's IRA at Vanguard. I had asked Vanguard when we set it up in 2012.
Easier to do from my payroll (online self-serve) than my wife's (paper form).
by bhtomj
Sun Oct 16, 2016 8:09 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Bogleheads is back!!!
Replies: 100
Views: 14480

Re: Bogleheads is back!!!

Remember the Sun Microsystems tagline: "The network is the computer".
by bhtomj
Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I-Bond Interest Credit
Replies: 6
Views: 1125

Re: I-Bond Interest Credit

TD does not show the last 3 months of interest because of the 3 month penalty up to 5 years. See the TD sight under I-Bonds "When does my bond change rates?"

http://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/res ... htm#change
by bhtomj
Tue Jun 14, 2016 10:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2 separate cell phones for work & personal? [Physician]
Replies: 26
Views: 3534

Re: 2 separate cell phones for work & personal? [Physician]

I started using Google voice because my company stopped paying for a mobile phone. I have not done much with it except set up a new work number and voice main message. I like that I have to accept a call coming through the Google number. There are apps that will provide another number but I find it ...
by bhtomj
Sat May 14, 2016 10:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: treasurydirect.gov is not a secure website?
Replies: 15
Views: 3040

Re: treasurydirect.gov is not a secure website?

No problems with Firefox for me. I just checked my TD login.
by bhtomj
Sat Apr 30, 2016 9:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone uses identity theft protection services?
Replies: 21
Views: 17351

Re: Anyone uses identity theft protection services?

I agree with TallBoy. Pay the small fee to freeze your credit. Check your credit report once a year for free. Don't pay a service for protection that is nearly free.
by bhtomj
Sat Apr 30, 2016 9:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Strategery for using Coverdell for Primary / Secondary Tuition
Replies: 1
Views: 297

Re: Strategery for using Coverdell for Primary / Secondary Tuition

We are paying tuition from taxable savings at least up until 8th grade (kids are in 4th grade now). I cannot see withdrawing money the same year you contributed. The way i figure the ESA funds will be used sort of like an Emergency fund when we cannot pay tuition due to other priorities. If that nee...
by bhtomj
Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When to choose investing over loan repayment?
Replies: 17
Views: 2037

Re: When to choose investing over loan repayment?

I don't think there is hard rule on the interest rate. Logically it would be a comparison of Mortgage rate to a no risk bond. But paying your mortgage off is an emotional decision too. I would feel good paying off the mortgage even if it was an effective 1%. In my case I also am considering liquidit...
by bhtomj
Thu Mar 31, 2016 10:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar City Sales-pitch
Replies: 50
Views: 10524

Re: Solar City Sales-pitch

I think you made a good decision. I looked at Solar City in 2012. We eventually went with Sunrun who guaranteed output for 20 year fixed rate - rather than charged per KWH. I cannot remember what rate Solar City quoted us, but 16 cents/ KWH seems high to me, especially with a 2.9% annual increase. M...
by bhtomj
Mon Mar 28, 2016 9:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Variable Annuity in Roth IRA
Replies: 7
Views: 1007

Re: Variable Annuity in Roth IRA

I think you really know the answer to your questions. It's a bad situation but at your age you have lots of time to make up for it. I would investigate closing the NWM account. Open a Roth IRA at Vanguard or Fidelity and ask them how to close the NWM account and transfer what you can get. I had a si...
by bhtomj
Tue Mar 22, 2016 9:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Freedom Visa and Costco?
Replies: 17
Views: 5661

Re: Chase Freedom Visa and Costco?

You cannot use Visa because the Costco switch has been delayed until June 20th. Do a Google search for "Costco Visa".
by bhtomj
Sun Feb 28, 2016 10:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Watching Oscars with kids
Replies: 34
Views: 3867

Re: Watching Oscars with kids

We have been watching with our two 10 year old children. And as with many television shows now days there is much that they do not understand or "should not be repeating". At least in CA the show will be over by their bedtime.
by bhtomj
Tue Feb 09, 2016 11:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Math and Computer Science
Replies: 69
Views: 5272

Re: Math and Computer Science

I think the first thing to do is decide on a major. Is it CS? Or History? IT/CS is a wide field once you get out of school and deeper math expertise may not be needed. But to get the CS degree, it is needed.
by bhtomj
Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Contribute to ROTH or 401K
Replies: 3
Views: 486

Re: Contribut to ROTH or 401K

I agree with your plan, especially if you live in a high tax state. Living in CA, I moved Roth allocated funds to our 401(k), 403(b) a few years ago. Although if you are using the Roth IRA as part of a funding an emergency fund, wait until you have it fully and safely funded.
by bhtomj
Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: First Post, two questions.....
Replies: 9
Views: 1564

Re: First Post, two questions.....

Can your wife use the CALSTRS "Pension2"? http://www.calstrs.com/pension2

You plan looks about like my wife's plan until 2012 when the district added Vanguard. I found this out not from the district but from https://www.403bcompare.com/
by bhtomj
Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard Direct Deposit Source Changed
Replies: 6
Views: 1125

Re: Vanguard Direct Deposit Source Changed

Better call Vanguard on that. I don't see that name in the Direct Deposit sources list, but then I am not sure why they even need that list. If it is a direction deposit activity (allocation) then that is a value provided by the account owner, not Vanguard.
by bhtomj
Sat Jan 30, 2016 9:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401K Advice Please?
Replies: 8
Views: 805

Re: 401K Advice Please?

You could do worse that PAROX/ TRowe 2055. So that is a good bet if you are new and not comfortable with investing. I would not touch the brokerage account until three is a significant balance built in mutual funds. You have some good choices if you choose to move your money out of the 2055 fund. Fo...
by bhtomj
Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Enter one or multiple 1099-INTs from TreasuryDirect?
Replies: 4
Views: 628

Re: Enter one or multiple 1099-INTs from TreasuryDirect?

Not specifically your question, but last year I had to redeem some converted paper bonds and balance some conversions of my minor linked accounts (paper bond registration actually converted the bonds to my account, not my kids). I ended up with three TD 1099-INT forms so entered each as a separate l...