Search found 95 matches

by bhtomj
Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit protection for children?
Replies: 5
Views: 496

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: 1540

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: 3775

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: 4784

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: 4844

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: 1230

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: 580

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: 1183

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: 3906

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: 12295

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: 1327

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: 1020

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: 913

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: 3298

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: 531

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: 1057

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: 1578

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: 1830

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: 13653

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: 1215

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: 383

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: 83
Views: 10019

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: 1044

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/research/indepth/ibonds/res_ibonds_iratesandterms.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: 3247

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: 2613

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: 11677

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: 271

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: 1990

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: 9508

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: 926

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: 5505

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: 3666

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: 5074

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: 470

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: 1484

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: 1082

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: 760

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: 606

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...
by bhtomj
Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone else recently had FIA Fidelity VISA card compromised?
Replies: 5
Views: 626

Re: Anyone else recently had FIA Fidelity VISA card compromised?

Fidelity AMEX denied today at Target. I got a call 5 minutes later saying it was compromised on 1/20. The website shows an Alert sent to me on 1/23 that I am getting an new card. Never received the alert, although I received the alert following it. Sure would be nice for some notification on these. ...
by bhtomj
Mon Jan 04, 2016 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: RFID wallet?
Replies: 28
Views: 3332

Re: RFID wallet?

The "Wonder Wallet" http://www.getwonderwallet.com has RFID protection. Its $10 at Walmart. My wife bought me one as a joke, but it is actually great for holding gift and credit cards. I am not a paid spokesman. :D
by bhtomj
Wed Dec 30, 2015 11:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New HR Block Tax software user initial feedback report
Replies: 11
Views: 1344

Re: New HR Block Tax software user initial feedback report

Its worked well for me too. I switched last year when even the Costco discount made Turbo Tax seem expensive. I just downloaded 2015 using the 30% discount H&R Block emailed me. For me, the differences from TT are so few that the only comparison is price. They both make the import of each others...
by bhtomj
Tue Dec 29, 2015 10:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas furnace installation in attic...Dangerous?
Replies: 9
Views: 12152

Re: Gas furnace installation in attic...Dangerous?

In our area in Southern California, it is pretty standard to install the Furnace in the attic. Usually this is done after removing the 1950's original heaters in the lower walls/floors. When ours was installed in the attic during 2005, the installers put in a nice ceiling door and electrical switche...
by bhtomj
Thu Oct 22, 2015 9:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Online Genealogical Chart?
Replies: 26
Views: 3431

Re: Best Online Genealogical Chart?

My wife uses Ancestory.com and their Family Tree Maker software. That membership is around $300.00 /year so time your purchase to when you have time to work on it She did not use the printouts from the software, but instead purhased poster size charts and filled in the names and comments. She found ...
by bhtomj
Thu Oct 15, 2015 9:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Review and Newcomer Questions
Replies: 5
Views: 760

Re: ROTH IRA Review, Please and Thank You

Looks like FCNTX is .64% - so not the worst. I would not have all the individual stock holdings (VZ, CAT, etc.) - but that comes from experience! Instead use a long cost Spartan Fund (Freedom Index?) or allocation fund like FFNOX. Personally i would not wait for CAT to come back before selling it - ...
by bhtomj
Mon Aug 31, 2015 10:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is the benefit of a CD ladder today?
Replies: 21
Views: 4006

Re: What is the benefit of a CD ladder today?

Why can't you purchase a ladder all at once? Say, for example, if you have $100,000 and want a five year ladder - purchase $20,000 1,2,3,4 and 5 year CDs. Then, in a year, at the maturity of the 1 year, purchase a 5 year with those funds - and so on This is how I am going to do it. If you have $$ a...
by bhtomj
Mon Aug 31, 2015 10:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is the benefit of a CD ladder today?
Replies: 21
Views: 4006

Re: What is the benefit of a CD ladder today?

Why can't you purchase a ladder all at once? Say, for example, if you have $100,000 and want a five year ladder - purchase $20,000 1,2,3,4 and 5 year CDs. Then, in a year, at the maturity of the 1 year, purchase a 5 year with those funds - and so on This is how I am going to do it. If you have $$ a...
by bhtomj
Sat Aug 29, 2015 11:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Blue Shield of California - HMO vs. PPO
Replies: 26
Views: 4729

Re: Blue Shield of California - HMO vs. PPO

I am not familiar with those current plans but I have had coverage in both BSC plans with my previous company. The Access+ HMO has many of the same providers in my area and both plans worked well for me. I switched to the HMO for the same reasons you mention - to save on premiums. The HMO can save a...
by bhtomj
Sun Aug 02, 2015 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Verizon FIOS Userguide
Replies: 4
Views: 504

Re: Verizon FIOS Userguide

When you run the speed test - as mentioned above - do it in two locations: 1. At the router using wii-fi and with a cable if you can. This is the speed Verizon provides. 2. At the most commonly used location - which is what you care about. Your results will vary. This also may help determine interfe...