Search found 8766 matches

by dm200
Fri Apr 29, 2016 6:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rank These 401(k) Providers
Replies: 35
Views: 3675

Re: Rank These 401(k) Providers

My companies 401k plan is with Principal and one of the things I do not like about it is that with the 401K they do not have mutual funds, but instead they have “separate accounts”... I then changed my contribution allocation to stop contributing to 1 or 2 funds that I held. Those "funds"...
by dm200
Fri Apr 29, 2016 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a New Car...Is it Unwise?
Replies: 20
Views: 812

Re: Buying a New Car...Is it Unwise?

Probably a ton of these posts but hoping Bogleheads can steer me the right way. Currently drive a 2008 Acura TSX with 92K miles on it. My CD player does not work. It will need new tires plus the standard regular maintenance as it approaches 100K miles. It has been paid off a while. With the expense...
by dm200
Fri Apr 29, 2016 1:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any Feedback on Principal as an employer plan custodian?
Replies: 12
Views: 423

Re: Any Feedback on Principal as an employer plan custodian?

I'm still negative on Principal, but as an addendum to my post above, we were just switched from R3 to R5 variants of funds. Still ridiculous expense ratios, but my S&P 500 now "only" costs 0.41 %. You take your victories where you can get them. As I posted earlier, I would NOT believ...
by dm200
Fri Apr 29, 2016 12:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any Feedback on Principal as an employer plan custodian?
Replies: 12
Views: 423

Re: Any Feedback on Principal as an employer plan custodian?

I'm still negative on Principal, but as an addendum to my post above, we were just switched from R3 to R5 variants of funds. Still ridiculous expense ratios, but my S&P 500 now "only" costs 0.41 %. You take your victories where you can get them. As I posted earlier, I would NOT believ...
by dm200
Fri Apr 29, 2016 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inherited property and family issues
Replies: 39
Views: 2737

Re: Inherited property and family issues

Let Mary stay in the house, but take whatever rent you agree is reasonable out of her share of the equity, and pay property taxes and other expenses out of the other two siblings' cash? That (a) doesn't impose (as much) on the other two siblings, (b) doesn't give Mary a big pile of money that she s...
by dm200
Thu Apr 28, 2016 9:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are Costco's best deals?
Replies: 265
Views: 33929

Re: What are Costco's best deals?

A few years ago, I bought 2 or 3 pairs of different types of shoes/boots at a really great price. I have not seen such shoe "deals" in quite a while. one thing about Costco, you see something you like but are not sure whether to get it, get it anyway. chances are the next time you go and ...
by dm200
Thu Apr 28, 2016 8:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inherited property and family issues
Replies: 39
Views: 2737

Re: Inherited property and family issues

Soon after he passed away my sister in law (let’s call her Mary) moved in and has been living in that house ever since. Mary earns very little money and has an elementary school aged child . it seems to me, with 20/20 hindsight, this is the "heart" (or "heartless") of the proble...
by dm200
Thu Apr 28, 2016 8:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Consumer Reports Magazine & Website
Replies: 89
Views: 3755

Re: What's become of Consumer Reports?

Toons wrote:One words sums it up.
"Internet"
:shock:


Yes - I tend to agree
by dm200
Thu Apr 28, 2016 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Insurance paid me instead of provider
Replies: 4
Views: 412

Re: Insurance paid me instead of provider

I received a $500 check from my 2015 insurance company to cover a lab test. Apparently it was processed as out of network (even though the lab is listed on the website as in network?!?!). The EOB states that that I owe the difference between the $500 check and the amount billed which is $5000. I go...
by dm200
Thu Apr 28, 2016 3:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Consumer Reports Magazine & Website
Replies: 89
Views: 3755

Re: What's become of Consumer Reports?

I also get the online access to CR.

I also get the CR report on health - and find it very useful.
by dm200
Thu Apr 28, 2016 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical Billing Practices
Replies: 26
Views: 1712

Re: Medical Billing Practices

In several previous employer plans, the amount of the "Copay" for primary care or specialists was not always a simple dollar amount. Most of the time, the folks at the Physician's office were not able to tell me what the Copay was supposed to be - and often would ask me. What I did, most o...
by dm200
Thu Apr 28, 2016 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Financing a car in order to fix credit
Replies: 13
Views: 794

Re: Financing a car in order to fix credit

Financing a car is a very expensive way to build credit if your credit is currently poor. Better off just paying a credit card off in full each month, and keeping your utilization low. Buy a car if you need a car, but don't justify it to yourself as building credit. Maybe I misunderstood the OP iss...
by dm200
Thu Apr 28, 2016 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Financing a car in order to fix credit
Replies: 13
Views: 794

Re: Financing a car in order to fix credit

Having an "installment" loan, such as a car loan being paid off regularly and on time may actually help with credit score (not 100% sure). I know it is almost always better to have the same dollar amount of credit on installment loan(s) than revolving loans. More credit cards may or may no...
by dm200
Thu Apr 28, 2016 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thoughts on buying home without an agent (special case)
Replies: 4
Views: 380

Re: Thoughts on buying home without an agent (special case)

No expert here, but I see no reason a real estate agent in this situation is necessary. While there may some degree of added work in arranging the items you note, there are considerable benefits of a direct sale to both buyer and seller. The benefits are both directly financial (no real estate commi...
by dm200
Thu Apr 28, 2016 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are Costco's best deals?
Replies: 265
Views: 33929

Re: What are Costco's best deals?

A few years ago, I bought 2 or 3 pairs of different types of shoes/boots at a really great price. I have not seen such shoe "deals" in quite a while. Still get Oatmeal (10 lb box Quaker oats), natural peanut butter, salad greens, Globe grapes, walnuts, almonds, cashews, peanuts (in shell),...
by dm200
Thu Apr 28, 2016 9:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any Feedback on Principal as an employer plan custodian?
Replies: 12
Views: 423

Re: Any Feedback on Principal as an employer plan custodian?

I have posted this on other discussions here in the past, but let me give my experience with Principal at a former small company employer. Principal came in with this "pitch" to employees about how great they would be for our 401k when the company moved to Principal. One story was that as ...
by dm200
Thu Apr 28, 2016 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: One question about medical insurance in-network service
Replies: 10
Views: 657

Re: One question about medical insurance in-network service

"Complex" indeed! It has been a few years, but I recall that under one of the employer plans I had, the charges from an "in network" provider were at the "in network" rate even for things not covered by the insurance. From my experience "not medically necessary&quo...
by dm200
Wed Apr 27, 2016 6:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any Feedback on Principal as an employer plan custodian?
Replies: 12
Views: 423

Re: Any Feedback on Principal as an employer plan custodian?

Principal is a "master" of running 401k plans for the benefit of the employer. They are able to impose nearly all admin costs onto the participants with higher costs. In addition, the way they do this is extremely deceptive - layering costs onto the participants. Give the devil its due - t...
by dm200
Wed Apr 27, 2016 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I accept this offer on my house?
Replies: 52
Views: 2871

Re: Should I accept this offer on my house?

Many ways to look at this. Here is one: Let's say you do not accept the $420 offer and keep trying to sell. Then, after 8 months, you accept $440. That is $20,000 for waiting 8 months. Subtract 5% commission - and it is down to $19,000 or about $2,375 per month. BUT - there is no guarantee you will ...
by dm200
Wed Apr 27, 2016 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Death Benefit
Replies: 5
Views: 770

Re: Social Security Death Benefit

While the amount is small, I suggest filing for this benefit. Why not?
by dm200
Mon Apr 25, 2016 9:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car wreck with ambulance bill. Is it wise to use auto insurance for medical payments?
Replies: 17
Views: 1278

Re: Car wreck with ambulance bill. Is it wise to use auto insurance for medical payments?

I have never been in this situation, but there may be some "fine print" in your medical insurance about any other coverage for any conditions you might encounter.
by dm200
Mon Apr 25, 2016 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pros/Cons of Condo Living?
Replies: 43
Views: 3824

Re: Pros/Cons of Condo Living?

There are many (often misunderstood) aspects to this question. Primarily, "Condo" is a form of ownership and has little to do with the actual "residence". An apartment may be a condo, as can a townhouse. So, one, more focused, question is do you want to live in an apartment or a ...
by dm200
Mon Apr 25, 2016 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wills & Trusts - Necessity
Replies: 14
Views: 1589

Re: Wills & Trusts - Necessity

Let me just add that providing for a testamentary trust in a will should be considered as one way of accomplishing these objectives. There are both advantages and disadvantages of this approach - and they may differ from one state to another. A competent and experienced estate planning attorney woul...
by dm200
Sun Apr 24, 2016 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wills & Trusts - Necessity
Replies: 14
Views: 1589

Re: Wills & Trusts - Necessity

There are many reasons to separate guardianship of minor children from the "money" allocated to support them. Let's say, for example, your brother and his wife (who also have children) agree to be such guardians. You just leave the brother and wife (as an example) $1,000,000. The funds are...
by dm200
Sat Apr 23, 2016 10:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wills & Trusts - Necessity
Replies: 14
Views: 1589

Re: Wills & Trusts - Necessity

We have 3 children (6, 8, 14) and live in NY state. Currently we do not have a will or a trust in place. We have several trustworthy family members who can step in as a guardian - on both sides of the family. Since the likelihood of us both passing at the same time is highly unlikely, we did not pa...
by dm200
Sat Apr 23, 2016 7:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: UTMA, Florida: Custodian In Control Past Termination Date?
Replies: 34
Views: 1047

Re: UTMA, Florida: Custodian In Control Past Termination Date?

I had a custodial IRA for each of my two kids. I would put whatever money they earned in an IRA, and then give them the same amount of money to spend. They knew about the accounts. Please educate me. What is a "custodial" IRA and how does it work? I was under the impression that an "...
by dm200
Sat Apr 23, 2016 2:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: UTMA, Florida: Custodian In Control Past Termination Date?
Replies: 34
Views: 1047

Re: UTMA, Florida: Custodian In Control Past Termination Date?

FWIW, I had a UGMA account for my son and we are Florida residents. The UGMA technically terminated at age 18 but I continued it on and paid for his college education from it until is was exhausted. I also filed tax returns for him annually as required. Gill I am in this business (in Virginia) - If...
by dm200
Sat Apr 23, 2016 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: UTMA, Florida: Custodian In Control Past Termination Date?
Replies: 34
Views: 1047

Re: UTMA, Florida: Custodian In Control Past Termination Date?

The details depend on applicable state law. However, I believe that it is the responsibility of the custodian(s) to turn over the funds in an a UTMA at the maximum age. Remember also that taxable earnings are reported under the "minor"'s SSN - so it woule be impossible to keep this a secre...
by dm200
Thu Apr 21, 2016 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Son was on spouse's enployer family plan health insurance,but ineligible soon- need input -
Replies: 24
Views: 1959

Re: Son was on spouse's enployer family plan health insurance,but ineligible soon- need input -

Some employer health insurance plans allow for continuation of coverage past age 26 for handicapped children. It would be worth at least asking about it. There also may be (check with employer) some kind of "transition" plan where the current dependent coverage can be moved to an individu...
by dm200
Sun Apr 17, 2016 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CD help!
Replies: 14
Views: 1633

Re: CD help!

Consider credit unions as well. Today, most folks are eligible, or can become eligible to join many credit unions. Almost all U.S. credit unions are federally insured by NCUA - a US federal government agency. See http://www.ncua.gov. The NCUA backing for credit unions is equivalent to FDIC backing o...
by dm200
Sat Apr 16, 2016 4:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Aunt has been investing in collectibles for retirement
Replies: 13
Views: 2012

Re: Aunt has been investing in collectibles for retirement

Hope she did not "invest" in Beanie Babies.
by dm200
Sat Apr 16, 2016 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Booking airfare - Wash DC to Dallas in fall
Replies: 5
Views: 375

Re: Booking airfare - Wash DC to Dallas in fall

No idea on price forecast, but swa allows changes without fees up until departure date, and will credit price difference to your account. So you could check back every week or so, and if prices drop just rebook. Also, sign up for swa emails so you'll get notice when they have a fare sale. OK - did ...
by dm200
Sat Apr 16, 2016 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Booking airfare - Wash DC to Dallas in fall
Replies: 5
Views: 375

Booking airfare - Wash DC to Dallas in fall

My wife and I will be going to Dallas TX this fall (late October or early November) for 3-4 days. Southwest had $89 each way nonstops from DCA to Love field - and I just looked again and they have all gone up to $142. Still a very good price (I think)- and it is very convenient, especially a nonstop...
by dm200
Sat Apr 16, 2016 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dispute the medical bill charge
Replies: 14
Views: 1264

Re: Dispute the medical bill charge

Therefore, the gynecologist could not provide me any consultation because he did not even know why I am doing this.


As, I believe, an informed layperson - I find this very puzzling, to say the least.
by dm200
Sat Apr 16, 2016 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Non-Compete Clause
Replies: 10
Views: 1389

Re: Non-Compete Clause

In my opinion, it may be very unwise to count on a non-compete not being enforcable. Employers tend to have more resources to hire attorneys and they can make your life miserable abd cause you to spend a lot on fighting back. While, in my opinion, certain kinds of "non-compete" agreements ...
by dm200
Sat Apr 16, 2016 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing appliances in a rental in-law unit
Replies: 9
Views: 909

Re: Replacing appliances in a rental in-law unit

I believe the landlord should be, at least, informed of a replacement. After all, once installed, it becomes the property of and the responsibility of the landlord. Since you have a really good deal, it seems to me that if it helps continue that excellent relationship, you would be ahead of the game...
by dm200
Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cooking Meat/Fish/Poultry Indoors?
Replies: 32
Views: 1876

Re: Cooking Meat/Fish/Poultry Indoors?

So I would say, follow the manufacturer's instructions, whatever they are.


I agree.

I hate broiled meat. To me it ruins the flavor


Depending on the type/cut of meat, to me broiling as being discussed can be very flavorful, in my opinion. Different folks have different tastes, I suppose.
by dm200
Thu Apr 14, 2016 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cooking Meat/Fish/Poultry Indoors?
Replies: 32
Views: 1876

Re: Cooking Meat/Fish/Poultry Indoors?

Do you have a broiler in your oven? I broil all of my steaks and saute or pan fry everything else. No special equipment needed. Put a pat of butter and a little oil together (enough to thinly cover the bottom of the pan when hot), add seasoned meat to a hot pan, and cook. I like a non-stick pan for...
by dm200
Thu Apr 14, 2016 5:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: grateful for any input on a major, urgent real estate decision
Replies: 75
Views: 4829

Re: grateful for any input on a major, urgent real estate decision

I would lean towards buying. You will not have the expenses and hassle of finding another rental, moving, etc. You may not end up in as good a situation either. It seems that you can afford it (even it a stretch). Have you factored in the income tax savings? "Sharing" with a roommate, etc....
by dm200
Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dispute the medical bill charge
Replies: 14
Views: 1264

Re: Dispute the medical bill charge

No medical expertise here - but it has been my experience that almost any type of test is always communicated to me (the patient) by a physician (either primary care or specialist) and the communicating physician a NOT the radiologist (or similar) that "reads" the test results and produces...
by dm200
Thu Apr 14, 2016 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cooking Meat/Fish/Poultry Indoors?
Replies: 32
Views: 1876

Re: Cooking Meat/Fish/Poultry Indoors?

Do you have a broiler in your oven? I broil all of my steaks and saute or pan fry everything else. No special equipment needed. Put a pat of butter and a little oil together (enough to thinly cover the bottom of the pan when hot), add seasoned meat to a hot pan, and cook. I like a non-stick pan for...
by dm200
Thu Apr 14, 2016 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cooking Meat/Fish/Poultry Indoors?
Replies: 32
Views: 1876

Re: Cooking Meat/Fish/Poultry Indoors?

For some kinds of fish, cooking with a microwave can work very well.

Oven baking meat/fish/poultry can work out very well also.

For some kinds of meat/poultry - a recipe using a crockpot is very good as well.
by dm200
Wed Apr 13, 2016 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Preventative car maintenance?
Replies: 38
Views: 3974

Re: Preventative car maintenance?

Trying to decide if/when to do timing belt and water pump replacement on '98 Camry 6 cyl with 73,000 miles. Bought if privately (from longtome friends) last year. They bought it as demonstrator in 1998 and put few miles on it and took good care of it. Are there any "warning signs" of eithe...
by dm200
Wed Apr 13, 2016 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dual Language Elementary School
Replies: 16
Views: 1180

Re: Dual Language Elementary School

All of the English speaking families I know who have enrolled their children in these "partial immersion" (Spanish and English school programs) have related very positive feedback. I believe that if they had experienced any educational deficiencies that they would have expressed them and/o...
by dm200
Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dual Language Elementary School
Replies: 16
Views: 1180

Re: Dual Language Elementary School

My local school jurisdiction offers this option at several elementary schools, as do several other area jurisdictions. Most of them are English-Spanish. I have heard overwhelming positive feedback from parents who have enrolled their children in these programs. These were not readily and convenientl...
by dm200
Tue Apr 12, 2016 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TSP Loan to payoff student loans
Replies: 10
Views: 1067

Re: TSP Loan to payoff student loans

I would not do this. It is, in my opinion, very misleading and incorrect to just compare the two rates. A TSP "Loan" is not a loan at all. The amount that you "borrow" for a TSP "Loan" is actually liquidated/sold from your holdings in the TSP portfolio. Only when you ma...
by dm200
Mon Apr 11, 2016 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience using 'new' postage stamps?
Replies: 6
Views: 663

Experience using 'new' postage stamps?

I like using postage stamps (the large number of commemoratives) and order them online. They almost all now seem to not have the denominations on them. So, the way I undertand it, once you calculate the postage required, you can use these 'forever' and "extra ounce" and othere with the CUR...
by dm200
Mon Apr 11, 2016 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car hit - Insurance or Small Claims Court
Replies: 16
Views: 1766

Re: Car hit - Insurance or Small Claims Court

Walked out of my apartment to find my front bumper scuffed up and a not on my windscreen. Most of the note was legible except for the email address. No other contact info was given. Through some guess work, I figured out the email address, emailed the guy and he basically admitted hitting my car. G...
by dm200
Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a new car
Replies: 56
Views: 5728

Re: Buying a new car

I read the auto-buying threads here at the Bogleheads 3 years ago and bought a Toyota Camry. We also sent Emails out to get the best price. We noticed that in spite of driving cars and comparing features at dealerships, we did not realize that this Camry needed a camera to look beyond the high trun...

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