Search found 182 matches

by windaar
Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is this TIAA TRAD 3% or 2.5%?
Replies: 17
Views: 1151

Re: Is this TIAA TRAD 3% or 2.5%?

Thanks! I understand the restrictions in my 401(a). There are no such restrictions in my 403(b).
by windaar
Sat Sep 16, 2017 5:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is this TIAA TRAD 3% or 2.5%?
Replies: 17
Views: 1151

Is this TIAA TRAD 3% or 2.5%?

My TIAA plan at work is changing somewhat and we have a new menu of investment options. In the 403(b) it says the following about the guaranteed rate: "The minimum guaranteed rate during the accumulation phase for TIAA Traditional under this contract type is 3% for all premiums remitted since 1979 a...
by windaar
Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is "Fall" grass fertilizer formulation really necessary?
Replies: 8
Views: 819

Is "Fall" grass fertilizer formulation really necessary?

I'm in the Midwest, and do the Autumn lawn fertilizer application every year when the leaves have been picked up. I typically use the Scotts "Winterguard Fall Lawn Food" but this year I have a lot of regular "Turf Builder" left over and would prefer to use that up. Does it really make a difference?
by windaar
Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Relative angry I will not co-sign
Replies: 90
Views: 8178

Re: Relative angry I will not co-sign

Knowing that it was a bottomless pit I said no before asking about amounts because I didn't want to be tapped for the rest of my life. And this house is something that I myself couldn't afford....
by windaar
Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Relative angry I will not co-sign
Replies: 90
Views: 8178

Relative angry I will not co-sign

Close relative has frittered away a sizable inheritance and is now in danger of losing his house. Came to me for $ and I said no, came to me to co-sign a loan and I said no, and now he is furious and won't speak to me. Are there other ways that I can help, or is this relationship just a lost cause a...
by windaar
Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frozen steaks ordered through the mail
Replies: 29
Views: 3125

Re: Frozen steaks ordered through the mail

Meat is never the same after being frozen. Great advice above.
by windaar
Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Seal off rooms that are not used?
Replies: 21
Views: 3124

Re: Seal off rooms that are not used?

My HVAC guy said just make sure there is adequate attic insulation (we added to recommended specs) and don't close off rooms.
by windaar
Sat Jun 10, 2017 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College admissions question - she got a "C"
Replies: 100
Views: 9362

Re: College admissions question - she got a "C"

Those are great student-centered schools you are considering. Maybe take a look here as well - a lot of fine liberal arts colleges are open to kids with B's and some C's.

Https://CTCL.org
by windaar
Sat Jun 10, 2017 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College admissions question - she got a "C"
Replies: 100
Views: 9362

Re: College admissions question - she got a "C"

Best thing for the kid, her mental health, and her future, is not to fixate on a grade. As most of us on this board realize from our own lives, one doesn't have to get all A's and go to Yale to be "successful," that comes from one's own effort regardless of school attended. Would strongly recommend ...
by windaar
Sat Jun 10, 2017 8:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employer changing retirement "Record Keeper?"
Replies: 7
Views: 916

Re: Employer changing retirement "Record Keeper?"

Thanks to all for the responses. Since the possible ramifications may run the spectrum from "just a new website" to "being forced to cash out and rebuy similar funds," I still have reason to be concerned. I am currently in TC, and do everything related to my retirement accounts through the TC websit...
by windaar
Fri Jun 09, 2017 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employer changing retirement "Record Keeper?"
Replies: 7
Views: 916

Employer changing retirement "Record Keeper?"

My organization is in the process of reviewing and possibly changing our retirement plan's "record keeper." None of the employees really understand what this might mean for us. What exactly is a "record keeper" and how is that different from a plan provider such as VG or TC? And if the "record keepe...
by windaar
Fri Nov 25, 2016 6:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Cars
Replies: 96
Views: 10770

Re: Honda Cars

I have bought Hondas since the 80s. Always loved the way they feel glued to the road. But cabin noise has always been an issue. The recent offset engine design/vibration concerns, as well as an unfixable airbag recall, led me to jump the ship to Toyota for my new car this summer. A great car and qui...
by windaar
Fri Nov 25, 2016 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Internet Radio through Home Stereo?
Replies: 16
Views: 2505

Re: Internet Radio through Home Stereo?

Thanks for the ideas - I'm hoping for a stand-alone that is not going to tie-up (and drain power from) a smartphone or iPad, which most of the above ideas require. I just want to be able to turn it on and have music, which is what currently happens with my old laptop setup.
by windaar
Fri Nov 25, 2016 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Internet Radio through Home Stereo?
Replies: 16
Views: 2505

Internet Radio through Home Stereo?

I like to listen to Pandora through my three stereo systems in the house. I do this with old laptops connected into the aux jacks. This seems like a clunky method, but when I look up internet radio components they run $200-$300. Is there a less expensive product that will do what any old $30 Samsung...
by windaar
Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 27/m. Wanting to Quit My Job. Any Words of Wisdom?
Replies: 55
Views: 7315

Re: 27/m. Wanting to Quit My Job. Any Words of Wisdom?

Looks like it's time for a therapeutic viewing of Office Space. Then consider what kind of career you may prefer. I am in education & love my job; every day I drive to work looking forward to the day ahead. I wish the same for you. Take time off, go back to school. Stop hurting your mental healt...
by windaar
Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: insulating garage attic, blow or batts?
Replies: 10
Views: 1468

Re: insulating garage attic, blow or batts?

We had our house blown w/ cellulose 2 years ago. With the heat and the mess and installing all of those soffit baffles (and a few ridge vents) this was a job that I was HAPPY to pay someone else to do for me. That and oil changes. The rest I do myself.
by windaar
Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car dealer "Internet Sales Department" - Useless?
Replies: 58
Views: 6796

Re: Car dealer "Internet Sales Department" - Useless?

Odd that there are so many different experiences with this. I wonder what the variable is, region of country, brand of car, or concentration of dealers in a certain area?
by windaar
Sun Oct 23, 2016 6:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car dealer "Internet Sales Department" - Useless?
Replies: 58
Views: 6796

Re: Car dealer "Internet Sales Department" - Useless?

This summer I bought a Toyota and found a Honda for MIL. In each case contacted about 8 dealers through the "contact us" form. When I got a canned response or a request for my phone number, I just repeated my initial message: I wanted the best price for a specified Model/Color and I was re...
by windaar
Sun Oct 16, 2016 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rear ended
Replies: 14
Views: 1415

Re: Rear ended

This happened to us this summer. Did a police report. My insurance co took care of everything, deductible was waived since it was a rear-end at a red light, other driver obviously more than 50% at fault. They told me our rates will not go up because of the other driver at fault.
by windaar
Fri Oct 07, 2016 4:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I Start an Account at TIAA-CREF?
Replies: 9
Views: 1074

Re: Should I Start an Account at TIAA-CREF?

TRAD and TREA are interesting and useful instruments out of the reach of many investors. Look into both.
by windaar
Fri Sep 23, 2016 10:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Minor fender bump question
Replies: 17
Views: 1746

Re: Minor fender bump question

Sheesh, OK if a parachuting car landed in front of me..... In a same lane rear end collision the rear-ender is always at fault. I just went through this, this summer. My wife's car was rear ended at a red light. That was all either insurance company needed to hear. The other guy had to pay our entir...
by windaar
Thu Sep 22, 2016 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Minor fender bump question
Replies: 17
Views: 1746

Re: Minor fender bump question

The person who rear ends another car is always at fault, no matter that the hit car "slammed on the brakes" or whatever. With that on their side, who knows what the other party might be up to, regardless of what kind of ex post facto police reports are filed. Good luck!
by windaar
Sun Jul 31, 2016 5:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Consumer Reports, how could you? [Investment Company Buying Guide]
Replies: 74
Views: 8509

Re: Consumer Reports, how could you?

CU went south a while back. They sent me some cheesy "raffle tickets" as some kind of deceptive promo. They started putting reviews behind their website for which subscribers have to pay extra. And their new car price reports have been replaced by TrueCar with all its warts.
by windaar
Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where were you financially when you were at 30?
Replies: 226
Views: 29490

Re: Where were you financially when you were at 30?

I was still in grad school with no savings or assets, eating egg-drop Ramen, spaghetti, and bean burritos every night. The schooling paid off and I am now very financially secure but still enjoy spaghetti and burritos, the Ramen not so much.
by windaar
Sat May 21, 2016 9:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon has no head to head competitors?
Replies: 71
Views: 5911

Re: Amazon has no head to head competitors?

With 2 working parents and 2 small kids our family places a premium on time. I have no time to drive 15 min to a B&M store, find parking, often in bad weather, drag the kids in the store, find out that some of what I came for is out of stock, stand in line, and drive back home. I love coming hom...
by windaar
Sat May 14, 2016 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: National Universities rankings 25 to 75 - Highest priority
Replies: 65
Views: 5877

Re: National Universities rankings 25 to 75 - Highest priority

Some of the advice here about taking all APs and getting A's is like telling an investor to "buy low and sell high." Great but useless advice if you don't know how to do it or can't do it. Students should: 1. Look beyond rankings which are often based on questionable variables and methodol...
by windaar
Sat May 07, 2016 7:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to liquidate silver bars
Replies: 15
Views: 2246

Re: How to liquidate silver bars

Your dentist can set you up with his precious metal scrap service, and you'd avoid shipping, though they may not take coins. You get very close to spot this way. But with silver having lost so much value in the last 5 years, maybe just hold onto it as a rainy day hedge against the collapse of the do...
by windaar
Tue Apr 05, 2016 5:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need Advice on Inheritance
Replies: 8
Views: 1162

Re: Need Advice on Inheritance

Move slowly. The IRA you maybe able to stretch distributions your life expectancy. Don't sell or move anything until you have solid professional answers. Otherwise you may take an unnecessary tax hit.
by windaar
Fri Mar 11, 2016 1:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Holding and Forwarding Mail
Replies: 10
Views: 2339

Re: Holding and Forwarding Mail

I arranged for USPS mail holding during a vacation about a year ago but plenty of mail was still delivered to our mailbox during that time, so I consider it a non-service.
by windaar
Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Brother undercharged himself as family trustee
Replies: 26
Views: 3915

Re: Brother undercharged himself as family trustee

I was personal rep, executor, and trustee 10 years ago for a less complicated estate and our family attorney recommended 30K as compensation for my work.
by windaar
Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family Tree Software / Genealogy Website Recommendation
Replies: 24
Views: 2080

Re: Family Tree Software / Genealogy Website Recommendation

Note that you don't have to actually put your mother's maiden name when you use it as a security question. You can use whatever you want. I recommend not actually using that as the answer because it's easy to find out from public records. Agree; you can have a predetermined name like "chevycha...
by windaar
Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family Tree Software / Genealogy Website Recommendation
Replies: 24
Views: 2080

Re: Family Tree Software / Genealogy Website Recommendation

Add me to the list of those who find ancestry.com to be worth the high price tag. Especially if you spring for the international upgrade, you have endless troves of info. I started with family documents and built a very comprehensive, documented family history. I keep my tree "private" so ...
by windaar
Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: VG IRA surviving spouse automatic rollover?
Replies: 5
Views: 580

VG IRA surviving spouse automatic rollover?

When a person with a VG IRA dies and the surviving spouse takes possession of the IRA, is it automatically rolled over into his/her name, or are their other defaults such as merely becoming the "owner" of the IRA?
by windaar
Thu Dec 31, 2015 6:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A dead year, never get it back
Replies: 90
Views: 11968

Re: A dead year, never get it back

My TIAA Traditional earned 4%+
I maxed my 403(b) and shielded lots of $ from income tax.
No major correction or crash.
Equities were a wash but it was a year I'll gladly take.
by windaar
Sun Dec 13, 2015 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Few hours in Paris - what do to?
Replies: 13
Views: 1383

Re: Few hours in Paris - what do to?

Take the train/metro to Trocadero to get the classic view of the Eiffel Tower, or to Charles de Gaulle Etoile to walk down the Champs Elysees, get a drink at a cafe and watch the bustle. Don't bother with museums with that little time.
by windaar
Wed Nov 18, 2015 8:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice on selling a house to a friend?
Replies: 7
Views: 613

Re: Advice on selling a house to a friend?

I'd be willing to give them most or all of the 6.5% commission

Why would you give this to them this instead of keeping it? Or at most splitting it? This alone makes it sound as if you will take a bath by selling it to a friend rather than on an open market.
by windaar
Sat Nov 14, 2015 7:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help! Inherited money I planned to use for retirement but it disqualifies my kids from scholarships.
Replies: 147
Views: 9518

Re: Help! Inherited money I planned to use for retirement but it disqualifies my kids from scholarships.

You can drop the whole pot into a VG Variable Annuity tomorrow and it is off the books for and financial aid calculation and saved for your retirement needs.
by windaar
Mon Sep 14, 2015 7:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Consumer Reports Magazine & Website
Replies: 99
Views: 9272

Re: Consumer Reports Magazine & Website

Letting my subscription lapse when it is up for the following reasons: 1. they sneakily replaced their car price report feature with TrueCar. 2. Too much content is now only on the pay website. 3. Bozo come-ons like the raffle tickets they sent me a couple of years ago. 4. I get pretty good consumer...
by windaar
Sun Aug 23, 2015 6:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ways to reduce basement humidity
Replies: 20
Views: 3021

Re: Ways to reduce basement humidity

The newer good dehumidifiers have digital hygrometer readouts. You just set for the desired humidity, which in a basement would be 50% or 55% and then it turns on and off as needed. You never have to turn it off - if the humidity is low it just remains off. If you run a hose to a drain, no need to e...
by windaar
Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice please: Professionally wall mounting a TV and 5.1 sound
Replies: 22
Views: 2125

Re: Advice please: Professionally wall mounting a TV and 5.1 sound

I will probably buy the TV from Best Buy Be warned that BB quietly shortened their return period from 30 days to 15 days. I waited more than 15 days to install my TV after buying it and it had a screen crack with no impact point. BB refused to replace it since it had been more than 15 days. The TV ...
by windaar
Sat Aug 15, 2015 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: General Finance Strategies for Upper Middle Class
Replies: 33
Views: 6427

Re: General Finance Strategies for Upper Middle Class

And how the heck do professors and doctors get put in the same category? Sociologists define the social classes with a combination of income, education, occupation, and to some extent culture. It is not just income. A professor in Manhattan earning 50K is in a higher social class than a truck drive...
by windaar
Fri Aug 14, 2015 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Saving a tree when installing a septic drain field
Replies: 5
Views: 576

Re: Saving a tree when installing a septic drain field

Not an expert, but I can share with you that my field was dug about 10 to 15 feet from the base of 2 older oak trees about a decade ago and the trees have been fine.
by windaar
Fri Aug 14, 2015 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: General Finance Strategies for Upper Middle Class
Replies: 33
Views: 6427

Re: General Finance Strategies for Upper Middle Class

Sociologists usually define UMC as self-directed professionals such as doctors, lawyers, professors, etc. In the U.S. it is more of a professional, and lifestyle, designation than an income designation. To answer the original question, I think that one of the biggest challenges of a person in the UM...
by windaar
Tue Aug 11, 2015 7:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Garage door fine, but keypad not working
Replies: 19
Views: 6972

Re: Garage door fine, but keypad not working

It is most likely the battery. Mine had an old 9v in it. See if there is a slot on the bottom that you can pry/twist with a screwdriver to pop the case open.
by windaar
Mon Aug 10, 2015 7:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a Rolex Watch
Replies: 171
Views: 20981

Re: Buying a Rolex Watch

Submariner / sports watches and the like - yeah, I think they're faddish The Submariner has been around since 1954 and isn't going anywhere; it is a classic. One reason that fine watches will be around for a while is that, besides a wedding ring, the wristwatch is the only piece of jewelry that a g...
by windaar
Sun Aug 09, 2015 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Former Housemate Owes Money - What to do?
Replies: 97
Views: 8246

Re: Former Housemate Owes Money - What to do?

Too late for the 0P but perhaps a lesson to the rest: in grad school I stopped putting any bill in my name when I had housemates. That was the only way to avoid holding the bag. Oh, and I paid every penny owed, I always did my dishes too and left other people's beer in the fridge alone.
by windaar
Sun Aug 09, 2015 4:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anti-smartphone [basic phone + paper planner & address book] anyone??
Replies: 42
Views: 4505

Re: Anti-smartphone [basic phone + paper planner & address book] anyone??

I use a pay as you go flip phone, less than $100/year, a legal pad, and a wifi iPad. I am a busy professional and this has not impeded my work at all. In waiting rooms, on park benches, in restaurants, I don't have my head in a permanently downcast position. I enjoy thinking, daydreaming, and watchi...
by windaar
Thu Aug 06, 2015 10:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA Cref 403(b)
Replies: 26
Views: 2363

Re: TIAA Cref 403(b)

It generates 3% return, which will wash away by inflation.

Not exactly for everybody. 3% is the guaranteed minimum; funds may end up paying more. (Mine pays more than 4%). And it compounds tax-free. Inflation is a factor, but so might the volatility of bonds for some investors (like me).
by windaar
Thu Aug 06, 2015 7:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a Rolex Watch
Replies: 171
Views: 20981

Re: Buying a Rolex Watch

I don't think you should view a Rolex as an investment, but as something you should enjoy. That said, they do hold their value, and my 2 Rolexes sell used for more than I paid for them in the 2000s. (Save box, papers, and orig sales slip in case you ever want to resell, will go for more and attract ...
by windaar
Thu Aug 06, 2015 7:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA Cref 403(b)
Replies: 26
Views: 2363

Re: TIAA Cref 403(b)

Not sure I understand the limiting position in which the OP finds himself. My T/C 403(b) TRAD funds are completely liquid and I can move then around when and how I wish. My 401(a) TRAD funds are the ones locked into the 9 year rule. BTW I use TRAD for all of my fixed allocation. For me the 4%+ inter...