Search found 1412 matches

by Big Dog
Wed Oct 16, 2019 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cobra coverage and ACA mandate
Replies: 9
Views: 661

Re: Cobra coverage and ACA mandate

There is no longer a penalty if you have a gap in coverage, so no big deal (unless you live in a state like MA which also mandates coverage).

Just double check with new company HR to confirm when new coverage starts (1st day on job? 1st of the next month?)
by Big Dog
Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to pay for roof, solar, electric panel
Replies: 13
Views: 1304

Re: How to pay for roof, solar, electric panel

2. The solar company allows me to pay for the roof and solar with a credit card. If I pay for 40k with the credit card, I would get $800 cash back. I would obtain 3+ quotes from roofers only. Let the solar stand on its own. OTOH, if you do want to take some tax credit for the solar section of the r...
by Big Dog
Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace water heater just because it's old?
Replies: 73
Views: 5513

Re: Replace water heater just because it's old?

Would you replace a 13 year old water heater that seems to be working without any problems? Many say replace every 10-12 years, especially if a leak would be a major problem. Others say wait for symptoms, such as a rusty water, a leak, rumbling. Having you ever seen a hot water heater go? Like othe...
by Big Dog
Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Sounds too good to be true - converting after tax 401k contributions immediately to Roth 401k
Replies: 13
Views: 1748

Re: Sounds too good to be true - converting after tax 401k contributions immediately to Roth 401k

btw: I had an old ESSP with after tax dollars from megacorp (from years ago). Last month I just converted the ESSP to an IRA, and was able to send the after-tax contributions directly to a Roth IRA and the company's pre-tax contributions and earnings to a tIRA. (we'll see with the 1099 says next Ja...
by Big Dog
Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:32 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Sounds too good to be true - converting after tax 401k contributions immediately to Roth 401k
Replies: 13
Views: 1748

Re: Sounds too good to be true - converting after tax 401k contributions immediately to Roth 401k

btw: I had an old ESSP with after tax dollars from megacorp (from years ago). Last month I just converted the ESSP to an IRA, and was able to send the after-tax contributions directly to a Roth IRA and the company's pre-tax contributions and earnings to a tIRA. (we'll see with the 1099 says next Ja...
by Big Dog
Mon Oct 14, 2019 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Doctors charging for things outside of insurance, is this Kosher?
Replies: 53
Views: 4810

Re: Doctors charging for things outside of insurance, is this Kosher?

Jags4186 wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 3:20 pm
Big Dog wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 1:01 pm
If insured, I'd find an in-network surgeon, who would not have such a fee.
This is an in network provider.
wow, then I'd call and complain to the insurance carrier. I doubt whether the surgeon's contract with the insurer allows such a charge.
by Big Dog
Mon Oct 14, 2019 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Doctors charging for things outside of insurance, is this Kosher?
Replies: 53
Views: 4810

Re: Doctors charging for things outside of insurance, is this Kosher?

If insured, I'd find an in-network surgeon, who would not have such a fee.
by Big Dog
Mon Oct 14, 2019 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: poor Boglehead sending my kids to college
Replies: 69
Views: 5379

Re: poor Boglehead sending my kids to college

You have a few years, before things get serious. Also, without test scores, its impossible to estimate merit aid. In the meantime, run some NPC's to see what a top private college might offer in need-based aid for someone with your income & assets. (Just put in ages 18 and 16 for starters.) And note...
by Big Dog
Sun Oct 13, 2019 7:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace water heater just because it's old?
Replies: 73
Views: 5513

Re: Replace water heater just because it's old?

Draining is way more important if you have hard water and/or if, when you do drain the tank, noticeable solids or discoloration comes out the bottom. I've lived in this town for 30 years, and there's very little hardness in the water. When I first moved here, I would drain each tank annually, and a...
by Big Dog
Sun Oct 13, 2019 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Sounds too good to be true - converting after tax 401k contributions immediately to Roth 401k
Replies: 13
Views: 1748

Re: Sounds too good to be true - converting after tax 401k contributions immediately to Roth 401k

our small corp plan allowed employees to choose either the pretax 401k or a post-tax 401k Roth, so not surprised that mega corp allows it. btw: I had an old ESSP with after tax dollars from megacorp (from years ago). Last month I just converted the ESSP to an IRA, and was able to send the after-tax ...
by Big Dog
Sun Oct 13, 2019 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace water heater just because it's old?
Replies: 73
Views: 5513

Re: Replace water heater just because it's old?

our WH just passed 20 years, and only drained it once, so this thread is making me nervous. :( OTOH, the WH is in the garage and will just drain under the cars if it leaks out from rust. I do keep my rose clippers right next to the WH so I eyeball it every so often and can notice a leak pretty quick...
by Big Dog
Sun Oct 13, 2019 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Downloadable Social Security Benefit Estimator (2019 Update)
Replies: 58
Views: 7766

Re: Downloadable Social Security Benefit Estimator (2019 Update)

thanks for responding so quickly, but I still must be doing something wrong. The only thing I had open was outlook, so I closed that and still get a request for a pw (to access 'sensitive information...') in Safari.

Thanks anyway.
by Big Dog
Sun Oct 13, 2019 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Downloadable Social Security Benefit Estimator (2019 Update)
Replies: 58
Views: 7766

Re: Downloadable Social Security Benefit Estimator (2019 Update)

if there a trick to getting in?


When I click on the link, I get a request from Microsoft One Drive for a pw. (I get the same prompt even when I click on the ver that is not password protected...)
by Big Dog
Sun Oct 13, 2019 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Social Security Card as Identification for Real ID
Replies: 78
Views: 5679

Re: Need for Real ID

There is an existing long thread on a related topic of documentation. If you have a passport, the airport should accept that. I would guess that VA will fall in line eventually and qualifying DLs will be the only thing they issue..... Can't speak for Virginia, but California will continue to issue ...
by Big Dog
Sun Oct 13, 2019 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: USPS package policies?
Replies: 7
Views: 587

Re: USPS package policies?

once a PO box is full, the USPS will hold the mail on the side for at least 30 days....
by Big Dog
Sun Oct 13, 2019 12:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How often do you look at your IRA or 401K Balances
Replies: 64
Views: 3847

Re: How often do you look at your IRA or 401K Balances

before I retired last year, I was a Stay-the-Course kinda investor before I knew it was a thing; i.e., I never looked at my balances. (well, tbf, maybe once every 3-5 years...I was 100% total stock, so there was nothing to change)
by Big Dog
Sat Oct 12, 2019 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone ever got car insurance JUST for car rentals?
Replies: 13
Views: 1122

Re: Anyone ever got car insurance JUST for car rentals?

Yes, I have a named non-owner policy through AAA I use for renting cars. The premium is only $100 per year (significantly cheaper than quotes I've received from other carriers). This kind of coverage is worthwhile because, as noted by another poster, credit card car rental insurance does not cover ...
by Big Dog
Sat Oct 12, 2019 3:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Washer/Dryer shopping: Best Buy cheaper than Costco
Replies: 20
Views: 1434

Re: Washer/Dryer shopping: Best Buy cheaper than Costco

don't forget to compare like-for-like: costco's price includes (simple) installation and haul-away old units, while my local Best Buy charges extra for each per item. Add in Best Buy's extended warranty to match Costco, and I believe the prices are similar.
by Big Dog
Sat Oct 12, 2019 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric Car Charger - options/Amp settings?
Replies: 35
Views: 1814

Re: Electric Car Charger - options/Amp settings?

Just a side bar for electric cars. People in California are having problems with their cars because the electricity had to be shut off because of the fires going on there. This is a problem that I didn't think of with them. This is a consideration for those who drive electric. birdy Except gas stat...
by Big Dog
Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric Car Charger - options/Amp settings?
Replies: 35
Views: 1814

Re: Electric Car Charger - options/Amp settings?

Don't forget that continual EV charging is 80% of max amps on the line, so a 60 amp circuit can max charge the car at 48 amps. (60 amp is what we had installed last year for two teslas.)
by Big Dog
Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: BRK-A or BRK-B for our grandchildren?
Replies: 33
Views: 3631

Re: BRK-A or BRK-B for our grandchildren?

to my knowledge, you cannot purchase fractional shares of A, so I'd purchase B-shares. That being said, I've been a BRK shareholder for 40+ years, but would not recommend purchasing it today. IMO, BRK has just grown too large to beat the market. Any value play that Warren could find is too just smal...
by Big Dog
Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $575 to replace rear brake pads and rotors on a 2017 Subaru Forester?
Replies: 64
Views: 4158

Re: $575 to replace rear brake pads and rotors on a 2017 Subaru Forester?

ask if they can resurface the rotors instead of replacing....
by Big Dog
Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor filming a TV Show
Replies: 71
Views: 3558

Re: Neighbor filming a TV Show

ask your City/Twp for a copy of the permit. What hours are they allowed to film? At what time must they stop filming at night? (Speaking to the police is a waste until you know with certainty what their permit allows them to do.)
by Big Dog
Sun Oct 06, 2019 8:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to avoid Medicare IRMAA Surcharge
Replies: 47
Views: 3376

Re: How to avoid Medicare IRMAA

p.s. any discussion of whether medicare will waive the surcharge in the case of a Roth conversion will be appreciated as well.
Not gonna happen. The waiver process is clear as posted earlier.
by Big Dog
Sun Oct 06, 2019 7:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a house with in slab copper piping
Replies: 34
Views: 3828

Re: Buying a house with in slab copper piping

Radiant floor heating is extremely efficient. Since the heat rises from the floor, you can keep the thermometer lower than you otherwise would. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
by Big Dog
Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hospital wants me to prepay for procedure. Normal?
Replies: 67
Views: 19024

Re: Hospital wants me to prepay for procedure. Normal?

As a note: when medical professionals, dentists, etc., ask you for non-medical, personal information on their forms, you're not required to provide it. At most, for an office visit: it's reasonable to ask for your address, phone, and insurance information. They don't need information about your emp...
by Big Dog
Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would or should you tip AAA road assistance?
Replies: 67
Views: 4487

Re: Would or should you tip AAA road assistance?

been a AAA member for 40+ years and have never tipped them. (heck, never even thought about it before this thread popped up)

But also never had them change a tire.
by Big Dog
Sun Oct 06, 2019 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: replacing Smoke Detectors (not just batteries)
Replies: 30
Views: 1811

Re: replacing Smoke Detectors (not just batteries)

when I replaced ours a couple of years ago, i purchased the same type as I knew that they'd fit. While you are at it, don't forget CO monitors.

fwiw: costco has them on sale, I believe.

(edited to add, I also disagree with #2.)
by Big Dog
Sun Oct 06, 2019 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Broken driver-side window. What to do?
Replies: 30
Views: 2272

Re: Broken driver-side window. What to do?

call around for a few estimates. Many glass replacement shops offer a cash discount.
by Big Dog
Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How does joint account registration work after death?
Replies: 5
Views: 838

Re: How does joint account registration work after death?

if you are listed as co-owner, you take possession immediately of 100%. Your sibs get nothing until you pass.

(I believe that you also miss out on stepped-up basis on at least 50%, but others will chime in if this is wrong.)
by Big Dog
Sat Oct 05, 2019 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Painting exterior stucco
Replies: 6
Views: 421

Re: Painting exterior stucco

while a primer may not be needed, it always works and looks better. Highly recommended.
by Big Dog
Sat Oct 05, 2019 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Retiree income- file for SS early or draw from IRA first?
Replies: 19
Views: 1732

Re: Retiree income- file for SS early or draw from IRA first?

second the rec to run the numbers on open social security. (used the Advanced tab and you can play with the mortality tables)
by Big Dog
Fri Oct 04, 2019 5:52 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 100% Stock too Aggressive in 401k Plan?
Replies: 40
Views: 2316

Re: 100% Stock too Aggressive in 401k Plan?

You are young enough that it probably doesnt matter much but (1) if you do 90/10 you can take advantage of rebalancing... For one just starting to fund a 401k, rebalancing is not a practical option. Year 1 max is $19k. If 90/10, that means $1.9k in a bond fund. Even if the market tanks 50% next Dec...
by Big Dog
Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hospital wants me to prepay for procedure. Normal?
Replies: 67
Views: 19024

Re: Hospital wants me to prepay for procedure. Normal?

Your story is just another data point in how broken the US healthcare system is. I doubt you will get a quick and painless refund. You will likely have to submit multiple rounds of paperwork between your insurance and the hospital... I see small claims court in your future... My advice to you is to...
by Big Dog
Fri Oct 04, 2019 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity HSA fees
Replies: 13
Views: 1525

Re: Fidelity HSA fees

when I transferred my funds from a HSA to Fido, the former HSA did take out ~$30 for processing, but Fido showed the remaining balance transferred in. Fido did not have any transaction fees. Check the statement of your former HSA. It may show something like: $7,000 cleared out $6,925 transferred to ...
by Big Dog
Fri Oct 04, 2019 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 100% Stock too Aggressive in 401k Plan?
Replies: 40
Views: 2316

Re: 100% Stock too Aggressive in 401k Plan?

sorry, spell check.... not 'grads', but 'Grats on starting early'
by Big Dog
Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 100% Stock too Aggressive in 401k Plan?
Replies: 40
Views: 2316

Re: 100% Stock too Aggressive in 401k Plan?

I was 100% equities until age 60. 'Grads are starting early. Keep it going.
by Big Dog
Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should My Uncle File an Amended 1040X?
Replies: 18
Views: 824

Re: Should My Uncle File an Amended 1040X?

Gill wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:24 pm
One thing is for certain which is filing the amended return will resurrect the original return and bring additional scrutiny to it.
Gill
How is that, Gill? Do you have any evidence that Amended returns are audited at a higher rate than non-Amended returns (relative to the similar taxpayers)?
by Big Dog
Thu Oct 03, 2019 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Insurance Question - PPO vs EPO through United
Replies: 6
Views: 258

Re: Insurance Question - PPO vs EPO through United

^^By definition, an EPO has a smaller network than does a PPO. So, it never hurts to ask your current docs if they are in the EPO.
by Big Dog
Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Insurance Question - PPO vs EPO through United
Replies: 6
Views: 258

Re: Insurance Question - PPO vs EPO through United

Check to see if your current docs are in the EPO network. If so, EPO is fine as long as you spend your days at home in the area and you only need emerengcy coverage while traveling. OTOH, if you have kids in college (or soon-to-be), it won't cover them if they leave the area to attend school. Also, ...
by Big Dog
Wed Oct 02, 2019 1:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If you use Vanguard (Brokerage), why do you stay?
Replies: 58
Views: 6295

Re: If you use Vanguard (Brokerage), why do you stay?

1) Have 2/3rds of all assets in mutual funds, which trade for zero cost. 2) the other 1/3 are equities handed down from grandma prior to her death so no step up. (Holding these until death for step up. If the market crashes, I'll sell them off on a guesstimated basis. As a Flagship I think I get 20...
by Big Dog
Wed Oct 02, 2019 1:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If you use Vanguard (Brokerage), why do you stay?
Replies: 58
Views: 6295

Re: If you use Vanguard (Brokerage), why do you stay?

1) Have 2/3rds of all assets in mutual funds, which trade for zero cost. 2) the other 1/3 are equities handed down from grandma prior to her death so no step up. (Holding these until death for step up. If the market crashes, I'll sell them off on a guesstimated basis. As a Flagship I think I get 20 ...
by Big Dog
Tue Oct 01, 2019 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC advice - ac or ac + furnace
Replies: 11
Views: 919

Re: HVAC advice - ac or ac + furnace

re: variable drive. Unless you have a variable speed now, I would not recommend putting one into a house that will become a rental. (According too hvac-talk.com, variable drives are expensive to repair.) full disclosure: we put in a two-stage system last fall and love how it keeps the temp more cons...
by Big Dog
Tue Oct 01, 2019 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC advice - ac or ac + furnace
Replies: 11
Views: 919

Re: HVAC advice - ac or ac + furnace

dupe post, sry
by Big Dog
Tue Oct 01, 2019 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Risks with seeing out of network dentist?
Replies: 22
Views: 1258

Re: Risks with seeing out of network dentist?

1) just ask what they charge for a cleaning, exam and x-rays, for a cash patient. 2) Primary care (such as above) is rather inexpensive out of pocket. Where you will lose the benefit of insurance is when you need major work - crown, root canal, etc. A crown could cost several thousand dollars out of...
by Big Dog
Mon Sep 30, 2019 10:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is "after tax" info available other than from Fidelity
Replies: 12
Views: 929

Re: Is "after tax" info available other than from Fidelity

Vanguard does this as well. But you have to look at the fine print. For example, Vanguard assumes the highest federal marginal rate in their report, but no state tax.

As firebird notes, you can and should do this yourself, by first adding your federal and state marginal rates.
by Big Dog
Mon Sep 30, 2019 7:22 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How do early retirees survive bad markets?
Replies: 26
Views: 4833

Re: How do early retirees survive bad markets?

I moved about 24 months of cash expenses into our 'taxable' California Muni bond account to prepare for any big downturn. (of course, its federal and state tax exempt) But if there is a big downturn, I sell taxable equities with highest cost basis first. And we are at a 50:50 AA. In the meantime, I'...