Search found 872 matches

by Big Dog
Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 Tax Time is upon us
Replies: 13
Views: 2153

Re: 2018 Tax Time is upon us

....or like most of us, one form plus (at least) two new schedules (one for Schedule D and one for foreign tax credit)
I'll remember that negative next time we have a thread about 'Why International?'. :twisted:
by Big Dog
Tue Nov 13, 2018 9:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Morningstar downgrades several Vanguard funds
Replies: 14
Views: 2992

Re: Morningstar downgrades several Vanguard funds

any idea on why they downgraded teh bond funds? Right now, they are beating the index that shows up on the Vanguard site.
by Big Dog
Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone with an Audi A3, Sport hatchback e-tron?
Replies: 37
Views: 2269

Re: Anyone with an Audi A3, Sport hatchback e-tron?

And note that in California, gas is very close to (or over) $4 per gallon, depending on grade. My current car gets 21 mpg, with supreme gas. The UXh is rated at 36 mpg, and uses regular unleaded, 87 octane. 25,000/21 mpg = 1190 gallons purchased, at $4 per gallon for premium. That's $4762 per year....
by Big Dog
Tue Nov 13, 2018 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is this a good deal for a new iPhone xr ?
Replies: 7
Views: 610

Re: Is this a good deal for a new iPhone xr ?

you can get the almost same deal direct for Verizon. The only advantage to Costco is the $30 gift card (and their generous return policy).
by Big Dog
Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone with an Audi A3, Sport hatchback e-tron?
Replies: 37
Views: 2269

Re: Anyone with an Audi A3, Sport hatchback e-tron?

But I *also* want range for the long weekend trips we have, which means an all-EV won't work. Tesla fits that bill (with supercharging). But you've made clear that you don't want an EV. My question is really, why do you want a hybrid, unless you get a car pool sticker? The savings in gas is minuscu...
by Big Dog
Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS publishes draft 2018 1040 - Huge changes made
Replies: 168
Views: 21022

Re: IRS publishes draft 2018 1040 - Huge changes made

It costs to file electronically unless you are poor. So unless they provide a free application I will file on paper.
I use T-Tax Deluxe and use the 'free' federal filing. However, I still print and snail mail my state return. ~$0.95 stamps usually works.
by Big Dog
Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Kids Inheritance - Lump Sum or SWR?
Replies: 13
Views: 1222

Re: Kids Inheritance - Lump Sum or SWR?

my kids are nearing 30, so they get it immediately. But no will/trust as all assets, including home, will be in ToD/PoD.
by Big Dog
Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: USAA getting out of mutual fund biz
Replies: 30
Views: 3728

Re: USAA getting out of mutual fund biz

Seems like USAA is doing the membership a favor by getting out of a business they really aren't that competitive in anymore. They haven't been competitive for years. I'm a big fan of the company, and have been a member for (next month) 40 years, but now only for insurances. Used to have the USAA cr...
by Big Dog
Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stop paying on life insurance policy?
Replies: 33
Views: 2440

Re: Stop paying on life insurance policy?

I'd keep paying it until the end of 20 years and then reassess the need for life insurance. If something does happen to you, the insurance easily pays off the mortgage and the rest goes to your heirs.
by Big Dog
Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Appealing Insurance Dental Claim Decision
Replies: 10
Views: 829

Re: Appealing Insurance Dental Claim Decision

The insurance company Paid a total of 110 for her cleaning, xrays, etc. based on their fee schedule. The cleaning itself was paid for at $50.
Does she have a $50 deductible, i.e., preventive is paid at 100% for out of network after satisfying the deductible?
by Big Dog
Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Group life insurance through work
Replies: 20
Views: 1536

Re: Group life insurance through work

^^sorry, I meant to write, if 'you are young and healthy...' a private term plan is usually a better deal. There are literally dozens of insurers available on the web all fighting for that business (with the hopes of upset later?). In contrast, the employer group plan HAS to take all-comers, healthy...
by Big Dog
Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone with an Audi A3, Sport hatchback e-tron?
Replies: 37
Views: 2269

Re: Anyone with an Audi A3, Sport hatchback e-tron?

Not seeing much advantage of this hybrid. Only a 20 mile electric range between charges, but you drive 25k miles per year, so you'll be on gas the vast majority of time....
by Big Dog
Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc
Replies: 242
Views: 22363

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Just posting to note that Big Dog shared the relevant inputs via PM for privacy's sake, and the issue has been resolved.
Props to Oblvious for his prompt attention. :thumbsup
by Big Dog
Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc
Replies: 242
Views: 22363

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

any suggestions for Testing an Alternative Strategy? I put in an alternative Claim date for Spouse (from 62 to 63 to sensitivity test) and click the bottom Submit button and nothing happens. If I then go and click on the Submit button in the middle of the page (after Other Inputs-Discount Rate), the...
by Big Dog
Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help! 3 HVAC intstallation quotes
Replies: 21
Views: 1198

Re: Need help! 3 HVAC intstallation quotes

since you are selling in a few months, get whatever is cheaper particularly since Lennox is a name brand. But what you might inquire about is whether any of them will offer a warranty that is transferable to a new buyer. (not all are.) If so, get that one, since it would be a plus factor in the sale...
by Big Dog
Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Group life insurance through work
Replies: 20
Views: 1536

Re: Group life insurance through work

if you are healthy, rates outside of your employer are almost always cheaper. (The employer insurance plan is guaranteed issue, and has to take chronically sick and healthy alike.) Plus, you will leave eventually, and then you will have no life insurance. And more importantly, if you are sick at tha...
by Big Dog
Sat Nov 03, 2018 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I get vision insurance?
Replies: 39
Views: 4048

Re: Should I get vision insurance?

My experience is that I have never found Vision Insurance to be worth it. If an employer is paying a large proportion of the 'premium', vision can be a good deal for an employee that needs corrective vision (glasses or contacts). Moreover, an employee contribution can be pretax. That being said, vi...
by Big Dog
Sat Nov 03, 2018 12:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: no dividends in index funds!
Replies: 95
Views: 9258

Re: no dividends in index funds!

If a person is in the withdrawal stage, taking and spending the dividends is fine and can be part of spending from a total return perspective.
I disagree; taxes can be higher with dividends over LT cap gain.
by Big Dog
Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Struggling with Medicare Plan G vs Plan N
Replies: 63
Views: 3416

Re: Struggling with Medicare Plan G vs Plan N

just to add a little more confusion, y'all might look to see if Blue Cross/Anthem is offering a F-Innovative, which includes vision, in your state. It's only a few bucks more than G and since it covers the Medicare deductible, its a better deal. Anthem is offering $20/mo off for new 65' as a one yea...
by Big Dog
Tue Oct 30, 2018 7:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Struggling with Medicare Plan G vs Plan N
Replies: 63
Views: 3416

Re: Struggling with Medicare Plan G vs Plan N

I have looked at that link before. It does not seem complete. For example, the AARP/UHC plans are not shown. They are shown on the medicare.gov site.
The AARP/UHC plan is listed under "Group" in the drop down menu. (yeah, I haven't the faintest idea why the state would do it that way.)
by Big Dog
Tue Oct 30, 2018 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Struggling with Medicare Plan G vs Plan N
Replies: 63
Views: 3416

Re: Struggling with Medicare Plan G vs Plan N

the author of the video makes some good points about checking out Plan N, particularly since few providers don't take Medicare assignment. However, methinks he way over-sells the point about Guaranteed Issue. In fact, ALL of the plans available at that time are Guarantee Issue (GI) for every new 65-...
by Big Dog
Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I get rid of PMI or pay off my car loan?
Replies: 28
Views: 1499

Re: Should I get rid of PMI or pay off my car loan?

Your FA is an idiot. Get rid of the PMI.
Agreed. PMI is not a mortgage. It's 'insurance', thsu the "I" in its acronym. Get rid of it as fast as you can.
by Big Dog
Sun Oct 28, 2018 11:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When to get a new toilet?
Replies: 52
Views: 3866

Re: When to get a new toilet?

It was always running, and repairing it has become almost an annual affair.
I'd find a new plumber. A repair should last several years, not just one.

fwiw: our toilets are 30+ years. Kohler, parts are easy to obtain.
by Big Dog
Sun Oct 28, 2018 11:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When to get a new toilet?
Replies: 52
Views: 3866

Re: When to get a new toilet?

It was always running, and repairing it has become almost an annual affair.
I'd find a new plumber. A repair should last several years, not just one.
by Big Dog
Sun Oct 28, 2018 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What A Deal! [Affordable Care Act policy costs]
Replies: 28
Views: 3991

Re: What A Deal! [Affordable Care Act policy costs]

since you are no longer legally required to have ObamaCare,
Small nit: technically, enrolling in an approved medical plan is still required (depending on employer size). However, the tax penalty for non-compliance has been eliminated. (That's the gist of the current law suit against the ACA.)
by Big Dog
Thu Oct 25, 2018 9:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Making a substantial gift to a college
Replies: 27
Views: 2075

Re: Making a substantial gift to a college

However... I am thinking even longer term, potentially giving our kids (when they are born!) a leg up 20+ years down the road in the admissions race, e.g. "you have a classroom named after my dad". Said alma mater is quite selective. A plaque in a room/cornerstone will be almost meaningless in 20 y...
by Big Dog
Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medicare Information - seems impartial
Replies: 10
Views: 969

Re: Medicare Information - seems impartial

(Brokers have told me that people don't want F-HD because they don't want to have to deal with "all the bills coming in." Not to mention that they didn't tell them about the F-HD option.) I'm sure it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that brokers make 2x as much commission on the regular F...
by Big Dog
Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CA property tax > $10K, any options to deduct all?
Replies: 45
Views: 5832

Re: CA property tax > $10K, any options to deduct all?

If they own a $1M house, they will have roughly $32k/year in interest payments ($750k mortgage at 4.25% last year) and $12k/year in property tax. Only if they purchased last year. But if they purchased say, 5 years ago, Prop 13 taxes could be a whole lot less. Prop 13 is insidious in that it penali...
by Big Dog
Tue Oct 23, 2018 12:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with asset allocation for a retired 65 yo?
Replies: 13
Views: 1395

Re: Help with asset allocation for a retired 65 yo?

fwiw: recently retired, will be 65 in a couple of months.

Our AA is 60/40, primarily TotalStock and Total Bond, with the latter nearly all in tax advantaged accounts (401k & IRA). We have almost no international.
by Big Dog
Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 50% of Cancer Patients Burn Through Their Life's Savings in Just 2 Years
Replies: 70
Views: 7886

Re: 50% of Cancer Patients Burn Through Their Life's Savings in Just 2 Years

By and large, more affluent people have less risk of obesity - so maybe the lesson there is to be affluent (within your society)? Not quite correct per the CDC. For example, Among men, the prevalence of obesity was lower in both the lowest (31.5%) and highest (32.6%) income groups compared with the...
by Big Dog
Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 50% of Cancer Patients Burn Through Their Life's Savings in Just 2 Years
Replies: 70
Views: 7886

Re: 50% of Cancer Patients Burn Through Their Life's Savings in Just 2 Years

Note the date of the study -- only through 2014, which is when the ACA got rolling. If the ACA was doing what it was supposed to do, the numbers of underinsured and uninsured cancer patients should have been reduced substantially.
by Big Dog
Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PSA: Don't buy a big house
Replies: 248
Views: 25612

Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

I know you don't want to buy another ladder, but I have something similar to this ladder and love it -
Ditto. First item I bought for our SoCal house that has cathedral ceilings. (No McMansion, typical 3BR tract home on postage-stamp lot.)
by Big Dog
Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dentist "Service Fee" for Filing Insurance Claim?
Replies: 33
Views: 3233

Re: Dentist "Service Fee" for Filing Insurance Claim?

There's no indication of a problem with the insurance, the correct amount appears to be "pending",...
Pending for 9 months IS a problem, somewhere, somehow. If completed and filed accurately, a typical claim should be paid within ~30 days. Nine months makes no sense whatsoever.
by Big Dog
Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dentist "Service Fee" for Filing Insurance Claim?
Replies: 33
Views: 3233

Re: Dentist "Service Fee" for Filing Insurance Claim?

Unless the provider is under contract with your son's insurance carrier & specific plan, they file insurance reimbursement requests as a courtesy to him (and convenience to them since they can get paid faster). Given that, I'd suggest that his first call would be to his insurance company to inquire ...
by Big Dog
Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HELOC AS Emergency Fund
Replies: 10
Views: 653

Re: HELOC AS Emergency Fund

not a fan.
by Big Dog
Sat Oct 20, 2018 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pull kids from school for vacations?
Replies: 136
Views: 6029

Re: Pull kids from school for vacations?

Nope, never. As someone pointed out upthread, school is only 180 days per year, leaving plenty of time for vacations. Yes, it is more costly to travel when school is not in session, but to us, that is the cost of having kids. Jack: what do you consider an "amazing vacation" that can only be complete...
by Big Dog
Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If I'm convinced to stop making extra mortgage payments, should I recast?
Replies: 15
Views: 2072

Re: If I'm convinced to stop making extra mortgage payments, should I recast?

there is some flexibility to be gained, but the "money saved" to be invested other ways would have to beat the guaranteed 3.65% that you receive from paying down the mortgage early.
by Big Dog
Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1099 and W2 from the same employer
Replies: 11
Views: 1076

Re: 1099 and W2 from the same employer

4. It's probably a no-no wrt IRS, and likely your state labor laws. As an aside, depending on your W2 income totals, you might get hit for both sides of SS on the 1099 income.
by Big Dog
Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Give 1 Week Notice: Can Employer Retaliate by Not Paying Vacation?
Replies: 53
Views: 5062

Re: Give 1 Week Notice: Can Employer Retaliate by Not Paying Vacation?

Washington state does not require the payout of vacation (surprisingly). So to answer your question, is in the employee handbook or ask HR to see the written policy.
by Big Dog
Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When to change tires; and what brand
Replies: 131
Views: 8441

Re: When to change tires; and what brand

I've been happy with my Bridgestones, an all weather 3 season tire and a set of Blizzaks for winter. You might want to research the so-called all weather tires. They are generally worse at stopping in both dry and wet conditions than are summer tires most of the year. Of course, summer tires are no...
by Big Dog
Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sneakers with good arch support
Replies: 33
Views: 1859

Re: Sneakers with good arch support

ASICS Kayano's are great; shoes that are marked for Motion Control or at least Stability will have a more arch support and will minimize pronation (roll-in of the foot while it flattens out).
by Big Dog
Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Talk me out of buying a Tesla Model 3
Replies: 295
Views: 19113

Re: Talk me out of buying a Tesla Model 3

I live in an attached townhome and I just learned that the main breaker feeding my unit is only 70A (I'd assumed it was 100A).
Ask about adding a sub-panel which feeds the EV only. (That's what we did for our M3.)
by Big Dog
Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Not convinced with insurance
Replies: 45
Views: 3680

Re: Not convinced with insurance

IMHO people on this board are way too conservative on insurance. I was once reprimanded by a BH for having the temerity to suggest that a single 20 year old with no dependents had no need for life insurance, Uh-oh, I have told my 20-something kids that exact same thing, (including one who just got ...
by Big Dog
Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it worth filing FAFSA even if you know you'll get nothing?
Replies: 70
Views: 5080

Re: Is it worth filing FAFSA even if you know you'll get nothing?

At my undergrad, you were not eligible for work study jobs unless you had completed a FAFSA. Those jobs weren’t need based, Generally, work study IS need-based. Its a federal program which reimburses the college 2/3rds of the wage paid, and the federal program is designed for low income kids. I sta...
by Big Dog
Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Kaiser or CareFirst
Replies: 39
Views: 2070

Re: Kaiser or CareFirst

We are very close to several Kaiser facilities (5 minute drive to one and 10-15 minute drive to another).
How close is the nearest Kaiser hospital? If within reasonable driving distance, Kaiser can be excellent.
by Big Dog
Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Weigh in on our Marital Argument =)-- HCOL edition
Replies: 70
Views: 5532

Re: Weigh in on our Marital Argument =)-- HCOL edition

how are the local schools, particularly the high schools? (One reason why the burbs are so expensive is the reported quality of their schools.) As an aside, are you within the locale for the NYC income tax? Can you move outside the NYC boundary to not be subject to it? That being said, I'd vote for ...
by Big Dog
Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Census [Received form in mail]
Replies: 21
Views: 1788

Re: Census

The census bureau also collects data between the deciles. For example, they do s short survey at the 5-year mark. They also collect data for local communities every so often. I remember receiving a paper ver of this Community survey about 10 years ago. But as always, better to be safe than sorry. ht...