Search found 541 matches

by Swansea
Sat Apr 21, 2018 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to purchase a new iphone
Replies: 5
Views: 303

Where to purchase a new iphone

I am ready to upgrade from my iphone 5 to an 8plus. I will pay for the phone directly without any contract carrier arrangement. I could do it at a local Verizon store or an Apple store (I live in Montgomery County MD). I would like the data from my old phone transferred and the old phone wiped clean...
by Swansea
Fri Apr 20, 2018 5:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Factor in evaluating Physicians
Replies: 86
Views: 4310

Re: Factor in evaluating Physicians

A friend, whose wife is a PA, used to get invited with her by drug reps to very upscale restaurants. The the rules changed, and only the medical professionals were invited. I can spot a drug rep at a medical center in a heartbeat. It is a combination of demographics, stylish dress, and the inevitabl...
by Swansea
Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Master Bath remodel price?
Replies: 20
Views: 1793

Re: Master Bath remodel price?

I made a mistake on my master bath remodel by withholding only a small amount of the payment due at completion. That and the fact that the business was going Chapter 11, caused the remodel to stretch out almost 4 months. I had no inkling that the company was in financial trouble, until the very end....
by Swansea
Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medicare Questions
Replies: 48
Views: 2589

Re: Medicare Questions

Just send your Medicare and Care First info to the anesthesia billing office. Let them know you will pay your portion, after Medicare and Care First have adjudicated and paid. You will not pay anything until that happens. Medicare is primary and Care First secondary. The provider should bill Medica...
by Swansea
Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TSP Allocation
Replies: 14
Views: 1121

Re: TSP Allocation

I was 100% stock in the TSP until I left the Feds at age 57. At age 35, even if you were not to receive a pension, I would stay in 100% stock. Actively managed funds hold some cash, which is one reason they often under perform the market. Also, my one time record of trying to time the stock market d...
by Swansea
Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it necessary to replace brake fluid on a car every 3 years?
Replies: 56
Views: 3827

Re: Is it necessary to replace brake fluid on a car every 3 years?

Every two years is what the manufacturer recommends for my vehicles. I follow the recommendation. One car is 20 years old, the other is 11, and no issues with the brake calipers on either.
by Swansea
Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ordering a Weber grill this week
Replies: 164
Views: 16442

Re: Ordering a Weber grill this week

I bought a Genesis e-310 in 2008. I've replaced the igniter twice, other than than no issues.
I can see now the the flavorer bars will need replacement.
I've read that the Genesis grills without the doors are now made in China.
I have not used a cover in years. The weber cover did not last long.
by Swansea
Mon Apr 09, 2018 2:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dual smoke detectors with voice location
Replies: 5
Views: 376

Re: Dual smoke detectors with voice location

The county where I live has a program where they install smoke detectors for seniors. They replaced mine, added some in areas where I had none, and the batteries are good for ten years. However, they still should be tested periodically. I think the replacement of detectors now in my state now mandat...
by Swansea
Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: If you want an actively managed fund, which one would you use?
Replies: 68
Views: 4016

Re: If you want an actively managed fund, which one would you use?

I have held Harbor Capital Appreciation for many years and am happy with it.
by Swansea
Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor recently burglarized- Suggestions for home security
Replies: 101
Views: 8619

Re: Neighbor recently burglarized- Suggestions for home security

Our 95# pit mix looks like a killer, until you see her wagging tail and affectionate posture. I wonder, though, if she could sense the evil intentions of an intruder. I would not want a dog like her angry or feeling that the family she loves was in danger. Her bark is impressive :D I've handled man...
by Swansea
Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxable Investing vs Donor Advisor Fund vs ???
Replies: 9
Views: 390

Re: Taxable Investing vs Donor Advisor Fund vs ???

Among other things I like about a DAF, is that I no longer need an acknowledgement from the charity (for gifts $250 or over). My charities are small, all volunteer groups who, are sometimes not prompt about providing paperwork which would be needed if the contributions were not made through the DAF....
by Swansea
Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Document Retention Question
Replies: 4
Views: 527

Re: Document Retention Question

I asked my CPA a question on cost basis for a similar situation in Maryland. His response is below: "From my research, the basis of the Olney property is what you paid for it (including closing costs) and any improvements. The basis is then reduced by the deferred gain on the sale of SS property. So...
by Swansea
Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Beneficiary Advice
Replies: 25
Views: 1246

Re: Beneficiary Advice

I have my Donor Advised Fund designated for the bulk of my estate. I currently contribute to a few small 501 c 3 groups where I either volunteer and am familiar with their work. These groups are usually 100% volunteer and are efficient in the use of the monies. Since small charities can lose their w...
by Swansea
Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Replacing Total Bond Market with TSP G Fund
Replies: 6
Views: 632

Re: Replacing Total Bond Market with TSP G Fund

Currently, the only low ER bond funds I have access too are the TSP F and TSP G funds and I hold both of them. After reading some good posts on this forum about the two funds (G and F), I've decided that I want to reduce my overall bond holdings and only hold the G fund due to the overlapping but i...
by Swansea
Thu Mar 08, 2018 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why (or why not) use an advisor
Replies: 42
Views: 2056

Re: Why (or why not) use an advisor

I have a friend who uses an advisor because he does not want to have to deal with financial issues. His portfolio asset allocation and mine are both 60/40...stock bond...we compared performance over the last year, strangely it matched to the same % down to a tenth of 1%. However, I am ahead, as I es...
by Swansea
Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 0W-20 Synthetic Motor Oil
Replies: 58
Views: 7223

Re: 0W-20 Synthetic Motor Oil

I hope this is the exception, but I discovered that my former independent mechanic of some ten years used a synthetic blend, while charging me for synthetic. My vehicle has turbocharges, and they require full synthetic, not a blend. So I understand why a consumer would be concerned about which oil w...
by Swansea
Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pickleball versus Tennis
Replies: 27
Views: 2634

Re: Pickleball versus Tennis

I your knees are healthy, I would go with tennis. A clay court is easier on your joints, but requires maintenance. Clay also is a very different game that hard court.
by Swansea
Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice on Attorneys
Replies: 48
Views: 2616

Re: Advice on Attorneys

The url below should give you some names to check out.

http://lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/pract ... e-Planning
by Swansea
Sun Feb 25, 2018 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Itemizing Deductions for Taxes
Replies: 9
Views: 957

Re: Itemizing Deductions for Taxes

Using a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) for charitable giving has greatly simplified itemizing for me. Instead of having to look through checking account and credit card records and folders of letters from a large number of charities, all I need to do is to log into my Schwab DAF and print out a few ackno...
by Swansea
Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Employees, leading up to retirement?
Replies: 109
Views: 7483

Re: Federal Employees, leading up to retirement?

Check out Retirement Planning by Tammy Flanagan on GovExec.com. Lots of good info from her postings on all things related to Federal retirement. I learned so much! Texgal +1 on Tammy Flanagan. Our HR community always held her in high regard. One technical comment on the government's cost share on F...
by Swansea
Sat Feb 24, 2018 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: manual typewriters?
Replies: 40
Views: 1715

Re: manual typewriters?

I learned to type on a Smith Corona portable back in the 50s or early 60s. It was a good machine.
by Swansea
Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trade my BMW?
Replies: 45
Views: 2668

Re: Trade my BMW?

Go to the bimmerfest forum and ask for recommendations for an independent mechanic in your area. That can greatly keep down costs. I am bringing my 1998 328i to one this am for a new battery (it's been 5.5 years on the old one.) The 98 has 94K and still runs strong. I am glad I have held on to it. ...
by Swansea
Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ordering a Weber grill this week
Replies: 164
Views: 16442

Re: Ordering a Weber grill this week

I had purchased a Weber cover for my Genesis. It did not last very long, so I no longer bother with a cover. I'm interested in buying a new Genesis this spring. I read where they are now no longer manufactured in the U.S., but in China. The upscale Genesis, think it's the Lx model or something, stil...
by Swansea
Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trade my BMW?
Replies: 45
Views: 2668

Re: Trade my BMW?

Go to the bimmerfest forum and ask for recommendations for an independent mechanic in your area. That can greatly keep down costs. I am bringing my 1998 328i to one this am for a new battery (it's been 5.5 years on the old one.) The 98 has 94K and still runs strong. I am glad I have held on to it. M...
by Swansea
Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fed UP With Fed Ex
Replies: 26
Views: 3590

Re: Fed UP With Fed Ex

Fed Ex leaves Chewy packages out in the rain without placing the package in a plastic bag. So the food is ruined, Chewy is great on replacing it. But does anyone have experience is getting Fed Ex to properly protect the deliveries?
by Swansea
Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FEHB or Tricare into Retirement
Replies: 4
Views: 338

Re: FEHB or Tricare into Retirement

My friend retired with TriCare. As a condition to keeping TriCare in retirement, he is required to also be covered and pay for Medicare B. Since he and his wife have good incomes, those premiums for Medicare B are high. Just something to consider. Feds who retire with FEHB have the option to enroll ...
by Swansea
Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wheel alignment new tires
Replies: 15
Views: 760

Re: Wheel alignment new tires

My 1998 328i has never had an alignment. Tires have never worn unevenly, so I deemed it unnecessary. Check Tire Rack for your next purchase. They have arrangements with local tire stores for installation and balancing. Also, if you are running performance tires (soft rubber), you will not get great ...
by Swansea
Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacation in May. Boston, Martha's Vineyard, Ogunquit (cancelled Bar Harbor)
Replies: 35
Views: 2737

Re: Vacation in May. Boston, Martha's Vineyard, Bar Harbor

While it will still be cool, I've vacationed in Ogunquit several times and really enjoyed it. You can walk down Marginal Way by the ocean to Perkins Cove. Also, it's a short hop to Kennebunkport.

https://www.ogunquit.org
by Swansea
Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dental chews for dogs....useful?
Replies: 36
Views: 2133

Re: Dental chews for dogs....useful?

If you brush your dog's teeth, use a toothpaste specifically for dogs....
by Swansea
Thu Feb 15, 2018 5:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the best place to buy pet food online?
Replies: 28
Views: 2144

Re: What is the best place to buy pet food online?

Anyone here use Costco.com? I buy my dog food in person at the local Costco warehouse which is 5 minutes away. Their Kirkland Signature dog foods are about $28 for a 40 lb bag in the warehouse. I see on their web site the same 40 lb bag is $39 shipping included which makes it competitive with amazo...
by Swansea
Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Office Tax Deduction
Replies: 14
Views: 889

Re: Home Office Tax Deduction

You may want to check to see if taking the deduction has an impact upon your home's cost basis.
by Swansea
Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the best place to buy pet food online?
Replies: 28
Views: 2144

Re: What is the best place to buy pet food online?

+1 on Chewy. They sometimes ask for a review of a product I had bought. I gave a poor review to the product. To my surprise, they had read it, and credited my account. And the product defect was due to the manufacturer, not Chewy.
by Swansea
Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: For BHs who actually like cars - [what car do you drive every day?]
Replies: 280
Views: 17635

Re: For BHs who actually like cars - what is your daily driver?

2007 328xi 2015 535i Xdrive Fantastic cars, but being friends with a BMW mechanic is helpful. 1998 328i 2008 535 XI I've had really good luck on the reliability side. My 328i has sport suspension and manual transmission, lots of fun to drive. The five series is more powerful and more comfortable.
by Swansea
Sat Feb 03, 2018 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help - first major career choice (fed. gov.)
Replies: 39
Views: 2649

Re: Need help - first major career choice (fed. gov.)

Once you’ve worked for the Federal govt for 3 years you attain what’s called “status.” With that you can apply for jobs advertised to Feds only, also called Merit Promotion or MP. It’s worth it to become a Fed for the long term stability (knock on wood these days). After those 3 years are up, go an...
by Swansea
Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Independent Consulting Liability
Replies: 15
Views: 801

Re: Independent Consulting Liability

I'd pass on this "opportunity."
by Swansea
Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VGTSX and VEMAX a good pair?
Replies: 13
Views: 1154

Re: VGTSX and VEMAX a good pair?

I was 100% stock until age 50, when I gradually moved into bonds. Now at a 60 stock 40 bond allocation at 70. My job was stable and my pension was secure, so I was comfortable with the risk I took early on.
by Swansea
Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor recently burglarized- Suggestions for home security
Replies: 101
Views: 8619

Re: Neighbor recently burgalerized - Suggestions for home security

A good lock or strong door frame doesn't matter if there is glass withing reaching distance of the lock itself. The glass can be broken and the intruder can reach around to unlock it. Cameras won't help catch a thief unless you recognize the person. But a camera in plain view with a sticker on the ...
by Swansea
Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Certified Used BMW, Audi or Mercedes
Replies: 53
Views: 4082

Re: Certified Used BMW, Audi or Mercedes

Definetly do not hold myself out to be a car maintenance guru, but I believe there is more than this. Timing belt? Most german cars don't have timing belts anymore. I think most claim the timing chain they use is good for the life of the engine. You would have to check your particular brand/engine ...
by Swansea
Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which of these mechanic-recommended services would you pay for?
Replies: 55
Views: 3827

Re: Which of these mechanic-recommended services would you pay for?

My coolant hoses on my 1998 vehicle are original, and when inspected a couple of years ago, still good.
The tech writer for the marque says that the hoses are good up to 150K.
by Swansea
Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keeping a new BMW shiny!
Replies: 27
Views: 2422

Re: Keeping a new BMW shiny!

I use Turtle Wax Carnauba paste. For the wheels, Sonax spray. Interior is treated with Lexol:cleaner, protectant, and vinyl.
Always test any new product in a small, out-of-the-way spot.
Consider joining Bimmerfest.com and see what others use. There are lots of opinions.
by Swansea
Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BMW All Surface Protection Program
Replies: 13
Views: 1106

Re: BMW All Surface Protection Program

I would not purchase the package. Leather seats clean up very well. If you are concerned about protection, buy a seat cover from BMW. I use one in the back seat of my 2008 BMW where my large dog sits. When I remove the cover, the seats are still in perfect condition. Regarding the exterior, my 20 ye...
by Swansea
Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Military TSP Question
Replies: 9
Views: 971

Re: Military TSP Question

I left the feds before the Military TSP plan started. My understanding is that some military personnel can get matching monies. If you are eligible for matching monies and assuming that DFAS functions the same as for civilians, hitting your contribution limit too early can cause you to lose matching...
by Swansea
Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Individual stocks in an IRA?
Replies: 9
Views: 582

Re: Individual stocks in an IRA?

I owned a few individual stocks within my IRA when I was younger and willing to take more risks. I enjoyed researching them, and did very little trading. Evaluation of my performance pretty much just matched the appropriate index, but I had fun with it. Moving into my 50s, I sold them, incurring no ...
by Swansea
Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you add someone to a will if you don't know their Social?
Replies: 19
Views: 2337

Re: How do you add someone to a will if you don't know their Social?

My estate attorney just asked for the beneficiaries' names and addresses for the will.
by Swansea
Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Honda CRV - first oil change full synthetic?
Replies: 87
Views: 7491

Re: New Honda CRV - first oil change full synthetic?

The other thing that was a little "off" about this oil change is that the Maintenance Minder codes (and Owner's Manual) indicate that only the oil is to be changed, with no filter change. This dealer automatically did a filter change also. Now, I preferred that anyway but the dealer wasn't followin...
by Swansea
Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Honda CRV - first oil change full synthetic?
Replies: 87
Views: 7491

Re: New Honda CRV - first oil change full synthetic?

I recommend full synthetic for turbo charged engines. They run hotter.
by Swansea
Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: South Florida visit in early March
Replies: 20
Views: 1481

Re: South Florida visit in early March

+1 on visiting Key Biscayne. Crandon Park is a beautiful beach. Now much has changed there since I lived on the island, but the beach has remained the same.
by Swansea
Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First Time Consulting - how to pay self employment taxes
Replies: 4
Views: 617

Re: First Time Consulting - how to pay self employment taxes

I had a small consulting contract after retirement. When I used turbo tax that year, it took care of the social security employer and employee payment.
by Swansea
Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Strategy for using TSP in Retirement
Replies: 6
Views: 959

Re: Strategy for using TSP in Retirement

If expense ratios are a primary driver, depending upon fund selection both Schwab and Vanguard (with admiral account) are so close to the TSP, expenses should not be a primary reason. For example: C fund is .029%, Schwab .03% and Vanguard is .04%. The Schwab and Vanguard rations are for their S&P 50...
by Swansea
Sun Dec 31, 2017 6:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aprilaire Humidifier
Replies: 29
Views: 2291

Re: Aprilaire Humidifier

My April Air 760 has the humidity level too high...55 to 62%. It kicks out the same amount of moisture whether the dial is set at 15 or at 40. So the issue is probably the humidistat, but I do hear a faint click. But since the entire unit is about 20 years old, I'm thinking for replacing the whole t...