Search found 554 matches

by Swansea
Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pet insurance
Replies: 31
Views: 2736

Re: Pet insurance

Mr.BB wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:39 pm
$800 - $1200 seems really high. The first thing I would do is check out a couple other vets in your area for a comparison price.
Yes, I find that quite high even considering the pre-cleaning blood work and the sedation.
by Swansea
Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Evaluate Vanguard's Proposed Plan for my portfolio
Replies: 22
Views: 2196

Re: Evaluate Vanguard's Proposed Plan for my portfolio

I recently sold Limited Term Tax Exempt Admiral and put the money in a taxable money market. The fund's total returns are less than the current MM.
by Swansea
Tue Aug 28, 2018 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TSP Max Paycheck % contribution
Replies: 8
Views: 761

Re: TSP Max Paycheck % contribution

I assume that you are getting the matching TSP monies. When I last worked for the feds a while back, if you hit the max contribution too early you would lose out on matching monies as there was a limit on how much would be given each paycheck. I don't know if that restriction is still in place.
by Swansea
Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping lawn service and trash pickup
Replies: 27
Views: 2207

Re: Tipping lawn service and trash pickup

I tip the trash collectors around Christmas time. It's tough work.
by Swansea
Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: charitable giving
Replies: 4
Views: 343

Re: charitable giving

I read the IRS 990 forms to see where the money goes.
Most of my giving goes to a 501 c 3 where I volunteer. Volunteering really gives you insight into the organization.
by Swansea
Sat Jul 07, 2018 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: garden hose
Replies: 46
Views: 4915

Re: garden hose

I need to replace my garden hose after 30 years plus. It is a black hose that I got at Sears.
Any recommendations would be appreciated.
by Swansea
Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rodents ate my car!
Replies: 61
Views: 5824

Re: Rodents ate my car!

Mice ate vacuum lines in my BMW, causing the icon with a engine block with a red line through it to come on. It caused a loss of power.
The dealership figured it out on the second visit.
Now I put traps in my garage.
by Swansea
Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need Your Feedback on 100% VTSAX
Replies: 39
Views: 4010

Re: Need Your Feedback on 100% VTSAX

At your age and also with a staple job and a future pension, I was 100% stock. When I hit 50, I started moving to a mix of stock and bond funds, ending up at 60 stock an 40 bond at age 60. As to investing the 55K, my recommendation would be to do it over a year in equal amounts or 5K a month for 11 ...
by Swansea
Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to evaluate charities to donate to?
Replies: 36
Views: 1484

Re: How to evaluate charities to donate to?

+1 to Charity Navigator and Guidestar. I read 990s. It's more of a smell test than anything else, and it's hard to put hard and fast rules on them. I generally scrutinize any Schedule L I see (which describes financial transactions the charity has with related persons) but there are times when it c...
by Swansea
Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 1st Car Mechanic service experience
Replies: 41
Views: 2531

Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

While I have used both dealer and independents, both can have issues. The service advisor at the dealership did not under stand my car's condition based service, so told me spark plugs needed to be changed. The car had 22K miles at the time. A tech pulled a plug at my request, and it was fine. The i...
by Swansea
Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Enhanced Uninsured Motorist Coverage offered by SF in MD
Replies: 2
Views: 288

Enhanced Uninsured Motorist Coverage offered by SF in MD

I just received my auto premium, and an insert was included offering enhanced uninsured motorist coverage. After reading the 3.5 pages on legalese on uninsured motorist coverage, I am completely unenlightened as to the benefit and/or downside which will probably be a higher premium. Any input would ...
by Swansea
Wed May 16, 2018 5:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rollover beneficiary TSP to IRA?
Replies: 9
Views: 690

Re: Rollover beneficiary TSP to IRA?

Yes, you have found a good reason to move the monies from the TSP. The G fund is as stable as a money market, but with much betters returns. However, if you look at the 10 year performance vis-a-vis, the F fund (bonds), the F fund has a much better return over 10 years. The decision hinges upon when...
by Swansea
Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Maple syrup
Replies: 59
Views: 5557

Re: Maple syrup

I get mine from LL Bean.
by Swansea
Sat Apr 21, 2018 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to purchase a new iphone
Replies: 5
Views: 631

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: 5626

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: 29
Views: 3630

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: 49
Views: 3830

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: 1614

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: 4621

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: 17850

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: 467

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: 70
Views: 6109

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: 10075

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: 492

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: 619

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: 1430

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: 927

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: 2531

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: 7609

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: 2849

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: 3100

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: 1139

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: 8575

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: 43
Views: 2653

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: 3048

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: 17850

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: 3048

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: 3913

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: 499

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: 892

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: 3057

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: 2494

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: 4052

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: 1113

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: 4052

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: 20834

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: 2999

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: 997

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: 1588

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: 10075

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 ...